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To think their is NOTHING wrong with extended breastfeeding or wet nursing?

(512 Posts)
Thisisaname Sun 10-Feb-13 16:33:04

Look at the comments below

I was researching extended breastfeeding and came across this.
I see nothing wrong with this, I wouldn't be 'scared' for life if I could remember being breast fed or found out I was given someone else's milk.
I think the only 'scarring' would come from going from the natural environment of being fed from something to then finding out a large majority find it sexual, not the actual feeding itself.

OxfordBags Thu 21-Feb-13 15:43:35

I might still be nursing, WoT, you never know...

(I'm not, I'm not!)

WoTmania Thu 21-Feb-13 14:47:14

Why you haven't stopped... I often tell them that I stopped nursing 30 odd years ago, the DC however....

FadBook Thu 21-Feb-13 14:45:59

Definitely Oxfordbags - I'm extremely lazy laid back, and I surprised many family and friends as I wasn't like that in my work or personal life pre dd (very organised, almost regimented life!)

But now, I am very chilled, work part time from home, go to groups if we're up for it (only the BF one as a peer supporter) or just potter about at home or go for a walk. There isn't much routine, just a similar pattern each day; but it varies and I don't freak out if we haven't had lunch by 1pm or if dd had a morning nap instead of an afternoon one grin

OxfordBags Thu 21-Feb-13 13:24:28

I agree too about the nothing to admire factor. In fact, I think that idea feeds the notion that mothers whose DC EBF do it for some sort of admiration/recognition/kudos/smugness/whatever. It's just a part of daily life, isn't it? If I want a glass of juice, I get one. If DS fancies a quick boob, he has one. It's not hours spent unwashed and trapped under a forever-suckling newborn getting the dead arm like in the early days (which I didn't mind, despite my description). When people ask why I haven't stopped, the bigger question is why would I? It's nice, it's healthy, it's bonding, it's comforting, it's relaxing, it can be very funny at times (do other people's toddlers try to latch on in silly ways and bring their boobs gifts too?!)... why on earth would I deprive either of us that much positivity for no good reason?

I wonder if part of not understanding why women continue to BF their children past a certain stage is differing lifestyles, ie some people can't see how it'd not be a hassle, etc. I have noticed that, like me, other EBFers I know in RL generally have a more lazy laidback approach to life as mothers (not filling time up with loads of classes and groups, not worrying too much about housework (not being skanky, but relaxed), having a slower pace of life and are, more often than not, SAHMs. If you're busy busy busy all the time with something or other then EBFing would probably seem inconvenient or whatever.

Am not criticising any other type of lifestyle or approaches to parenting, far from it, I hasten to add.

WoTmania Thu 21-Feb-13 12:26:29

can't really remember, I found they all cut down at different points. The other thing I found was that they would go through lulls and then ramp up again.

BertieBotts Wed 20-Feb-13 23:14:43

I don't know about 18 months, although that was a very stressful time for us, but at 22 months DS massively upped his intake of solids.

FadBook Wed 20-Feb-13 11:35:57

Goldmantra - I totally relate to your last post. Why "fix" something that doesn't need fixing. A close relative who I have lots of respect for doesn't get why I'm still feeding my 18 month dd. It's not in a nasty way, she doesn't see it as normal or that to stop dd feeding now would be days, perhaps weeks of tears, tantrums and more importantly denying her doing something she actually likes (and I like too). It doesn't make sense to me to physically take action to change something when it's fine and normal for us to continue until she's ready to stop (which by the way seems to have slowed right down in the last week, including her actually, dare I whisper it: sleeping through last night a full 12 hours....sssh).

For you posters who are feeding beyond my dd's age, do you recall sleep or feeding habits changing around 18 months? She seems to be eating a lot more solids. Still has feeds during the day if I'm around but yesterday was the first time that I'd not been around for the day and she didn't demand milk when picking her up. Normally she's adamant she wants milk the moment I walk in ignores feeling of redundancy! grin

WoTmania Wed 20-Feb-13 10:17:55

Goldmandra - agree, making them stop would have been far more effort and heartache (for DC) than letting the process complete itself.

Goldmandra Tue 19-Feb-13 16:12:30

The thing is I don't think there is anything to admire in what I did.

I didn't persevere with anything. If I hadn't liked it I probably would have stopped quite early on.

I did it because it was working well, it was easy, we both enjoyed it and there was no reason to stop.

For me expended BFin was a passive process in that I would have had to make a decision and take some action in order to end it sooner.

I think that's what some people don't get. It was a natural process fur us and there was no need to interfere with it. I certainly don't deserve any kudos for it.

WoTmania Tue 19-Feb-13 13:55:39

I had indeed NC'd, however the final WoT book came out a month ago and I changed back in honour grin

And yy to the confusion surrounding solids/weaning I've had to support quite a few mothers recently complaining about bad info re: number of breastfeeds once the are in the middle of the first year.
And it can be such a slow process: DS2 weaned incredibly gradually to the point I wasn't sure he'd stopped; he went from nursing 2-5 times a day to asking every couple of weeks over a 9 month period. I suddenly realised one day that he hadn't asked in a couple of months and that was that. No sign of the DD stopping yet although she has once gone all day without asking and stay with my parents overnight ever couple of months.

EauRouge Tue 19-Feb-13 13:48:28

WoTmania! It seems like ages since I've seen you post, I was wondering if you'd namechanged or something.

I think the whole starting solids/weaning terminology can be very confusing and can lead some people to think that once you start solids then you need to wind down the milk feeds. Even HCPs can get the two confused. Weaning as a process can go on for years.

WoTmania Tue 19-Feb-13 13:44:44

Ah, okay I thought I would double check as I'm more used to starting solids and weaning being completely different things. Personally I don't like the term 'extended' breastfeeding - it sounds like the mother is deliberately prolonging it rather than just taking her DC's cues on when they want to stop.

Absolutely agree with this: 'given that extended BFing is the way our species evolved to feed babies and younger children, I can't see why people think it's 'icky' or 'wrong'
Do what you want, weigh up the risks and pros and cons for yourself, your family and your baby and make your own individual informed choice however don't try and force your ideals onto other people (general 'you' BTW, not specifically you)

Dahlen Tue 19-Feb-13 13:32:18

I stopped at about 7 months, once my DCs were largely on solid food. Sorry if I didn't make that clear enough. I can't say I enjoyed BFing at all and I was delighted to stop. I am happy with my own choices and feel no need to justify them. But I admire women who are happy and able to extend BFing. I may not be able to empathise with their desire, but given that extended BFing is the way our species evolved to feed babies and younger children, I can't see why people think it's 'icky' or 'wrong'.

5madthings Tue 19-Feb-13 13:26:49

I think she means starting solids as that is known as weaning.

WoTmania Tue 19-Feb-13 13:26:14

ICBINEG have you read how weaning happens it's an excellent book with plenty of info on how to wean gently and with love.
It might also be worth going to a local LLL group - they might have some ideas for cutting down or experiences of compromises they've reached (nursing for a certain amount of time at a time, or limiting to certain times in the day, some mothers find delaying works well)

WoTmania Tue 19-Feb-13 13:20:26

Dahlen - I'm not understanding your post very well. When you say breastfeeding til weaning are you talking about starting solids or weaning from the breast? I also breastfed my DC until weaning, the one currently nursing is nearly four...

Dahlen Tue 19-Feb-13 11:24:45

It's been fascinating reading this thread and seeing the different opinions. I BF my DC until weaning. Extending it would not have been an option for me and TBH I was glad to 'reclaim' my body (as I felt about it at the time).

But I'd have no problem with any mother choosing to extend BFing. It's something that evolution has adapted women and children's body for, after all. How on earth can it be wrong?

Wet nursing is far more complicated, but I'd imagine that it's impossible to make a blanket judgement anyway. Every instance of it will be different in some way.

Ultimately, we are fortunate to live in a world where FF offers a real, high-quality alternative to BFing for those unable/unwilling to do it for whatever reason. Every mother is different, every child is different. There is no right or wrong in any of this, just choices. Live and let live.

OxfordBags Tue 19-Feb-13 11:15:54

ICBINEG, she enjoys it, you enjoy it, I don't understand your focus on cutting down and so forth. It's a very special thing, when it's working well and you can't have it again when she's older, so just go with the flow (sorry for the pun!), trust your instincts and don't worry about what you 'should' be doing. You sound really thoughtful and caring, you just enjoy nursing that lovely girl smile

Goldmandra Tue 19-Feb-13 09:55:50


Trust yourself. You are a really good mum who is doing the very best she can for her child.

I still miss it a bit now and then 6 years later. It was a very special time for me and the DDs.

Enjoy it because you both deserve to.

ICBINEG Tue 19-Feb-13 09:18:18

Yup went with suggesting milk last night. very very gentle suggestion.

Got mugged for milk this morning too.

I hadn't realised how much I will miss it!

Goldmandra Tue 19-Feb-13 09:13:18

I see nothing wrong with making a BF part of your normal routine and offering it at the appropriate time. You don't worry about offering other food and drinks throughout the day so why bmilk?

If don't offer/don't refuse isn't working for you it isn't working for your DD either. You would be doing noting wrong by changing your approach for your own comfort! smile

ICBINEG Mon 18-Feb-13 19:32:33

Gah! Don't ask, don't refuse is NOT working out well for me!

DD is opting for nothing 1 day then 3 feeds the next then boobs hurt!

VikingLady Mon 18-Feb-13 08:48:42

DD is happy to feed from me after garlic, strong curries - anything really.

k2togm1 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:24:33

Hi I've been reading with interest.
eaurouge I've conducted that experiment with no success... Yet.

I was also told not to eat garlic, no way I'm doing without it, or chillies and spices, and ds, although jot a great eater he likes strong flavours. Not sure if related, or more to do with eating tons of kimchi when pregnant shock

Funny attitudes, during the first 18 months bfing was def for both of us, it was the only thing I didn't 'fail' at; now I'd happily stop, but ds thinks otherwise. I just wish he would keep it a bit more private, instead he demands it anywhere anytime...

EauRouge Thu 14-Feb-13 16:02:57

Red wine has a horrible effect on me but I'm willing to find out how much chocolate you need to eat before your milk becomes chocolate flavoured, in the interests of science and all that <self-sacrificing smiley>

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