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Breastfeeding a toddler when there is no milk - AIBU?

(111 Posts)
EverythingIsAwesome Sun 02-Nov-14 11:52:57

I am a member of a FB page for mums, it is a little bit Netmumsy (lots of huns etc).

Today there is a picture of a mum breastfeeding her toddler. Except she says that stopped breastfeeding ages ago, and she is just letting him suck on her for comfort.

AIBU to find this weird? I feel I probably am, and cant understand why I find it a bit "off". But I do. I breastfed my own children to toddlerhood, so it's not that.

WD41 Sun 02-Nov-14 11:59:21

What I would find strange about it is that if she has continued to let him suck for comfort then she would still be BFing and would therefore still have milk, surely?

But technically, it's no different from the child having a dummy for comfort.

Theas18 Sun 02-Nov-14 11:59:28

How does she know there is no milk? I understood with long term breast feeding you wouldnnt feel full boobs etc...
If she's never stopped I bet there is still milk lol

EverythingIsAwesome Sun 02-Nov-14 12:05:01

She stopped feeding him months ago. This is the first time he has suckled since then, and said no milk has come out. She is just doing it because he asked for it as he isnt well.

It probably is the same as having a dummy, obviously just me being weird!

LumpenproletariatAndProud Sun 02-Nov-14 12:07:56

I don't see the issue tbh.

My child was breast fed until he was 3. The last few months of it he barely got a drop, my body wanted to stop before he did.

I can't really see the difference, a drop or nothing.

Also when he was admitted to hospital I let him feed to sleep and that was about 2 months after stopping.

WooWooOwl Sun 02-Nov-14 12:10:01

I can see why you'd find it a bit odd, I do too, but if it's only an occasional thing for a sick child then it's really not a big deal. It would be sad if a sick child was denied such a simple thing when it would provide their perfect comfort for no real reason.

nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Sun 02-Nov-14 12:10:13

I find it a bit weird if im honest... I have no problems with extended breastfeeding but suckling her for comfort is odd, completely different to a dummy in my opinion.

LumpenproletariatAndProud Sun 02-Nov-14 12:13:28

not you have contradicted yourself there a little bit I think.

A three year old (for example) who still breastfeeding (without having stopped) will solely be feeding for comfort. They don't need to milk as food like a 3 month old would.

Stripylikeatiger Sun 02-Nov-14 12:13:43

I breastfed my toddler through pregnancy, there were times when there was no milk but he continued to latch and suck and I encouraged it because I wanted him to keep his latch so he could get milk when my milk returned. The day my milk came back he was so sweet, he latched on and sucked like usual and then when he was done he had a huge smile and kept saying to dp "mulk!! Mummy mulk! Yummy!"

I think that as long as the woman and her child is happy with the situation then there is no need to think that it's wrong.

Breastfeeding certainly isn't just about nutrition in my opinion.

LumpenproletariatAndProud Sun 02-Nov-14 12:14:10

As in, they would be sucking for comfort whether the milk be there or not.

Nancy54 Sun 02-Nov-14 12:17:25

I don't think it's particularly weird that she's doing it, she can do what she likes.

It's a bit weird that she's posting it on fb.

Marylou62 Sun 02-Nov-14 12:29:06

I stopped BF DS2 when he was nearly 3...my last baby...sob! And that was 14 years ago.....I had a vivid dream only the other night that I was feeding him again ...I woke up pretty sad and still feel a bit disappointed that I will never feed again....I don't understand your feelings OP...is it just that she was using her breast for comfort? And as a very occasional FB user who has never posted anything personal.....I can see that point...but it is how young people live their lives now....

LadyLuck10 Sun 02-Nov-14 12:31:39

It's up to her whatever her reasons are but IMO that stuff needs to be private.

BuilderMammy Sun 02-Nov-14 12:37:35

I don't see any harm in it, and I think putting it on Facebook is actually a positive thing, as is anything which normalises breastfeeding.

WD41 Sun 02-Nov-14 12:39:37

Ladyluck why do you think it should be private? Would you feel the same about a picture of a toddler with a dummy, or having a bottle?

Cantbelievethisishappening Sun 02-Nov-14 12:40:10

Yep.... I would find that really quite odd.

maddening Sun 02-Nov-14 12:42:43

My ds still bf and he is 3.9 - I still produce milk - I don't see anything wrong with it tbh he is 3 not 18.

ClimbingPenguin Sun 02-Nov-14 12:42:52

DS would do this, at times it was the only thing that would come him down. He is prone to getting quite distraught if things don't go according to schedule and he is overtird.
Dd was a functional feeder and once stopped, that was it.

nocutsnobuttsnococonuts Sun 02-Nov-14 12:44:23

well yes I know a 3 year old isn't feeding solely for nutrition and theres an element of comfort feeding. so im not really sure what I find odd... I just do!! I see im in the minority in my view though!

VikingLady Sun 02-Nov-14 12:44:45

You think it's odd? Why? What on earth to you think dummies are designed to mimic? Unless you think all children are ready to have their dummies removed at whatever arbitrary age you believe they no longer require natural comfort, yabvu!

Llareggub Sun 02-Nov-14 12:45:50

My DS is 5 and still feeds. He tells me there still is milk, even though he doesn't feed every day. I wouldn't post on FB about it, there are too many people that might chuck abuse at me for being weird.

BeakyMinder Sun 02-Nov-14 12:52:20

Heh heh - my BFing DD is 2 and occasionally complains that "milk not coming!" Doesn't stop her suckling though. BFing is about milk and comfort, which is darn handy if you ask me.

bigbluestars Sun 02-Nov-14 13:07:00

I don't think a toddler would suckle unless there was milk. I was still producing a little milk even after a year,

patronisingbitchinthewardrobe Sun 02-Nov-14 13:08:02

nothing strange about it.
breastfed babies and their mums are well-bonded and will work out for themselves what they want to do or not do.

marylou62, re your dream and fourteen years...its 28 years since I stopped feeding my then-four-year-old. reading your post reminded me how much my body missed her, and for so very long. when her dd was born, three years ago, i was surprised and interested to notice that when the baby cried, i got the let-down feeling, suggesting i could lactate again if needed. i was ok with it not being needed, though grin. maybe you haven't fed your last!

bigbluestars Sun 02-Nov-14 13:08:53

A year after stopping that is- but then I breastfed continuously for seven years without a break ( more than 1 child)

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