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Thread: It's been a very long hard journey - being pressured to stop

  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Default It's been a very long hard journey - being pressured to stop

    Lois is baby number 4, I never managed to BF my other three for long for various reasons but I was determined to get it right this time. Lois was born 3 months premature and was very very sick. She had an unsafe swallow and despite my desperate efforts to encourage breast feeding she was sent home with a feeding tube and oxygen aged 4 months old, a month after she should have been born. From birth I exclusively pumped until around 3 months, when after being told I wasn't allowed to BF her I stopped pumping - I think it was a reaction to the situation and one I came to regret. I had a HUGE supply in the freezer so Lo had exclusively BM until she was around 5 months old. We tried a formula when we knew the BM was running low with a view to moving over, and we discovered a milk allergy. So I decided to re-lactate rather than give her the awful alternatives, and after A LOT of hard work and dedication I was back to full supply wthin 3-4 weeks. During the time I was pumping, we were allowed to start giving milk orally, so between bottles and comfort suckling, Lois started breastfeeding. Not long after, her feeding tube was removed and the day it came out she decided to exclusively breastfeed - this was the greatest and most rewarding achevement in my life! To go through all we had been through, it was so worth it and Lois is still now at 10.5 months old almost exclusively breastfeeding along with eating some solids.

    It's been a very emotional journey with Lo with being so poorly and all the things wrong with her, but the highlight is breastfeeding her and our time together during nursing. My current problem is peoples view on feeding this long annd the comments I've started to get.

    I should start by saying my partner is 100% supportive of breastfeeding, and for feeding as long as me and Lois want to continue. He has been a complete rock for me along this journey. But other people have started to ask when I plan to stop. I'd always said 'well I'd like to continue to around a year', but as we are nearly here now I don't feel ready to stop and Lois certainly doesn't - she loves nursing! As she's getting bigger people also seem less comfortabe with the idea of me nursing in public, even though I'm quite discreet about it. I feel like the stress of things is taking its toll on my supply and I certainly don't feel very 'full' anymore - maybe thats normal?

    I think I need to spend more time around mums who are happy continuing nursing past what seems to be the 'acceptable 1 year limit' I've encountered!

  2. #2
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    Jan 2011
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    Default Re: It's been a very long hard journey - being pressured to

    Congrats on the fruits of your dedication! That is AWESOME that you were able to EB! Anyhow, with regards to the inquiries and comments, I would answer with something that would end the discussion, even if it is dishonest. There is no reason for you to quit unless you and she are ready, and your nursing relationship is none of their business. You don't owe them that information, especially if they're going to be judgmental with the answer you give. I hope you go on to have a long relationship with DD and end it when either or both of you are ready.

  3. #3
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: It's been a very long hard journey - being pressured to

    What a journey! To get a baby to the breast after so long, and to relactate- those are HUGE achievements! We get so many moms here desperate to do just one of those things, and not all of them are successful.

    It's a good idea to spend time around people who are comfortable with toddler nursing. There's no reason to quit at a year- as you're discovering, nursing an older baby is the payoff on the huge investment you made when your baby was smaller. Just act confident and cheery and nurse on demand, no matter where you are. Remember, by acting like you enjoy it and aren't ashamed of it, you're striking a blow for all the women who would like to be nursing their older babies, but are too scared to do it.

    Regarding feeling less full, that's pretty normal with an older baby, especially one who has started solids and may be relying a little less on breastmilk. As long as you're nursing on demand, you'll continue to make as much milk as your baby needs.
    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!"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: It's been a very long hard journey - being pressured to

    Gosh, mama, you are AWESOME! To be so dedicated to breastfeeding your baby took a huge amount of perserverance on your part. My baby is only 4 months, so I don't really have any words of wisdom for you, but I did read what mommal wrote in another post and I thought it was quite witty 'is there a reason you're concerned about what I do with my breasts?' (might not be her exact words, but it was something like that..I don't know if you can quote from another thread).

    Or you could go the evidence/scientific based route and quote that the AAP recommends breastfeeding for at least a year, the WHO for at least 2, etc. Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: It's been a very long hard journey - being pressured to

    Why not just stop saying "Around a year" and start saying "When we are both ready" that is elusive AND let's people know it's none of their business.

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
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    Default Re: It's been a very long hard journey - being pressured to

    You know, you had it a lot harder than I did, but I always say to my husband that it took me so long to get comfortable with nursing, i wasn't about to stop at a year! It took almost a year to feel like I could breathe a sigh of relief that everything was going well. I get those comments, too, but now I've started just avoiding discussing it. I was home this weekend, and I think my mother knew that due to past comments, I didn't want to discuss the situation. I would just take DD and say, "Come with mommy," and we'd disappear for a while with no explanation. Especially since your DD had a hard time in the beginning, I'd think you'd be most comfortable to continue, so try to not let other people's opinions (often misguided) change what you're doing. You're doing what's best for you and your daughter.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

    with #2, due mid-June. Will I ever sleep again?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: It's been a very long hard journey - being pressured to

    your story is inspirational! thanks for sharing i want to tell you to ignore those busy bodies, but of course that's hard to do. i like djsmom's idea of responding with "when we're both ready" ... it lacks the specificity to prompt judgment or further comment. some advice i was recently given was to say "we're working on weaning" which is technically true if your baby is already on solids ;-) that way the negative nancies can feel satisfied, you don't have to lie (weaning can be a years long process!), and you don't open yourself up to criticism

  8. #8
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: It's been a very long hard journey - being pressured to

    Hi mama, don't have anything different to add from the PPs, just wanted to say that I love your amazing story!

  9. #9
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: It's been a very long hard journey - being pressured to

    Thank you all for your replies and your words of encouragement I am very proud of myself for persevering to breastfeed, the hard work has so paid off and you're right filmmommy, it's taken so long to get comfortable with nursing that I'm not ready to stop already! After all that hard work on mine and DD's part, I couldn't just stop now because of what some others may think. I know I'm not the first to get these comments and I'm sure I won't be the last! Now I've found this forum I hope that maybe some our journey may help others

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