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Thread: My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

    I guess the title says it all. I was determined to breastfeed my son, and even though it was a rocky start (thrush & insanely sore nipples), we've had such a great breastfeeding relationship. We co-sleep, he wakes up frequently through the night to nurse and I honestly have no problem with it whatsoever. However, my husband thinks it's odd to breastfeed him much longer. He wants me to stop after 8 months. He says I should pump after 8 months, but my plan is to go until the baby self weans whenever that comes. Also, my son is not interested in eating solids. I'm partial to letting the baby tell me when he's ready, but my husband's mother thinks it's crazy that he's 7 months and hasn't eaten solids. My own mother thinks i'm crazy for co-sleeping, feeding on demand and not giving solids - so there's no support coming from that way. I feel like I have to hide. Anyone else go through anything similar?

    I will not stop breastfeeding, not an option. I just want to figure out how to get my husband on board.

  2. #2
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

    has he said why he thinks its odd? is it his mom/family's influence? maybe ask him for more details?

    as far as getting him on board. if its not negotiable for you why not just tell him so and that you need his support. I think more info on why he feels as he does would help you formulate an approach. if he likes reading materials you can always try to sell him on health benefits. sometimes they just want more attention (intimacy too) and they think weaning is the answer, so if that's it you can work on it. once my dh saw how much easier it was for me to continue he just basically forgot about the whole thing, so that might happen too. how often is he harping on it? if its occasional to rare you could always just kind of gloss over the issue, but if its often you might need to take a more direct approach.
    Christine
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

    You can first try citing the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to breastfeed for at least a year. You can also start introducing solids through baby-led solids. Let your little one play with solid foods (whether or not he eats them) and that might placate your husband (and mothers, though they shouldn't really have much say). Also you might want to talk to your pediatrician to get some support if you know you can get breastfeeding supportive advice.

    It's hard to know how to convince your husband without knowing him. You probably need to leverage whatever he cares about most.
    Nursing my DD born 4/2012 at 35 weeks

  4. #4
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    Default Re: My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

    If your husband is suggesting weaning at 8 months, he probably thinks that is best for the baby. Not true, and hopefully it is just a question of providing the correct information.

    Since you have not started solids, your husband may imagine and fear that your child will be EXCLUSIVELY breastfeeding until he's in preschool. I know my husband had that misconception! Explain to your husband that the idea is to gradually increase solids and become less dependent on breastmilk.

    I think you can explain to your husband why nursing is important to you, citing the health and emotional benefits to the baby (I always quote the WHO recommendation of nursing for 2 years) and also it is such a great way to calm the baby and get through illnesses etc. Let him know that if you wean the baby at 8 months, that's it - you can't just up and nurse him when he gets sick and won't eat. My kid is sick at the moment (9 mo) and will not eat a thing, but we can make sure she gets enough liquid and food by nursing. I'm so thankful for it, and so is my husband.

    You said something about pumping that didn't really make sense to me:

    "He says I should pump after 8 months"

    - He wants you to pump and feed the baby a bottle, but not to nurse? Is that right? (sorry, it sounds crazy to me - no offence to your husband, but I sure wouldn't do it! Pumping sucks!)

    The comment about pumping makes me think his concern might be that the baby is "too dependent" on nursing from your breast? Or maybe he thinks he will be embarrassed about you nursing an older baby in public? Concerned that your son will be "too attached to his mother"? I think these may be common (unfounded) concerns for fathers. Best to try to find out why he thinks you should wean early, so you can address his fears or concerns properly. If he is concerned about "dependency" or "attachment", you could let him know that studies show a strong attachment in infancy (partly through breastfeeding) fosters greater independence in the long run.

    Like a PP I highly recommend baby-led solids. My daughter liked to suck on a large piece of (unsalted) steak (a food that my husband and many other men approve of). My husband was pleased that his daughter was such a carnivore. Even if your baby isn't showing interest in solids yet, you can sit him in a highchair at the table when you eat, and give him a piece of meat (or similar) to play with and suck on. Even if he doesn't actually eat, he'll be participating in family meals and he'll pick up motor-skills, and your husband will see his boy with a piece of steak, assuaging his worries that his son will be addicted to breastmilk for the rest of his life . I think that might help ease your husband's mind?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

    I think that whenever possible it is best to try to have calm and complete discussion(s) when such differences in parenting philosophy come up. The specificity of your husband's request to stop at 8 months (why 8?) and the fact he wants you to continue to pump and provide your milk but not nurse suggests he has some very specific concerns. Once you understand what those could be and where he got the ideas behind this request, you can address those with clarity.

    Science and reason are going to be on the side of continuing to nurse. Every child health organization of any repute world wide suggests that children should nurse for 12 months at a MINIMUM or longer (UNICEF and the WHO say at least 2 years.) And none-not one- suggest there is any particular age that a child "should" be weaned. Most also say that solids should be introduced at or after 6 months, but the gradual introduction of solid foods in no way implies that nursing should then stop. This is based on copious amounts of research that proves the health benefits (or rather, normal health outcomes, since nursing is the biologically normal way to feed babies and toddlers) of nursing until a year and beyond-for both child and mom!

    Exclusive pumping is a tremendous amount of work compared to nursing at the breast and will very possibly lead to a premature drop in milk production. Plus, with pumping and bottles, while your child still gets breast milk, you lose the many benefits of nursing at the breast.

    I would not venture to guess what, in the face of such a mountain of evidence of the health & emotional benefits, would make your husband concerned about you nursing longer, but certainly this is not an uncommon view, no matter how unsupported by the facts it may be. Even some pediatricians still suggest that breastmilk somehow loses its nutritional value at some particular age, an idea that is patently false. But whatever the reason, clearly your husband feels strongly about it so finding our what his specific concerns are by listening respectfully to them would hopefully open up a valuable conversation between the two of you.

    It is also important for you to find support somewhere. If family is not going to help there, what about friends? Look around for breastfeeding support groups or playgroups, and (for the co-sleeping etc,) attachment parenting groups, some of which may offer family or couples meetings as well.

    Breastfeeding-it's good sense http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...tgoodsense.pdf

    For grandparents: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...sbreastfed.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; August 5th, 2012 at 12:40 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

    Big hugs to you too.
    with dd1 I exhausted my patients having to defend what I knew was best for my baby.
    But her healthy progress, chubby thighs and sweet disposition proved me right.
    I also found friends and encouraged relatives to breastfeed past infancy.
    My DH saw that our parenting choices were healthiest.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  7. #7
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    Default Re: My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

    Great advice from the pp's

    The nursing relationship is between mama and baby. I think *I* would start with: "I will be nursing until either LO or I feel the need to wean, it might be a year, it might be longer. Pumping will be much harder on me and much more time consuming and there really isn't a need for it since ds has no issue getting milk from the breast. Think of the extra work when we leave the house, the extra steps required when we are out - finding a place to warm the milk while ds cries, etc... Think of the extra time at home that I will need to spend pumping and cleaning pump parts/bottles. This is important to me and I need your support in this to make it easier. Why do you feel I should stop at 8 months?"

    That way you've set your line and the actual breastfeeding is non negotiable, whereas you are interested in hearing his reasoning. You can share the information about breastfeeding and it's benefits, but men are practical creatures Explaining the extra and unnecessary work might be more effective than showing him articles (depending on your dh of course). Good luck mama!
    ~Jenn~


    mother of 2 boys!
    08/14/98~~03/20/08

    Birth: 7lbs 12oz, 1 year: 22lbs 11oz
    until he self-weaned 4 days before his third birthday ... still on occasion ... and happily

    ************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
    People need to understand that when they're deciding between breastmilk and formula, they're not deciding between Coke and Pepsi.... They're choosing between a live, pure substance and a dead substance made with the cheapest oils available. ~Chele Marmet

  8. #8
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    Default Re: My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

    Great advice from pp. On a different note, your post gave me the immediate reaction of telling him that he would need to do much of the bottle feeding, then waking him up at 9pm, midnight, 2 am, 4am and 6am, screaming for him to make a bottle NOW then stay awake for the feedings, then wash everything.

    There is a saying that every father is a lactivist at 2am


    Eta, I'm not suggesting actually doing the above , not good for baby, but just the thought made me smile
    Last edited by @llli*jenna562; August 5th, 2012 at 09:10 AM.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

    OMG, Jenna, awesome!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: My husband wants me to stop breastfeeding after 8 months

    I understand your frustration mama. My partner was not BF and my DMIL, who did not BF any of her 4 past infancy, always has a lot to say about it when I BF.... I tell them the benfits and quote the AAP, WHO and UNICEF to them, and it usually shuts them up. It's just so good for so many reasons they didn't know about before!

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