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Thread: Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

  1. #1
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    Dec 2006
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    Default Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

    Although I haven't made it to the one year mark just yet, we are only 2 1/2 months out, and since I've made it this long, and I'm convinced extended nursing will work and is best for me and my baby, I have also started hearing about my new decision.

    My mother (I can hear the collective groans now) and several others are of the opinion that bf boys (and apparently this does not extend to girls?) will be "sexually malfunctional" if they nurse into the toddler years, and that they will somehow become breast deviants of some sort when they grow up. Aside from knowing this is completely rediculous, the best I can come back with right now is that nursing is NOT a sexual activity.

    I'm sure this has been addressed before, so if there is a good thread will someone point me to it? Otherwise, how can I respond to this criticism?

    ~Toni

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

    I actually heard once that it is the boys who were NOT bf that grow up obsessed with breasts..lol. So you could just say "Actually, studies show...."
    Even if it's not true, it should put an end to the ridiculous statements.
    Good luck with that

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

    Oh, that mentality just irks me. I am sure there are a lot of sexual deviants in cultures where it is perfectly normal to nurse until 3+ year of age (NOT!!!). WTF? Okay...sorry for the rant, but that's what came to mind when I first read it.

    I can't think of any better reply, but it is absolutely not sexual. Our society makes it sexual. In other cultures nudity isn't sexual. We have made it that way (not that I am necessarily advocating running around town in your birthday suit), and children will make much of what they get at home "normal". Its just absurd.

    Erin
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

    Hmmmm...I would just reply with, "Well, at least his immune system will be good..."

    But, that's just me.

    Honestly, don't waste your time. Let them have their opinions and be happy that they are not raising your little boy. There is nothing you can say to these kinds of people to change their minds. Let them have their opinion and keep doing what you want to do because it is right for you and your LO.

    Congrats on choosing to extend bf.
    Last edited by caldangel; December 28th, 2006 at 03:32 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

    Maybe you should let the burden of proof lie with them? Ask them for the studies that show their side. They won't be able to find any. And when they can't be sure to let them know that the AAP has said that nursing into toddlerhood doesn't cause any harm. It's listed in their statement on breastfeeding.
    Tanya, LLL Leader and Mama to three wonderful kids

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

    Exactly...plus the cause of most "sexual malfunction" and "deviance" is sexual abuse. Not nursing.

    Gah.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2006
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    Default Re: Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

    I breastfed my son for 33 months. It was our choice. My parents and other relatives and friends didn't understand and were not supportive of our decision and we frequently heard comments such as the one you have mentioned. I found it easiest just to sort of smile and allow them to express their opinion and just move on to what worked for my son and I. He now looks on as I bf my daughter and remembers the time we spent together. Even now, when he's hurt or sleepy, he wants to curl up next to my chest. It is where he feels most safe and most loved, I'm sure. It isn't weird or maladaptive. You know deep down what you and your child want and need. Stick with it!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

    Quote Originally Posted by revama View Post
    I breastfed my son for 33 months. It was our choice. My parents and other relatives and friends didn't understand and were not supportive of our decision and we frequently heard comments such as the one you have mentioned. I found it easiest just to sort of smile and allow them to express their opinion and just move on to what worked for my son and I. He now looks on as I bf my daughter and remembers the time we spent together. Even now, when he's hurt or sleepy, he wants to curl up next to my chest. It is where he feels most safe and most loved, I'm sure. It isn't weird or maladaptive. You know deep down what you and your child want and need. Stick with it!
    This isn't to say that other people's comments don't hurt. It helps to have someone who is supportive of your decision. If you don't have that close to home, look to this forum for that support!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

    Norma Jane Bumgarner talk about some of this in MOTHERING YOUR NURSING TODDLER.
    Of older nurslings she says, "The nursing relationship all by itself is rarely a source of difficulty, but rather a pleasant cuddle."
    In her discussion of conscious memory she states, "Nursing is a healthy relationship, and your child's memories of it will be healthy."
    Mary

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need better reply to this criticism/"concern"

    Some people say that that kind of thinking comes from society's sexualization of breasts... well, I think that breasts ARE sexual and that's OK... I think the problem is society's sexualization of CHILDREN. A small child doing what only small children do is labeled as wrong... as something that could hurt their future sex life. Oh, I don't know where to go from there, except that you should tell them it's a childish behavior, not a sexual behavior.

    Anyway, what are they saying, that if you breastfeed too long he'll be obsessed with breasts? Would this make him a freak? I know a lot of babies that were weaned around three months who grew up to display this symptom. Is avoiding an interest in breasts a parenting goal? Yeah, good luck with that one.

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