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Thread: Handling requests to nurse in public

  1. #21
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Handling requests to nurse in public

    Mommal, I appreciate your response and suggestions. You're right that I may need to "spin" things a bit to DH. I feel like that's unfortunate; of all the people I should be able to be honest with, my partner is #1. But you may be right that it may help to spin things a bit.

    DH already does a good bit with DS on his own...he gets up with DS one day each weekend when it's my turn to sleep in. He watches DS when I have to work on the weekend (tonight, for example). I would say in general, they have a great relationship. And DS will cuddle up a bit to DH when I'm not there. When I am there, though, he usually prefers me. (It does go back and forth a bit, but usually he prefers me, at least for cuddling/affection). DH and DS have a wonderful time playing together. DH is really great about playing on a toddler's level and never gets tired of playing He's also really, really good at distraction--better than I am, really. So I don't see a deficiency in their relationship. DS adores his Daddy. Although sometimes DH is less sensitive to DS' needs than I am. For example, he was willing to let DS cry at night much sooner, and for much longer, than I was. He tends to push him to eat dinner regardless of whether DS wants to eat. He wanted to make DS get a haircut even though DS was crying and a hysterical mess. He suggested that if DS isn't ready to be left alone at preschool soon, we'll just have to leave and let DS cry and DS will eventually be okay, where I feel we should either stay until he's ready to let us leave, or perhaps pull him out of preschool if he really can't make the adjustment, but either way I'm not going to force it and leave him crying. I think this has a lot to do with some harsh parenting that DH received when he was young (forced baths when he was frightened, forced potty training, etc). He sees this as normal and thinks it's a discipline issue to make DS get a haircut or take a bath regardless of whether DS wants to. He loves DS to pieces, but he isn't as sensitive/responsive as I am. He also doesn't spend nearly as much time with DS as I do--I am usually the one to get up and take care of DS in the morning before work, where DH doesn't interact in the morning other than to say a quick "goodbye" a lot of times. He also works later than I do, and I am the one to flex my schedule and find a way to come home early, go in late, take a day off here and there, etc. So all in all, I probably spend several hours more a day with DS than DH does. That might have something to do with DS' attachment to me. Plus, isn't it normal for kids to be most attached to Mommy and prefer Mommy for comfort most of the time? That's certainly what I've seen with other kids, but it really hurts DH's feelings and makes him feel slighted
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Handling requests to nurse in public

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*payn0045 View Post
    Those last two replies were a bit harsh! It's between a mom and a child when they are going to nurse, and it's disheartening to feel like no matter what you do, you'll have someone condemning your choice. Nursing is a relationship and a tool, but not something with universal rules and requirements. For me nursing is one tool in the comforting toolbox, as I'm sure it is for most moms, and while the other tools may not be as fail-safe, kids are very resilient and learn to accept nurturing in other ways. May they still prefer nursing? Sure. May they still ask? Sure. But will they adapt and be OK with other loving alternatives? Yes.
    This sounds like the response of someone trying to justify weaning a child before they are ready and needing to make it OK. And FTR that is NOT what we are talking about. At all.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Handling requests to nurse in public

    Joshua's mommy,
    I hear you! I don't want you to get divorced and to be fair while my DH thought we went long and was very helpful and supportive (Which in my house included taking my son to be WITHOUT me while we night weaned. So throw that at your DH and see how committed he REEEALLY is to your weaning process.) he never tried to pressure me. So I didn't have that to contend with. And I just in general don't really care what people think of me. So I know I am in a different space. So for sure do what you need to both stand your ground for your dyad as well as do the give and take you need to with your child to be OK in that dyad. I would just like you to add to your paradigm that you are NOT ALONE. AND to remember that you are actually WINNING. Try to wear the badge of nursing past a year for what it is. You are doing what's Normal. What's natural. What has helped to keep the species alive and thriving forever. And you and your child are both really better for it. Don't let anyone cloud or diminish that for you.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Handling requests to nurse in public

    I may need to "spin" things a bit to DH. I feel like that's unfortunate; of all the people I should be able to be honest with, my partner is #1.
    I agree completely. You SHOULD be able to be 100% honest with your spouse. But spinning he truth... It's still honesty. Just with a different varnish. Let me give you an example. It used to be that when my DH came home from work, he'd ask "How was your day?" and my response was usually something like "OMG, I am exhausted, the kids were driving me crazy and wait till you see the mess they made..." Which was all true. But hearing that really bummed him out, and made him think I hates being home with the kids. So I started trying to put a different gloss on it. When he came home and asked how my day was, I would try to lead with "Good, we had a lot of fun doing X today" or something like that. Which was also all true! In the end, I realized I was pitching a news story. If I went negative, he tensed up and gave me a negative response. If I led with something positive, he would immediately relax and the rest of the evening would go a lot better.

    And DS will cuddle up a bit to DH when I'm not there. When I am there, though, he usually prefers me. (It does go back and forth a bit, but usually he prefers me, at least for cuddling/affection).DH and DS have a wonderful time playing together. DH is really great about playing on a toddler's level and never gets tired of playing
    This is a pattern for a lot of families! The dad becomes Fun Daddy and the mom becomes Comfort Mommy. It's really natural and normal. And it will change with time. Your child is still so young that his comfort/cuddle/affection needs are still really centered on you. But as time goes on, children swap their "favorite" parent all the time. At 2, my kids usually wanted mommy for everything. Not just nursing. They wanted to sit next to me, sleep with me, bathe with me, have me make their breakfast, hold my hand... But at age 3-4 it started to switch and all of a sudden they wanted their papa all the time. It switches back and forth. But at age 2? It's mommy mommy mommy, at least when it comes to being affectionate.

    Would your DH be open to reading some parenting books? Or maybe speaking to a child psychologist- one that you preselect to be breastfeeding-friendly? It sounds like he might benefit from re-examining the harsh parenting he received and thinking about other ways to parent, ones that don't rely on force to "train" a child.
    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!"

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Handling requests to nurse in public

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    This sounds like the response of someone trying to justify weaning a child before they are ready and needing to make it OK. And FTR that is NOT what we are talking about. At all.
    Right - definitely not a weaning conversation. I only recently started reading/posting here when my daughter turned 1, as I have no plans to wean and thought hearing others' experiences/support would be useful.

    To me your posts implied that not nursing in this situation, or others where a child might be feeling insecure, is somehow cruel or selfish. I don't agree and I don't think that's a fair judgement to pass. As a working mom, I made a conscious decision not to nurse my daughter in her childcare setting, simply because 99% of the time I will not be there to do that, and I decided early on that consistency would be the easiest thing for her, and ultimately serve her the best.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Handling requests to nurse in public

    Dj's mom--I appreciate the reinforcement that what I am doing is normal and healthy and I'm not alone. I need to hear that.

    Mommal--unfortunately DH isn't much of a reader and I don't think he's open to examining how he was parented. He's very opposed to therapy, etc. We're very different from each other in that respect. I did order "How weaning happens" and "Mothering your nursing toddler" and am hopeful I'll get some good info to pass on to DH as well as some tips on how to deal with pressure to wean from DH.

    Anybody have some good info on the benefits of nursing beyond age 2? Preferably from a scientific, non-crunchy source? I've googled and haven't found much. DH is really stepping up his weaning campaign and being pretty obnoxious about the whole thing. I told him last night that it was not his decision when to wean and that the only thing he is accomplishing with passive-aggressive remarks on my "udders" etc. is pissing me off. He claims I am killing our sex life by nursing this long. Honestly at this point I'm so irritated with him that I don't care. I could really use access to the "relationships and sexuality" forum to discuss this further. I requested access a few days ago but am not sure how to tell if it's been granted?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    341

    Default Re: Handling requests to nurse in public

    Joshuasmommy, I'm so incensed on your behalf.

    One line of argument that might hit home is the fact that some immune factor concentrations in breastmilk increase with breastfeeding duration. Given that your DS is moving into a daycare setting--arguably a vector of illness--your nursing relationship will be critical to his immune function. Links to source material are in the KellyMom article below. (Just be wary of the canard argument you might hear back that weaning will further enhance your son's intake of immune factors. On a volume-adjusted basis, your son is best off nursing as much as possible.)

    Another rather helpful tool is the long list of immune factors included in human milk. Note that the "unidentified factors" bucket is likely longer than the identified list, based on the rate of change of artificial formula recipes.

    http://kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/immunefactors/

    The cognitive effects of breastfeeding also increase in duration, which is another tack you could take.

    I would also take the discussion out of effects on your son to effects on you. Hit your husband with lower incidences of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes associated with longer duration breastfeeding. If you have a family history of any of these conditions, give family examples. Make the argument about robbing you of your health. Breastfeeding involves TWO people, and you bave the right to make sound health decisions for yourself. Would your DH ridicule you for eating more vegetables, hitting the gym, getting an extra hour of sleep, or seeing the doctor? Enough said. References to source material are included in this KellyMom article below. (She's a great information aggregator...better than PubMed!)

    http://kellymom.com/ages/after12mo/ebf-refs/

    I should add that you're an AWESOME mother! Really!!
    Last edited by @llli*alphawoman; February 4th, 2014 at 02:49 PM.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Handling requests to nurse in public

    I've been reading this thread with interest, just for the fact that I can eventually see my DH getting fed up with nursing if we end up going that long. But I'm not planning on stopping until DD and I are both ready, so...no pressure or anything, but you're a bit of a role model here

    As for good info about breastfeeding beyond 2, I know that Dr. Newman has his article about why breastfeed a toddler - just in case you haven't seen it http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-BT

    You could maybe post a question to his facebook page and see if he can point you in the right direction?

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Handling requests to nurse in public

    PM Karen if it's been more than 3days. They may have upped the requirement....when you asked did you notice? I can't remember if your post count has to be 3 or 500...but if she has a PM she will usually check in because it will notify her via e-mail.

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Handling requests to nurse in public

    Here's the AAP's most recent policy statement on breastfeeding: http://pediatrics.aappublications.or...#content-block. Unfortunately, they've toned down their language on breastfeeding duration. They were getting flak from people who said that by promoting breastfeeding for a year or more, the AAP was putting "pressure" on women to nurse. (Oh, the poor dears, actual science hurts their widdle brains and makes them cry. ) But if you read the policy statement carefully, you can still pick out the gems. Like this one: "The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant, a recommendation concurred to by the WHO and the Institute of Medicine." (Actually, the WHO recommends a 2 year minimum, with continued breastfeeding as long as mutually desired.) The Maternal Outcomes segment is also a good place to look for support for continued nursing.

    My favorite non-crunchy link on breastfeeding is a paper that came out in American Scientist a few years back: https://www.americanscientist.org/is...food-allergies. It's not geared towards extended breastfeeding per se, but it talks about how the immune factors in breastmilk coach a baby/child through the development of something called immune exclusion, the process by which the gut "learns" to recognize the difference between harmful and harmless substances. What I find particularly interesting is that because children in developed countries are not exposed to as many pathogens/parasites as those in the developing world, the development of immune exclusion takes LONGER in babies from the developed world. So all those people who say "Oh, yeah, of course 'they' breastfeed for years in the developing world- it's because they have to! But we're so advanced that we don't need to do that here" have it totally backwards. Extended breastfeeding may be more important from a nutritional stance in the developing world, but from an immunological stance, it's more important in the developed world!

    Another great resource on extended nursing is anthropologist Katherine Dettwyler. She had a great piece in Natural History magazine entitled "When to Wean" but I can't find it online. This content from her website covers the same ground: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html

    This is another fun one, from the journal Chemical and Engineering News: https://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/86/8639cover.html. It talks about what is actually in breastmilk and why it's still so poorly understood and why it is better for a baby/child's health than any substitute.

    All that non-crunchy content does not change the fact that as time goes on and your LO leaves the infant/toddler stage behind and becomes a child, breastfeeding is increasingly about the mothering/parenting benefits. It's a tool you use to ease your child's transitions and soothe his hurts. And you should not have to defend that to your husband.

    Since you mentioned that you and your DH are Jewish and go to temple, would examples from the Torah or Talmud make good persuasive material? Examples on request!
    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!"

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