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Thread: Would you give up nursing if...

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Default Re: Would you give up nursing if...

    mama im so sorry your DH and you dont see eye to eye. I cant imagine how hard that is on your marriage..

    hopefully you can pull out these resources and show your DH the benefits of nursing.. and she will eventually STTN and wean, just at a different pace than your DSS. Its just a gentle approach to the same end result.

    i hope he is willing to try to see things from your point of view. Just try to stay patient

    ETA: oh and to answer your question, i wouldnt wean b/c of my DH wanting me to
    Student aspiring to be a Chiropractor and mother to Noah who will be 3 in July and Olivia who will be 2 in Aug.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Would you give up nursing if...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*Halfasianmomma View Post
    Let me add the following:

    DH has raised DSS on his own for 2 years, and since biomom wasn't around, DSS was bottle-fed, STTN at 6 months and DH used CIO as a means to achieve this. My DSS is now a wonderfully loving 12 year old boy, which my DH cites an example of how CIO and weaning can yield a perfectly normal and healthy child.

    To this I have answered that DD is not DSS, and that each child is different, in addition to the fact that I am NOT willing to do CIO.
    Choosing to do things differently this time is not a judgment on the choices he made then, which I will assume were the best he did with what he had at the time. I weaned DS at 6 months and CIO and yes, he's a pretty cool 6-yr. old, but that doesn't mean he wouldn't have had a better start if he's been APed. Of course they are different children, but I find that my DD1 is more independent, less scared to try new things, and even more empathetic than DS a lot of the time. DS seems to get upset and stressed out more easily. Could the differences in how we parented them early on have made a difference? I think so.
    As for your DSS, citing one child as evidence of the superiority of early weaning and CIO is simply anecdotal evidence when it comes down to it, in other words, not very reliable.
    Your DH seems to want to blame everything on nursing. Again, I'd say start from a place of agreement: you both want what's best. I commend him for caring for his DS without his biomom, but things are different this time and that need to be acknowledged. You ARE there, you are available to breastfeed your child and the information you have is different than what he had years ago. I can't stress enough the importance of breaking his concerns down to manageable parts and not assuming weaning will solve any of them, because it won't!

    Forgot to mention, my DS was sick a lot more as a baby after he was weaned. DD1 was almost never sick or had only really mild colds. Of course, that's anecdotal as well, but is consistent with medical research showing that BFed children are healthier.
    Last edited by @llli*mollyb; August 21st, 2009 at 10:06 AM.


    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

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Would you give up nursing if...

    I will start by saying that while I don't know you or your husband I feel strongly that the relationship is not a healthy one for you. Being made to feel as though doing what is best for you child is ruining your marriage is extremely damaging not just for you but for you daughter. She understands what you are both saying even though she doesn't show her understanding all of the time. Not being supported by her father in the most natural quest for comfort and nutrition means that he is actually doing more damage to her than good by being there. Think of Meslows higher-achy of needs. It's a pyramid and the bottom section is food, water, sleep, air, basically the essentials for human life. Without getting those basic needs met a person cannot go on to the next section which is security of family,security of health and security of resources. Without those things being fulfilled they can again not go on to feel loved by family and friends. The pyramid continues on. My point is that if she feels that her father is trying to take away her first basic need than you can't feel secure in her relationship with him or loved. She is going to become more and more attached to you and more and more detached from him. This pyramid accurately explains why when a child is weaned early they often harbor resentment and anger. They tend to want to nurse more often and for longer amounts of time, they are whinny and clingy. They feel as though their mother or father is trying to take away something that is a survival tool for them. If he is serious about being a part of the family than he needs to fix his relationship with your and his daughter by putting an end to the weaning discussion. It's not his place to control that aspect of parenting in any way shape or form.

    Now on to why extended breastfeeding is best (yes there is a real reason the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until 2 years and beyond):

    In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
    29% of energy requirements
    43% of protein requirements
    36% of calcium requirements
    75% of vitamin A requirements
    76% of folate requirements
    94% of vitamin B12 requirements
    60% of vitamin C requirements
    -- Dewey 2001

    The American Academy of Family Physicians notes that children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness (AAFP 2001).

    Antibodies are abundant in human milk throughout lactation" (Nutrition During Lactation 1991; p. 134). In fact, some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year and also during the weaning process. (Goldman 1983, Goldman & Goldblum 1983, Institute
    of Medicine 1991).

    Breastfeeding can be helpful for preventing allergy by:
    reducing exposure to potential allergens (the later baby is exposed, the less likely that there will be an allergic reaction),
    speeding maturation of the protective intestinal barrier in baby's gut,
    coating the gut and providing a barrier to potentially allergenic molecules,
    providing anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the risk of infections (which can act as allergy triggers).

    Nursing toddlers are SMART
    Extensive research on the relationship between cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) and breastfeeding has shown the greatest gains for those children breastfed the longest.

    "Research reports on the psychological aspects of nursing are scarce. One study that dealt specifically with babies nursed longer than a year showed a significant link between the duration of nursing and mothers' and teachers' ratings of social adjustment in six- to eight-year-old children (Ferguson et al, 1987). In the words of the researchers, 'There are statistically significant tendencies for conduct disorder scores to decline with increasing duration of breastfeeding.'"

    The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that "Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired." They also note that "If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned." (AAFP 2001)

    I want you to see her that all sources lay claim to the fact that the mother and child should continue nursing until they feel they are ready. There is no talk of when the other parent is ready, that is because there is no place for a father in the nursing relationship. The father is there to provide emotional and physical support in other ways not to be a part of the breastfeeding relationship.

    I wish you luck and I want you to know that you can do this on your own. I am a single mother and have been since my daughter was born. Don't stay with someone when there is nothing there for you or your daughter. It sounds as though this relationship is damaging to you both..

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Would you give up nursing if...

    If nursing caused a strain on my marriage that was so great that it meant the marriage would fall apart is I didn't wean, and weaning was ABSOLUTELY GUARANTEED to fix the problem, I would consider it provided that a) the baby was well over a year old and b) was eating a healthy and diverse solid food diet.

    But it sounds to me like nursing is NOT the root issue here. It's a stalking horse for some other problem- like your DH feeling neglected, or feeling as if your parenting choices are a way of criticizing the way he raised his older child... IDK what the real issue is, but I think that it's great that you're in counseling to try to get to the bottom of it.

    My DH believes that nursing past the age of one is detrimental to both myself and DD.
    a) he doesn't believe that breastmilk has any nutritional value past the age of one ("it's just a drink").
    He's wrong. Here are some abstracts and articles that may change his mind:
    -Fat and Energy Contents of Expressed Human Breast Milk in Prolonged Lactation. Please note the conclusions: "Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for >1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant."
    -Extend Breastfeeding's Benefits. Enumerates the multiple benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby.
    Unraveling Breast Milk. On the chemistry of breastmilk, and why the substances in BM make it so much more than "just a drink".
    Breastfeeding Cuts Moms' Heart Risk. Basically, the longer you nurse, the less likely you are to end up with heart disease. There are a lot more articles out there on how breastfeeding prevents other diseases, like diabetes and breast cancer.
    When to Wean. Discusses the natural- as opposed to cultural- age of weaning.

    b) he thinks that it makes it impossible for others to babysit DD since she likes the boob for comfort and she can't go to sleep without it.
    It doesn't make it impossible. But when he talks about babysitting, what is his goal? Does he want to leave the baby with someone for an overnight or for several days? If so, breastfeeding might make that a bit more challenging, but it shouldn't rule it out!

    c) he also feels that DD is very "clingy" and needy because I still nurse her
    And why would weaning alter this? IMHO, nursing toddlers are more independent than their weaned peers. They may check in at the breast when they are feeling anxious, but nursing generally calms their fears immediately. Imagine trying to handle a toddler without the breast to fall back on- they have the same anxieties, but there's nothing you can offer that will soothe them 100% of the time.

    d) he feels that it greatly interferes with our sex life because I have a low drive
    Do you have your cycle back yet? If so, it's very unlikely that breastfeeding is impacting your sex drive. If you don't have your cycle back, at over a year breastfeeding might still be impacting it a bit. Most breastfeeding moms get their periods back around 15 months, so even if yours hasn't returned yet, it's probably coming very soon.

    I think it's a lot more likely that your low drive is caused by the exhaustion of combining working and parenting. And he's not suggesting that you quit either of those.

    e) he says that the fact that I cosleep with DD so that DD can nurse at night makes me tired and depressed, which impacts our life in general, as well as my health
    Breastfeeding improves your health. Less risk of obesity, breast cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease... Lack of sleep can impact your ability to function, but the moment you get a good night's sleep you're back on track. Weaning isn't guaranteed to make your baby sleep through. Many weaned babies/toddlers/children continue to night-wake long after weaning.

    That being said, is your daughter's night-nursing really impacting you as badly as your DH thinks? If so, there are things you can do to reduce it which are AP- and breastfeeding-compatible.

    f) he says that I keep nursing DD to feel important
    Uh... What???! How does nursing make someone feel important? It's not like someone is handing out medals or writing women up in the local paper because they breastfeed. And moms KNOW that they are always going to be important to their kids because they are their kids' moms. We don't have to "prove" it to ourselves by nursing them.

    g) finally, he believes that I'll always have an excuse to keep nursing DD (i.e. teething, illness, comfort), much like he'll always have an excuse to keep smoking or drinking beer.
    Yeah, because nursing- one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and your baby- is just like destroying your lungs by smoking and giving yourself a huge gut from drinking beer.

    You're not always going to "have an excuse" to keep nursing your DD. Does he think she'll be nursing when she goes to high school?

    We're in counselling right now, and obviously there are many other issues at hand, but my DH put it this way: which is better, nursing DD until she decides to wean or having her father there in her life? I guess it's sort of a either/or situation for DH, and I think he feels so strongly about this that he think it'll destroy our marriage.
    It's really sad that your DH views this as an either/or situation. In my view, he's getting hot and bothered and issuing threats and ultimatums for an entirely foolish reason. A real either/or situation would be infidelity, or abuse, or complete emotional and sexual withdrawal. Breastfeeding? Not so much.
    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
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Would you give up nursing if...

    Perhaps ask him to consider how he will feel if you go ahead and stop nursing your baby based on his demands only and the marriage comes apart anyway, when he knows how you feel about it. . . How will you feel about it? Could he be using this as a power play?

    I would second the idea that your libido is low secondary to a lot of factors and not just nursing. We are in the same boat. But, having BTDT now three times, it will not last forever. He needs to understand that right now, you are touched out and tired at the end of the day, but eventually, that will resolve, and not co-sleeping or nursing at night might actually delay that day.. . because someone will be up half the night with a possibly fussy kid (and normally, that ends up being mom).

    I hope he reads this .. . he's supposed to be an adult. Being an adult sometimes means you put your child's needs first, and that can go on for several years. Being an adult means you sometimes have to deal. BTDT

    Of course, on your side, do some things that show him you are not purposefully putting him last, like go out to the movies, fix him a nice meal, have sex with him even when you don't want to That kind of stuff.

    I do salute him for raising a child on his own previously. That's a hard job for anyone. What he did obviously was OK with that child. But there's no reason to not change, KWIM, and do more AP style parenting, particularly since two parents are in the picture and current research shows that what was previously thought to be OK isn't as OK as it was thought.

    I read somewhere that the most stressful year in a marriage is the year after having a second baby, with the year after having a first baby a close second. Hang in there!
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Would you give up nursing if...

    Thank you mamas for your input. Keep it coming I'll print out this thread for DH.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Pullman, WA

    Default Re: Would you give up nursing if...

    Just my 2 cents: I'm pregnant, and my son is weaning (on his own) somewhat--probably due to low milk supply. My DH is very involved and supportive, but he is finding weaning to be a strain. DS wants HIM now--all.the.time. Especially at bedtime. Which can take up to 2 hours on some nights. Weaning is not easy street for daddies.

    And I agree with all PP's--breast milk is the perfect food for babies AND toddlers. Have him do his research, especially on the stress and strain of weaning (especially, especially if baby is not ready!!!!!).
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09

    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Victoria, BC, Canada

    Default Re: Would you give up nursing if...

    First I want to mention that my sister weaned her toddler under pressure from his dad. They are no longer together. I think its really important to educate him, give him some reading about the benefits of extended nursing. Weaning your LO will not fix your relationship problems and will not guaranttee you stay together.

    Also if he thinks your tired because of the night nursing, thats a joke. I think hes got a childish way of thinking. You had a baby and things are not going to be the same as they were before so hed better get used to it. Nursing or not you have to look after your baby and you are working full-time and you are not going to have the same sex drive or energy level as before the baby came along. Plus the fact you are having relationship issues is probably the main reason for you not wanting to have sex with him. Duh.

    My daughter was bottlefed and clingier than my son who was breastfed so that blows your dhs theory out the window.Babies are clingy, especially at this age.

    Sounds like your dh is very controlling. HE doesnt seem to know much about babies or extended breastfeeding. Instead of focussing on the real relatinoshp issues, hes focussing on the breastfeeding. He needs to talk to other fathers and ask about whats normal. Im sure he will find babies are the same breastfed or not.

    TAke some time to educate him, but dont stop nursing because of him. If you stop nursing, hes just going to find something else to focus on. If he leaves because you continue nursing, thats his choice.
    Last edited by @llli*monika.h; August 21st, 2009 at 08:21 PM.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!

    Default Re: Would you give up nursing if...

    PS. YOU ARE IMPORTANT. You are the MOMMY. You get to keep feeling that way long after you wean I am pretty sure. But You grew this child. In your tummy and continued to sustain her life and growth after she came out of your body. WITH YOUR BODY.
    I am very angry he is trying to belittle that or be dismissive about it or discount it. There is no love or respect in that attitude. He should be so proud of you.

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Would you give up nursing if...

    The results are in....

    ...as I expected, the discussion post-reading my thread did not go over well. I knew it wouldn't... But, he said he was going on the advice of our counsellor, who was perhaps trying to find a way to prove to my DH that there *are* in fact other mothers who breastfeed their children past the age of one, and that those mothers aren't all "granola hippies", as he put it.

    Unfortunately, when presented with the research supporting breastfeeding beyond one, DH basically said that he could find just as much or MORE research supporting his views that breastfeeding past infancy is detrimental (he quoted some weirdo site of a mother nursing her 14 year old). So, he summarily shot down any "data" I might have supporting my views. Is there, BTW, any actual research out there supporting the negative effects of breastfeeding beyond infancy? I sincerely doubt it, but you never know...

    After much patience on my side, and much yelling on his, he laid down his "compromise": he wants me to write down a schedule of WHEN DD nurses, along with a plan for gradually decreasing the nursing sessions and a specific date when she'll be weaned. It felt ridiculous to me; I just follow DD's lead, I don't try to force her into things. When I flat out refused, and proposed that we work on nightweaning together, he demanded that I "daywean" ("I want to see you do it"), as in, I have to prove my willingness to BEND to his desires. Um. No.

    I won't go into the details of the conversation because I can't even wrap my mind around how convoluted it became. It just eventually broke down into some kind of contest for DH about who is right and who gets to dictate the situation. Not exactly what I was aiming for.

    Mamas, thank you for taking the time and effort to respond to my thread; unfortunately, I think that whatever information I bring to DH will just fall away because he's already decided that his way (i.e. the way he raised DSS) is best. He holds DSS up on some pedestal, and believes that he's a stupendous child, perhaps as a way to pat himself on the back for raising him alone and in such difficult conditions. Whatever the case may be, his experience in raising DSS now dictates the way he believes parenting SHOULD BE. To be honest, I see my DD developing and growing, and I've decided that the way I've been doing things is best for her. It may change as time goes by, but right now, it's what's working. I just don't know if it's what's working for my marriage.

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