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Thread: Breastfeeding for Comfort?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    16

    Default Breastfeeding for Comfort?

    Hi all,

    My 11 week old was born to suck. Since day 1 he has wanted to suck constantly and nurse constantly. I didn't try a pacifier until he was around 5 weeks because I wanted to make sure he had his latching down, and he doesn't want to take them. If anything, he gnaws on them, no sucking. I don't want to deny him my breast, so that's not a problem. But I know there are mixed thoughts on using the breast as a pacifier. He's gaining weight healthily, but is at the bottom end of weight percentiles, so I'm not worried about him eating too much. I just am curious to hear some thoughts on the subject. He's started teething already and, even though nursing seems a bit more painful for him now, he still always wants to nurse when he's in pain or upset, so I feel like it's only going to increase. He sleeps well at night, so that's not an issue, either. I just am wondering why some people don't think it's a good idea to soothe baby with the breast. And this is not to say that I never stop nursing, either. Sometimes he will go an hour or maybe a little more without nursing. But sometimes he will nurse for an hour, as well. I never force him to stop or wait. I just keep nursing on demand.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,753

    Default Re: Breastfeeding for Comfort?

    I just am wondering why some people don't think it's a good idea to soothe baby with the breast.
    I imagine there are many reasons people have this odd idea that nursing frequently and for comfort=something virtually all healthy & normal babies are biologically compelled to do- is somehow bad for them. What have you heard?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    16

    Default Re: Breastfeeding for Comfort?

    Well, I have yet to hear any good reasons why people think this. I just get the occasional comment along the lines of "nursing for comfort can be controversial" or "people have different ideas about whether to use the breast as a pacifier." Most of the resources I relate to all condone comfort nursing.

    I came across a couple of articles on KellyMom today:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/comfortnursing/
    http://kellymom.com/ages/newborn/new...erns/pacifier/

    Both of these reassured me that I am doing the right thing. I believe very strongly in responding to my baby's needs and if he needs to nurse all day long in order to be happy, then I am prepared to accommodate him.

    Thanks for your response lllmeg, I always enjoy hearing what you have to say.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    12

    Default Re: Breastfeeding for Comfort?

    LOL I get a lot of passive aggressive remarks from some people too, they tried to tell me I "have to supplement with formula because no woman can produce enough milk for baby", "babies on breast milk cannot grow because babies grow in their sleep and my baby wakes up too often", "nursing for comfort encourages emotional eating". In the beginning I tried to educate them, now I have perfected the "interested look and nod" technique to make them go away faster

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: Breastfeeding for Comfort?

    I've heard these too.

    have to supplement with formula because no woman can produce enough milk for baby
    this just in-newly discovered cave paintings depict bottle feeding and formula cans, proving "no woman" ever made enough milk for her child.

    babies on breast milk cannot grow because babies grow in their sleep and my baby wakes up too often
    Unfortunately I think some sleep training advocates promote this idea.

    nursing for comfort encourages emotional eating".
    To me that is the saddest one of all. Yes, let's NOT comfort our babies because comforting a baby might lead to emotional damage.

    I suggest the fascinating book "Kiss Me" by Carlos Gonzalez if you want to explore the checkered history of "expert" theories about child development and parenting that have led to these kinds of assumptions-and worse.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; September 23rd, 2013 at 03:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    313

    Default Re: Breastfeeding for Comfort?

    I've actually never really heard that before, but it makes no sense to me. Thank goodness something works to get my baby to sleep! This is my second baby, and I know for a fact that babies and kids grow out of things like nursing and pacifiers, blankets/loveys, etc. when they are ready. You can comfort baby all you want with the breast, and years down the road he'll simply not need it one day.
    and Mama to two little girls

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: Breastfeeding for Comfort?

    Nursing for comfort is controversial in the same way that breastfeeding is controversial. Both nursing for comfort and breastfeeding are biologically normal. But "biologically normal" doesn't sell books of parenting advice nor does it make people feel better when they decide that they just can't hack it. So people have invented a zillion "reasons" why things like breastfeeding and comfort nursing and responsive parenting must be really, really bad- or at least debatable.
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    16

    Default Re: Breastfeeding for Comfort?

    Hahaha. Great replies, ladies. I think you're all absolutely right. Going with my gut and doing what feels natural.

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