AIBU to think that when I stop breastfeeding has nothing to do with my DH?(157 Posts)
Our DS is 20 months, he is still breast feeding. He likes a feed when he sees me after work, and before bed. If feeling poorly or teething, then in the night occasionally too.
DH wants a night away from DS, and wants to be able to plan weekends away for just the two of us. He is asking me to stop feeding DS, and keeps saying there's no benefits, just comfort, it's not needed etc.
I don't feel ready to stop. I don't care if DS is only using me as a comfort thing- I'm his mum, and should be used to comfort him. He also gets lots of nutrients through my milk. I said originally I'd like to feed him until he is two ish- then I'll speak to HV about how to wean him off.
Me and DH had a bit of a bicker last night- he thinks I'm being selfish to carry on, and that I'm not thinking about DH and my relationship. I thought he was being selfish for putting his needs of wanting weekends away above the needs and wants of his son.
For a bit of context- DS was born a month early, weighed four pounds, and for the last year has measured just below the 25th percentile, so he's a little thing. He wears 12-18 month clothes and they're often too big on him. Another reason I like to feed is because I'm hoping it will help to fatten him up a bit!
Do you want a night away from him? That's the most important question.
You don't have to stop BFing, there's a compromise to be had. If you're worried about leaving DS because he breastfeeds off to sleep then start working on breaking that sleep crutch. Have the last feed of the night a bit earlier, say an hour before bedtime, then start working on a new bedtime routine. It'll be tough but most kids adapt quickly.
Then once he's dropped BFing as a sleep crutch, you can have a weekend away! It shouldn't affect your supply at this stage but you can always express while away if you're worried.
You should be able to have a night away and it’s important not to neglect your relationship. At 20 months your DS can go one night without breast milk. If you want to carry on feeding then great, of course your DH shouldn’t tell you to stop, but there’s absolutely no reason why this should mean you can’t have a break. However, if your parents are reluctant to have him then that’s a separate issue. If they live local to you then maybe could do a dry run where he stays with them but you don’t go anywhere and are on call should he really, really not settle? If it goes will then book that weekend away! If it’s a disaster then your DH will have to let go of the idea for now.
Actually I think your DH does in fact have every right to voice an opinion on things that are effecting your family.
I’d personally be open to the fact that my bf was trapping effecting other members of my family but I guess women can be very militant about the ‘protected status’ of breastfeeding.
YANBU OP! Keep feeding for as long as you and your little guy want. My MIL keeps asking me when I’m going to stop feeding my 11month old dd, according to her breastfeeding past 9 months is “unnatural and some kind of mother perversion”
I said to DP I’ll continue to breastfeed dd until she’s 6 just to piss her off
@madcat you couldnt bear to be attached to a child that long?! So you couldnt bear to aim at who and nhs bf guidelines? You couldnt bear to do the thing that most developmental pschys will tell you forms secure attachment? Or is it the secure attachment itself you have a problem with? The judgmental ('couldnt bear') tone is bizarre. And on nurturing the relationship. Her DH is an adult. One would hope he would be able to see that it is his child who should come first... In particular in the first few years of their lives. These bf threads seem to always get one or two posters who try and fill the OP with fear that if she doesnt start nurturing her relationship (read fulfilling her caring responsibilities to her husband), then her marriage may be put in peril. God sake. Misogyny much. These are adult men. Men who should in fact understand the importance of bf in first two years and beyond and actually support it, not compete with it.
OP, would u enjoy this w end? I bf'ed for 24 months. I would not have enjoyed this. And I dont think my son would have either. When i did come to stopping, it wasnt half as terrible as i thought it would be. But we were both still sad about it. I was glad to be there to give him hugs. I wouldnt have liked the idea of him sad because he couldnt have smt that gave him comfort and also missing me at the same time. If this is how you are feeling, then dont go. You wont enjoy it. Your son wont enjoy it. The only person who would is your husband. Why, on earth, should his enjoyment trump your feelings and your childs needs and comfort?
Let’s not throw the judgy stone whilst simultaneously being incredibly judgy, eh?
Not everyone wants to breastfeed. That’s their prerogative, and their babies will be just fine.
It took my milk nearly a year to completely dry up. I fed DD until she was 3, towards the end she would regularly go 5/6 days without feeding so having a couple of nights away shouldn’t be an issue for your supply.
Just for some reference as you go forward, once DD stopped teething at 2.5 feeds reduced dramatically to the above schedule until she decided to stop. At points when she was teething particularly her molars between 2 - 2.5 years feeds could be similar To a newborn routine. Comfort is important and the act of breastfeeding releases endorphins/natural painkillers. I don’t see why comfort is any less important than nutrition.
If both you and your child are happy breastfeeding for whatever reason, then by all means, you should keep going.
I'm just not so sure it will help him grow at that age, though. Formula would probably be better, in fact, particularly as you're only feeding in the afternoon and the evening and not throughout the day.
Comfort, yes. "Fattening", probably not. (someone will come along and dispute this, I expect)
What Ninkaninus said. It's as important to look after your marriage as it is to look after your son. Ultimately your son's stability, wellbeing and happiness is dependent on a happy and fulfilling relationship enduring with your DH.
Your DH is telling you something important. I think you should pay attention.
Oh come off it beardy button, we are all different. My son is a super healthy marathon runner getting on for 40 now doesn't have a single filling and hasn't had a day off work, he has a university degree too. Stop making people who don't want to breastfeed feel like shit!
I can't bear self rightous mums who tell you that you must have a natural birth and breastfeed until they are 5 or you are a terrible mother!
Not all of us want to and that's ok too. Me my son are extremely close and always have been.
Don't you think a husband deserves any consideration at all, that he should just be told to shut up and put up because he wants one night away with his wife?
The worlds gone mad.
@captain. 'Mother perversion'.... I mean honestly! Love your reply though.
These threads make me a bit mad. Im all for fed is best if it means not judging those who must or choose bottle feeding. But come on! The evidence is uncontroversial. In so so many ways bf is so important.
My husband is far from perfect. But i am so thankful for his support of me bfing. I am so grateful for the gratitude he showed me. This shite of 'ooooo it might end your marriage'. I mean seriously. If women have to think like this. I better stop breast feeding as it means im not paying enough attention to my husband, then i am not sure the marriage is worth having.
OP im not saying this about your marriage. Not at all. Just these fantasy marriages, 'with great guys', that are so fragile they cant survive a couple of years of the mother 'neglecting' the marriage in order to prioritise the needs and comfort of the child.
They are reluctant to do this at the moment
which is completely fair enough, but it means the BF has nothing to do with anything
Well if he was trying to actually stop you, that would be unreasonable. But can't he have an opinion, since it affects him too?
Actually my advice centres the woman, not the man. It isn’t healthy for a woman to completely lose herself in her children, and the mummy-martyr narrative is incredibly misogynistic. It absolutely is not wrong to prioritise one’s relationship with the man one loves and to feed and nurture it and be vigilant against neglect thereof.
Why does he think weekends away are essential for the relationship?
you couldnt bear to be attached to a child that long?! So you couldnt bear to aim at who and nhs bf guidelines? You couldnt bear to do the thing that most developmental pschys will tell you forms secure attachment? Or is it the secure attachment itself you have a problem with? The judgmental ('couldnt bear') tone is bizarre. And on nurturing the relationship.
If ever there was a time for pot kettle black this it well, I BF DC one for a year who then self-weaned. Should I have kept shoving my boob in his face and force him to feed for another 12 months in order to meet the WHO guidelines? I had to stop much sooner with DC2 for medical reasons and was devastated and felt horrific guilt but I never had the teeniest intention of carrying on past a year with either and couldn't have born doing it past then either. Your language is highly emotive and judgemental.
OP, your DH should respect your choices but perhaps it wouldn't hurt to look at alternative ways to settle DC, as you'd all benefit, and make it easier when you are ready to stop BF. And I do agree, don't be too quick to dismiss your DH's feelings, it's not misogyny FFS, you're a family and these things affect everyone.
Breastfeeding at the end of the day for a couple of years is hardly martyrdom and no marriage ever survived or not because of weekends away or at home.
I absolutely think he should be allowed to voice his opinion.
Did you not have a conversation before DS was born about whether you would breast/bottle feed etc?
He's as much a parent as you are and should be allowed an input regarding his son.
It also feels like you're putting yourself and your son ahead of DH which is unfair
You can teach your ds not to use bf as a comfort to fall asleep and still bf so it is not a reason for him not to go to gp or for you and dh to go away.
Do you want to leave your ds/go away with you dh for the weekend? If you do it is not bf that is stopping you.
I think you need to stop using breast feeding as an excuse not to go away with your dh. A night away doesn't mean you have to stop breast feeding.
You need to work on the feeding to sleep first obviously.
@madcat im really happy your kid is doing so well. Your anecdotal evidence does not support the conclusion that bottle is best. It may be a better decision to bottle feed in particular circumstances (mental health of mother, weight gain of baby etc), but looking at large populations, it is uncontroversially true that bf is best for babies. Thats the way scientific evidence works.
And what about the husband??? If hes up for competing with his own child, putting his enjoyment ahead of the childs needs and comfort? The baby is used to bf at night. He will want that while his mother is away. It will upset him that he cannot have that and he cannot find his mother. If it was me, and i was still bf, and i needed to be away because of work or a bereavement, then i d be upset at the idea of this. But id still do it. But for my husbands enjoyment. Nope!
Your marriage is more important to you and your son long term than breastfeeding for a few extra days. If anything happened and you needed to be, say, in hospital, your son would have to settle with someone else and its a good idea for him to be less dependent on feeding to sleep.
That sint to say you need to give up - you can continue feeding without being obsessive over it.
But can't he have an opinion, since it affects him too?
But the problem isn't BF- it's that DS won't settle at night without a BF. If he's desperate for a night away then he can work hard on trying to settle DS without boobs. Problem solved.
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