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Other mums horrified I am still breastfeeding 18 month old ds

(78 Posts)
Knackeredmother Wed 03-Aug-11 00:10:27

just returned from a rare night out for a friends birthday. Lots of other mums there. Some with babies around 4-6 month old some with older and grown up children. Got onto the subject of feeding and mentioned I am still breast feeding 18 month old ds.
They were horrified. Got comments such as'its wrong' ' he's got teeth now' 'it's just for your comfort not his'.
Now I wouldn't dream of commenting on how they feed their child and was a bit taken aback. I am an educated woman and could normally come back with a rational argument but the 2 glasses of champagne put paid to all rational thought!
Has anyone else encountered this? out of at least 10 mums I was the only one who had breastfed for more than 2 weeks and felt a bit crap about it all.
I wonder if the best thing is to not ever mention it in future but on the other hand think why should I?

niccibabe Wed 03-Aug-11 02:31:40

I find mums at music and signing classes who feed their toddlers or tandem feed - maybe a change of group will help.

For the critics I quote WHO guidelines 2 years is a minimum not the max.

And... Depending on the critic,

WHO encourages self weaning - that happens sometime between age 3 and 7 (you need to grin for this one)


We're the only culture that makes a fuss over a child having some milk


Some babies are born with teeth are we not supposed to give them any milk then?


I don't mind your child drinking milk, why do you mind that my child gets milk too?


It's practical, convenient, nutritious, DC loves it and it's free - what's not to like!


If it was just for my benefit there wouldn't be health benefits for DC

Bubbaluv Wed 03-Aug-11 02:57:32

You're going to get it regardless of whether you're right or not. All my friends bf for 4-12 months, but I'm pretty sure most would have raised eyebrows at bfing an 18mo. They wouldn't have said anything though - not to you anyway wink
I'm not excusing the ignorance, I'm just saying you wither have to decide to become the educator, or just keep quiet about your choice.

Jacksmania Wed 03-Aug-11 04:36:06

Come sit by me. I breastfed until DS was 3.1. Got a fair few comments and looks. Some people can be such idiots about breastfeeding. When DS was still tiny there was a thread about BFing in public and a poster called Pagwatch wrote "I give them my "seriously - fuck off" look" - I PMSL at that and was inspired to practice that look. grin
Anyway - quote the WHO guidelines at them and if they persist, I'd recommend "and exactly how is this your business?" or even "you stopped at four months??? Oh..." grin

levantine Wed 03-Aug-11 06:24:55

I cite those WHO guidelines too. 18 months is just a baby!

welliesandpyjamas Wed 03-Aug-11 06:37:07

I bf for 2.2ish yrs and felt happier keeping it private once he was about 18 months. Sad but true sad Some people can't cope with anything that is outside the realms of their experience, poor wee things grin

Grockle Wed 03-Aug-11 06:43:46

Sad, isn't it? I BF DS til he self-weaned St 18 months. Is have carried on (but not mentioned it). We were getting comments and kooks but there's something really wonderful about feeding an 'older' baby. Now DS is a confident, happy, charming (if you forget about the big meltdowns and constant arguing) and very bright little boy. I put it down to all that mummy milk wink

Enjoy feeding your boy.

Grockle Wed 03-Aug-11 06:45:10

Oh fgs, I'd have carried on and looks not kooks

Bloody phone!

iamusuallybeingunreasonable Wed 03-Aug-11 06:45:57

Oh thats terrible, my dd is 12 months amd i had same thing from friends at weekend, the way they say "so when you gonna give it up" you would think i had a smack addiction, everyone assumed I would give up when I went back to work 6 months ago; but with the help of my medela and sippy cups im still going strong... why would i give up feeding my baby the only way it knows how?!

GotArt Wed 03-Aug-11 06:52:55

Sorry to hear that you had this experience. It amazes me, with all the proven benefits of BF up to 2 years old, that people still have a taboo about it. I BF DD till 20 months... she weaned herself. I'll be doing the same with DD2.

cardamomginger Wed 03-Aug-11 07:54:30

I FF for a variety of reasons and am in TOTAL AWE OF YOU. If you are happy and DS is happy, then sod 'em. You ROCK grin.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 03-Aug-11 08:18:24

people that will budge you in this way are not friends. sad

Do you have rl support? Maybe try lll or something (if you happen to be near leeds i know a natural parenting group...lots of us bfing our older babies. smile

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Wed 03-Aug-11 08:19:40

judge not budge!

dolldaggabuzzbuzz Wed 03-Aug-11 08:19:49

My DS is 2.6 now so I only breastfeed him at home now. Last week the PILs were visiting us and MIL was surprised that he was still breastfeeding. She was advising me that if I don't get him off soon he be still on it when he's 21. Where do people get these ideas from? Little Britain? (I hate that programme!)

Hammy01 Wed 03-Aug-11 08:23:28

I breastfed my dd until she was 23 months. Although the last 6 months were only nighttime but it was our choice. My friends and dh kept telling me I shoulve given up sooner but I ignored them, my sister was the only one who understood.
Don't worry about what other people think you do what's best for u two x x

Hammy01 Wed 03-Aug-11 08:24:37

And also well done! smile

Knackeredmother Wed 03-Aug-11 08:31:57

Well, these mothers weren't my friends. They were friends of the birthday girl and I'd never met them before.
I did manage to say about the WHO guidance but their reply was that is for children in famines who don't have access to SMA!
When sober I think I could probably deal with it better but I felt bullied to be honest. I mean they were all truly shocked!

barelyutterly Wed 03-Aug-11 09:22:14

So they managed a whole TWO WEEKS bfing and are giving you stick about 18 months? Saying it to someone they'd only just met for the first time? hmm Sounds like a herd of cows to me.

I might have laughed in their faces myself. And said something like "wait, all of you said you bfed for only 2 weeks? considering you gave up so early, how do you even have the first clue about how long I should bf my child?"

If I was angry, I'd have cast my classic withering pitying look and substituted the words "failed" for "gave up".... after all, if you felt bullied, then standing up to them and throwing it back at them twice as bad is the only way to defend yourself. Some people are just too thick to understand anything else.

LiegeAndLief Wed 03-Aug-11 09:43:01

I think I have been very lucky not to have experienced this (with the exception of my mother hmm). Bfed ds until he gave up at 23 months and still feeding dd at 2.1, although I haven't done it in public for ages. If it comes up in conversation friends sometimes look surprised, but no one has ever had a go at me or even commented unfavourably.

Incidently my mother also thinks the WHO guidelines are for "women in Africa who don't have access to clean water". And she bf for a year! But apparently beyond a year is wrong and your child will control you completely and you will never be able to stop.. I was never able to come up with a satisfactory reply.

They are not your friends, don't worry about it. Rest safe in the knowledge that you are doing the best thing for your ds. I bet there are a lot more people bfing toddlers than you know about, as they do it in private and don't talk about it much for all the reasons above!

californiaburrito Wed 03-Aug-11 09:43:19

To the horror of most everyone, I breastfeed my DD until she was 2.4 and only stopped because it became too painful due to pregnancy. I really didn't bother to make the points listed above as it not really something I have to justify to other people. I just enjoyed being SHOCKING and SCANDALOUS, because, really, I don't get out much anymore. Also, I am really good at looking at people like they are idiots.

Just think all those women are probably talking about your boobs right now.....hehehe.

TruthSweet Wed 03-Aug-11 10:12:11

I had this when DD1 was 4 months old. Unfortunately they were my closest friends (been friends since WE were toddlers) and one even took to sending my scientific data/studies that 'proved' bfing past 6 m was dangerous (most didn't even mention bfing confused).

I ended up unable to feed Dd1 without trying to vomit (had intrusive thoughts of poisoning hr with my milk) and nearly ended up in a mother/baby psych unit. DD1 is 5 now and I am still having issues with my MH (I developed PND-OCD after my friends intervention).

Luckily with the support of my DH I bf DD1 to 3.6y, and DD2 is 3.8y & DD3 is 21m and they are both nursing 'still'.

Try not to dwell on it and see it for what it is, people who are just completely unaware of what bfing is really like and why those of us who bf long term do so - because our children need it and it is normal - not because we are some kind of incestous, infantilising, oedipal freaks. <and breathe>

Likesshinythings Wed 03-Aug-11 10:31:37

Nothing to add here except to say I think you are doing a great thing and those that criticise are the ones with the problem. I only managed to bf to 9 months as DS decided he'd had enough (think it was to do with him being extremely nosy and wanting to look around during meal times!) and was sorry about that as I had wanted to carry on, especially when I went back to work so that we could still have that lovely calm time at the end of the day.
I am always a bit confused by the talk about babies "controlling" you and being too dependent and needy you - erm, isn't that the idea?confused

MrsTittleMouse Wed 03-Aug-11 10:37:49

Think of yourself as a pioneer, pushing forward the boundaries for women everywhere. smile

CareyHunt Wed 03-Aug-11 10:37:58

I'm here, bfing my 4 year old dd! <waves>

I think you have to really practise those 'fuck off' looks! I would never take it upon myself to pass judgement on the way another woman chose to feed her baby, but as far as I'm concerned if they make the first comment they have declared open season!

There are brilliant studies which have looked at natural human weaning age, looking at societies where cultural norms do not suppress bfing, and taking into account factors like the age of molar development/ quadrupling of birth weight (the things which seem to regulate weaning age in other primates). According to these studies, human babies 'should' be weaned at between 2.8 and 7 years, with a minimum recommended age of 2.5 years. Children's immune systems are still developing ( and so are still supported by bfing) until 6+ years.

It feels so wrong that you have to in some way 'defend' your choice, as if it were radical, when in fact you are just doing what nature intended. I don't know a single bfing mother who would ever ask a ffing woman to defend or justify her choice.

You have every right to feel proud of yourself ( even a bit smug! grin ), and in this instance I think you also have the right to ask them to justify the decision to stop feeding so prematurely.

Trillian42 Wed 03-Aug-11 10:42:30

TruthSweet shock shock shock


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