Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29

Thread: What do child psychologists say?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    97

    Default What do child psychologists say?

    I keep having issues with my husband where he cites psychological authorities to argue that it's time for our daughter, 20 months, to wean. Freud would say she needs to move on from her oral fixation to her anal stage or whatever. Klein treats the breast as primary object in object relations psychology, but then the child needs to relate to other objects. Winnicott has his whole thing about transitional objects, the teddy bear or non-mama beloved thing which eases the transition to a world where mama is not always physically present. Our daughter likes teddy bears well enough, but they are no substitute for the real thing; it's a whole other relationship. My husband's claim, or one of them, is that while she's still nursing, our daughter will never get the idea that I still exist even when I'm not there. He equates attached and dependent, more or less. So my question is, do you have thoughts or book recommendations for the compatibility of extended breast feeding with psychological health, and especially, healthy development of object relations? I've read William Sears, but wonder what else has been done in the way of research.

  2. #2
    LLLJacqui's Avatar
    LLLJacqui is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: What do child psychologists say?

    I'm not sure if there is anything in there, but have you checked the book "Mothering Your Nursing Toddler"? It's my lifeline on many different instances...

    While this is not a LLL resource, it has a TON of references:

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/ebf-refs.html

    Jacqui

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,551

    Default Re: What do child psychologists say?

    Hi emilyw,
    Here is a quote from the American Academy of Pediatrics POLICY STATEMENT Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk Section on Breastfeeding
    PEDIATRICS Vol. 115 No. 2 February 2005, pp. 496-506 (doi:10.1542/peds.2004-2491)

    "There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer." 197

    197 Dettwyler KA. A time to wean: the hominid blueprint for the natural age of weaning in modern human populations. In: Stuart-Macadam P, Dettwyler KA, eds. Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives. Hawthorne, NY: Aldine de Gruyter; 1995:39 –73

    Maybe this will help?
    I will try to do some more research, too.

    Mary

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    265

    Default Re: What do child psychologists say?

    Aren't all the guys that hubby is quoting dead?

    I have always told my husband that nursing is MY choice, and no one is to interfere. I nursed my first until he was almost 2, he has no issues. There are many other mommies out there who have nursed much longer, and their kids are perfectly fine also!

    What about pointing out the benefits of extended nursing?

    I think there is something out there somewhere that explains forced weaning and how it can traumatize both mother and child. I will look for it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: What do child psychologists say?

    I think as a society we think the 'experts' must have all the right answers (especially in America). We look to psychologists, doctors, even Oprah!!!
    No one knows our own child better than we do (besides God), and I think if we just trust our instincts, we can't go wrong. No cookie cutter approach exists because we are not all the same cookie. I hope the other resources mentioned helps you out. Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: What do child psychologists say?

    I wonder if your husband has considered that the theorists he is quoting were themselves raised in and lived their whole lives in Western, early-weaning, bottle-feeding cultures. What everyone does comes to seem normal and proper and ideal, even when it clearly is not natural but is culturally constructed.

    I'm an anthropologist, and I think all that is needed is a look around at societies where so-called "extended" nursing is the norm. If the global average for weaning is age 4, then how can nursing at age 2 be harmful or abnormal? Would a harmful parenting practice survive the eons to be so widespread around the globe? It is DETACHED pareniting, in modern industrialized societies, that is the big newfangled experiment, IMHO.

    I'm something of a skeptic when it comes to psychological theories that hold any given behavior to be universal. A transitional object may appear to help ease the child into accepting mama's absence, but if mama need not be frequently absent for long periods, then why is a transitional object needed? Remind your husband that psychologists can't study what they don't see people doing, and that their evidence is limited to the culture in which they lived, and thus is by definition an incomplete picture of what is normal for humans.

    Have you read Meredith Small's _Our Babies, Ourselves_? It's an interdisciplinary and very evidence-based look at the various factors that shape infant-care practices in different cultures. Your husband in particular might find it interesting, as he sounds like something of a reader/thinker who wants scholarly support for his parenting choices.

    --Rebecca

  7. #7
    LLLJacqui's Avatar
    LLLJacqui is offline Shares Widely And Frequently
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    346

    Default Re: What do child psychologists say?

    Oh! Another good resource - "The Nursing Mother's Guide to Weaning". It has a whole section on the history of weaning, which would explain why at the time of those authors he is quoting that bf-ing would have been considered "out there"... kwim?

    Jacqui

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: What do child psychologists say?

    I also recommend Our Babies, Ourselves. Great book. If you want to give him something really heavy-hitting to read, try Attachment by John Bowlby, the father of attachment theory. At the very least, it will take him some time to wade through it!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: What do child psychologists say?

    We were actually in family therapy a few years ago with a psychologist that we have known for about seventeen years and he not only encouraged my nursing but also strongly advocated for child led weaning. He and his wife take part in the childbirth education course at our local hospital where they are very outspoken about the importance of the mother child bond through nursing. They have five children that were all breastfed past their first birthdays at least and wife was very sad that the last child weaned before second birthday.
    My DH has always been supportive bless his heart but at times he does interfere and I remind him that the relationship is between myself and DC and we can solve it ourselves.
    I have had more resistance from the pediatrician than from psychologists. Anyone in mental health that has worked with attachment challenged children/families knows the importance of breastfeeding for meeting the child's early emotional/psychological needs.

    Unless your DH is a licenced professional he really is not qualified to evaluate the intent or content of any writings by the authorities he is quoting. I would challenge him to either be quiet or go with me to a psychologist that is AP friendly and discuss the issue. I think this must be a smokescreen for other issues that are bothering him.

    Anne

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    239

    Default Re: What do child psychologists say?

    Quote Originally Posted by quakerm0mma
    It is DETACHED pareniting, in modern industrialized societies, that is the big newfangled experiment, IMHO.
    --Rebecca
    That is what really scares me to death! My children are not guinea pigs and I am not willing to experiment or take risks with their attachment. I would much rather stick with what has been proven over hundreds of generations. If you do any research at all into early weaning you will find there is a very high rate of disease and almost 100% of children died without breastmilk before pastuerization and antibiotics. This includes many children who were wet nursed. They needed to be with their own mothers for best chance of survival.

    Anne

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •