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Thread: Did any of you have to convince your dh...

  1. #1
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    Default Did any of you have to convince your dh...

    To continue nursing beyond a year? I am just wondering...right now dh and I are discussing the issue and although he isn't too kean on the idea, he isn't opposed to it either. I just don't want him to be put off by it, and I want him to be a part of the decision. I never thought I would want to nurse this long, let alone beyond a year, so I can understand where he is coming from. Now that I am here, though, I want to continue indefinitely.

    And have you left your los overnight with others while still nursing? How? Why? Dh is really concerned that he won't be able to take dd places without me and that we will still be unable to have a night away. I think if I could be comfortable with some of those things, he would be more comfortable too.

    Thanks mamas!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Did any of you have to convince your dh...

    I have never tried to convince DH that extended BFing was right for DD...because I never talked to him about it. I'm not sure that was the right thing to do - exclude him from the decision to continue to BF - but honestly I didn't want to hear what he had to say. I know that sounds harsh. DH has never really valued Bfing as a benefit to babies since his "mother had 13 children, didn't BF any of them and they were all healthy". He has mostly chosen to remain silent on this issue only saying something unsupportive once to me when I was nursing DD (then only 3 mth) in the parents room of our church. DD is now 2 and can ask for it and tugs at my shirt...sometimes I swear I see DH with a look of disapproval but never does he say anything. I'm sure he won't no matter how long we go since he knows very well that I always do what I want anyway - it would be a waste of his breath.

    Although DD does not night nurse very often, I have never been away from her overnight. We just have never chosen to go away although, I'm sure she would be OK.

    I'm not sure this was the (positive) response you were looking for - sorry I am having a challenging day and it may be showing through here.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Did any of you have to convince your dh...

    I was actually going to post with this EXACT issue today. On DD’s first birthday, two days ago, DH basically confronted me and asked me how long I planned on nursing her.
    I originally planned on BFing DD for one year and then weaning, but about a month ago started thinking more seriously about it and decided to keep going. I thought I was clear with DH that I wanted to continue past one year, but apparently I was not as clear as I had hoped.
    I explained to him that there continue to be a lot of benefits to BFing past the first year, and that it was very important to me and DD. He was receptive to this, but still doubtful. He thinks DD is too dependent on nursing to fall asleep. Therefore, he has trouble getting her down for a nap during the day because she has been refusing the bottle. He is also worried that we won’t ever be able to spend a night away from her because she still nurses at night. (We have spent night away from her before but that was when she was still taking a bottle well.)
    I explained to him that I am willing to spend every night with her until we find another solution besides weaning. I told him I think he is blinding himself to alternative solutions by having the mindset that weaning is the only answer. So, we agreed to work on solutions to the issues we’ve been having before considering weaning. Our next step is to try and find a bottle/nipple that she will take, continue working on getting her to sleep without nursing, and eventually possibly night wean.
    I was actually furious with him for being so down on me about extended BF, but I tried to keep my anger in check and now I feel like we’re making some headway.
    I look forward to everyone’s ideas. Thanks, epbrown, for starting this thread.

    Molly

    Loving mama to JP (DS, 1/03 ~ nursed 6 mos), EL (DD1, 9/05 ~ nursed 4 yrs), EJ (DD2, 3/08 ~ nursed 3 yrs 9 mos), and
    JM (DD3, 6/12 ~ currently nursing), all born naturally
    Devoted wife to SAHD P, my hero
    A few of my favorite things that I've discovered on the forum: co-sleeping, baby-wearing, tandem nursing, baby-led solids, cloth diapering, APing, selective vaccination...the list goes on

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Did any of you have to convince your dh...

    Oh, I have so MUCH to say on this topic ... and actually I have probably said most of it already in previous discussions. Unfortunately I have to run out the door right now, but I'll try to come back tonight or tomorrow to share my take. Just know for now that you are not alone in dealing with a less-than-fully-supportive DH as you move into toddler nursing!

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Did any of you have to convince your dh...

    Cookie--I am sorry to hear that your dh is not supportive, but good for you for sticking it out anyway. I would have given up when Haylee was only a week old if it hadn't been for my dh (actually it wasn't the nursing that he wanted me to do, but a nurse told him this was Haylee's first attempt at ruling the roost, so to speak, and Nigel was not going to let that happen --like she could think like that at that age!!!!). He just made me not give in.

    He has never given me the disapproving look while nursing either...but she is still pretty young.

    I am not ready to leave dd overnight, and am not sure when that would happen for me. But if dh really needs a night away, I feel I have to support that. We have lots of family that could take care of her for a night, at our home, so it wouldn't be too much of an adjustment for her (except a bottle at night instead of the boob--don't know how that would go!). This won't happen for a while though. He suggested it sometime after she was 1.

    Mollyb--We don't have the problem of needing to nurse to sleep, so at least I don't have that fight to fight. We fought that fight trying to figure out how in the heck we were gonna get her to sleep at all! And dh puts her to sleep all the time. And, Haylee takes a bottle every day (sometimes not very happily), but that is an option for us. It is frustrating that so many people put so much value that weaning is the solution, blind themselves with that, and lose the ability to be creative at finding some other way. When my dd was younger, she was colicky and everyone told me it was because she was getting mommy milk--that if I weaned her to formula, it would get better. My mil said that her son was colicky so she finally weaned to formula when he was 3 months and it resolved--does she not know that is generally the timeframe for colicky behavior to end anyway?

    And finally...Rebecca...I can't wait to hear what you have to say!!!

    Thank you all for responding!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Did any of you have to convince your dh...

    OK, coming back to this, with jumbled thoughts...

    During my husband's first marriage, he had been the primary caregiver of his son for the whole first year. When we had our own baby, I expected him to know his way around both ends of a baby and to be comfortable with fatherhood. And he was. But being the father of a breastfed baby is different from being the SAHD of a formula-fed baby. He had to adjust to that new role, and I had to adjust to his need to adjust.

    He supported the idea of breastfeeding, but he was NOT prepared for how attached our son would be to me as a result. He especially was not prepared for his previously career-minded wife to dive headfirst into intensive attachment parenting and delay finishing my degree and going back to work full-time. And you should have seen the look on his face the first time he realized that breastfeeding would be a long-haul undertaking, not a matter of a few weeks or months.

    I never asked his permission or sought his advice on the decision about how long to breastfeed. His opinion on the matter was pretty clear. I did want him to know and understand the choices I was making, and the most unsupportive thing he did (from my point of view) was simply to have no interest in hearing about it. He didn't actively sabotage our breastfeeding relationship, but he also never sat on the couch while I nursed and praised my hard work and devotion, either. As involved as I am in LLL, he has never read a book about it, attended a LLL family function, or shown any interest in what I do at all these meetings. It just is not his domain; he leaves it to me. (In fairness, I must point out that neither has he complained about the time I give to LLL, nor has he begrudged me money for books and conferences and stuff like that.)

    In LLL publications, you see all these happy parents who are "breastfeeding couples" -- the dad changes diapers at 3 a.m. and brings baby to mom in bed, or works flexible hours from home so he can bring the baby to mom at work. These are the dads who know about hindmilk and foremilk, and who encourage their wives to persevere during the tough time of breastfeeding. I've seen fathers like this at LLL conferences; I do know they exist. I just don't happen to be married to one.

    My DH and I, without much overt discussion, found a mostly peaceful and workable way to deal with our differences over breastfeeding during the 4 years that our son nursed. I have learned that happy breastfeeding families do not necessarily look like the photos in LLL pamphlets. It was a moment of immense validation for me when I heard that DH was telling expectant parents at work about my LLL involvement and encouraging them to call me if they needed any help with breastfeeding.

    To encourage you as you weigh the issue of nursing beyond one year ... I found that as we moved more squarely into toddlerhood, our son was ready to learn to take comfort from his father, and I become more ready to leave them together for longer periods. Various circumstances required me to travel alone overnight occasionally from the time DS was about 15 months old. I found that a nursing toddler can be separated from momma for even several days (depending on age and circumstances) and probably won't wean because of the separation. Those experiences did a lot to soften DH's sense of being 2nd-best due to my breastfeeding, and so it made things easier in our marriage and just our general home life.

    DH and I did not often go away together without our boys, because of a lack of nearby family support and a tight budget, but I think we could well have done that by the time DS was 18-21 months old if circumstances had been different.

    --Rebecca

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Did any of you have to convince your dh...

    Quote Originally Posted by quakerm0mma
    OK, coming back to this, with jumbled thoughts...

    During my husband's first marriage, he had been the primary caregiver of his son for the whole first year. When we had our own baby, I expected him to know his way around both ends of a baby and to be comfortable with fatherhood. And he was. But being the father of a breastfed baby is different from being the SAHD of a formula-fed baby. He had to adjust to that new role, and I had to adjust to his need to adjust.

    He supported the idea of breastfeeding, but he was NOT prepared for how attached our son would be to me as a result. He especially was not prepared for his previously career-minded wife to dive headfirst into intensive attachment parenting and delay finishing my degree and going back to work full-time. And you should have seen the look on his face the first time he realized that breastfeeding would be a long-haul undertaking, not a matter of a few weeks or months.
    I think that is part of our problem right now. Dh has 4 younger sisters who he helped to raise, to some degree and he was very comfortable being a father and handling a newborn. He was supportive of bfing in the beginning but he was totally not prepared for how attached a baby would be to a bfing mama! And I was very career-oriented before dd--so much so that I surprised myself by how I changed after dd was born!

    I am just so worried that continuing to breastfeed will affect my marriage. I know this will be tmi, but my husband has not touched my breasts in any kind of a sexual way since dd--its like he feels they are off limits, not sexual, utility, etc. I haven't really talked to him about it and maybe I should, but I want that intimacy with him back. And I want to breastfeed! Yes...my cake and eat it too!

    Thank you for sharing that with me. It seems to me like a lot of women just went ahead and continued, without including their dh in the process. Which is great, but he feels left out as it is. How can I make him feel better?

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Did any of you have to convince your dh...

    Well ... I think there are very few sexual problems that can't be at least improved, if not outright solved, with some gentle but open conversation. You don't know why he's not touching your breasts, so don't assume -- ask. And let him know that you are happy for them to be multi-purpose! That may be all the invitation he needs. Or maybe if you can just start talking, you'll find new ways of sharing intimacy that meet both your needs.

    Continuing to breastfeed may affect your marriage, but I suspect it is just as true that weaning early, not because you are ready to, but due to pressure from your husband, would also affect your marriage. Marriages either grow and change, or they die. That is just life in this world, not something caused by breastfeeding.

    I guess, if I had to go back and redo the early months of our son's life, I would change my compliance with my husband's detachment from our breastfeeding relationship. If I had had more self-confidence and inner strength, I might have insisted that he do more of the nighttime care or that he sit down with me in the evenings while I nursed. We went through a really difficult time in our marriage that had more to do with a job change and a difficult out-of-state move and a house that we couldn't sell, and with all that on top of the baby and the teenager, we were just under too much stress to give our changing marriage the attention it needed.

    I think the reason some of us continue without including our dh in the process of extended breastfeeding is because he has made it so clear that he wants nothing to do with it! If your husband is open to hearing about it and wants to be a part of the process of solving the problems AND sharing the joys that come along with EN, then by all means -- involve him! Just letting him know that he can do things with you or for you that will enhance the breastfeeding relationship may encourage him to play a more active role and also to place more value on what you are doing.

    I am still feeling like my thoughts are jumbled, and I think I need to explain that my husband just left for 4 months' work overseas, and so I'm speaking again from an emotional place of feeling very much alone in parenting. I'm sure that is coloring my thoughts in this thread.

    --Rebecca

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Did any of you have to convince your dh...

    If those thoughts feel jumbled to you, they don't appear that way to me--your insight is invaluable, once again. It seems so obvious after seeing what you wrote!

    And I can definitely understand the difficulty in a marriage--having a new baby in the house is anything but easy on a marriage, and like you said, Rebecca, they either thrive or die! You are right, too, that weaning before I am ready is likely to have a negative effect as well.

    I am sorry to hear that you are single-parenting-it for a while. My dh travels a lot in the spring and it was very difficult...I didn't really realize how much he actually helped out.

    Its funny to me that I want to be an "extended nurser". I always thought it was sooo gross...mothers nursing a toddler. My aunt did it and I remember how everyone chastised her for it. I think I am coming to hate the term "extended nurser" for that very reason. It makes it seem unnatural!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

  10. #10
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Did any of you have to convince your dh...

    Still reading the posts but want to chime in while dd is still asleep.

    I think dd convinced dh better than I could have that she needs to continue nursing. I try very hard to address the issues that arise from breastfeeding a toddler as soon as they come up so that they don't get him wishing she were weaned. Well, he does wish she were weaned, but he also knows how well it calms her and he likes a calm daughter. When breastfeeding appears to be the reason for any conflicts, that when it gets tense. Like when she wants to nurse ALL THE TIME (you know those days). On those days I think he figures she'd be happier if she weren't nursing at all.

    YES, I went away for a whole weekend once and left her with dh and it was awsome! I was SO nervous building up to it. I'm a SAHM and hadn't been aways from her for mor than about four hours. But they had a great time and so did I! She wasn't nightweaned at the time so they'd get up together for a graham cracker or whatever and go back to sleep. She knew I was away so it was easier for him to deal with her. She's only clingy to me if I'm there to cling to. If I'm away, she's daddy's girl and I think THAT is very good for him. And that leads me to my biggest piece of advice:

    If your husband wants the kid weaned, suggest he help start the process by taking the kid away for short periods. The issue isn't your breastmilk anyway, it's that attachment. So give them time alone together. Then THEY can attach too. And he'll find himself giving your kid whatever that child seems to need and perhaps can then sympathize with you when you feel pressure to deprive your child of something that he/she seems to need.

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