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Extended bfers - does anyone in RL know you bf?

(31 Posts)
NoNickname Wed 11-Jul-07 19:58:16

Ds is 3.7 and is bfed - once or twice a day, always last thing, sometimes first thing.

I realise tonight that (apart from dh and ds of course) no-one in RL knows I bfeed.

My sister and Mum knew about nine months ago, but something came up the other day and my sister said, "He doesn't still feed does he?" I don't think she meant it nastily (although my hackles always go up when someone says "still"), but she'd got the wrong end of the stick about what I was talking about anyway, so I started my answer with a "no" anyway, and wasn't really directly answering her question. So, I'm sure she thinks I don't bfeed him any more. And I've not mentioned it to my Mum in months, so she almost certainly thinks the same too, as I used to mention it every now and then before.

This got me thinking how sad it was that there really isn't anyone with whom I can share bfing tales - either good and bad. Dh is incredibly supportive, but has heard it all before. It's also a bit sad because I don't feel I can tell anyone. I feel everyone would think me some sort of freak for feeding "this long" (in their opinion of course).

Apart from you lovely lot on MN, I don't have anyone in RL who knows I bf. Is it the same for other extended bfers out there? Or am I just a Billy no mates with regard to this?

Elasticwoman Wed 11-Jul-07 20:56:40

I bf my ds until long after he started school, and used to enjoy telling people occasionally to see the shocked looks on their faces. He fed v sporadically towards the end - I'm sure he must have been sucking at an empty boob before he finally finished.
I was and am still proud of it, and defy any one to say anything negative - there's nothing any one can say that will persuade me I didn't do the best thing for ds.

Toddler (and beyond) bf is one of the best kept secrets. Be out and proud, Nonickname!

mozhe Wed 11-Jul-07 21:02:59

Why don't you join a LLL support group ? I did, and found it very supportive....one of mine fed until well over 4.....

policywonk Wed 11-Jul-07 21:05:02

I'm feeding DS2 (at two and a half) and everybody knows, including plenty of people who would rather not (random members of the public on buses, in playgrounds, etc) - but obviously I'm still falling a bit short of your record. I can understand why you feel that you have to be a bit 'discreet' about it (hate that word in the context of bf-ing but you know what I mean), but it's such a shame. I hope I have the cojones to carry on as long as he wants to.

Elastic - hope you don't mind me asking - how did your son feel about feeding when he started school? Did he get any comments from the other kids, or were they oblivious? (Did they even know?) The one thing that worries me slightly is that DS2 might get bullied if it becomes widely known that he's feeding when he starts school (as I fully expect he will be, given how enthusiastic he is about it).

ProjectSeverus Wed 11-Jul-07 21:10:20

yes not everyone though. Am feeding two so it has extra freak points dd1 3.2 and dd2 10 months.

ProjectSeverus Wed 11-Jul-07 21:11:54

Mohze did you feed through pregnancy and tandem feed then? It can be really hard at times but very rewarding too.

MoosMa Wed 11-Jul-07 21:14:12

I don't (but wish I could have) but I think my SIL secretly still does. Her DS is 3.3 and I have seen him pulling at her top saying "booby" and she has shushed him away. I think she should be proud too, it's not something to be ashamed.

Either that of course and I've got completely the wrong idea and he's just a booby-pest!

terramum Wed 11-Jul-07 21:14:17

Pretty much everyone I know are aware that DS (who will be 3 on Saturday) still feeds, Mainly because he has fed in front of them . My Mum is the only one who says anything remotely negative & even that is only the word "still" - which gets on my nerves as well ....I am quite proud to still be feeding so have never thought about not telling anyone tbh...but then I've not been the shy sort of bfer for a looong while, not since we were using shields up to when he was a few months old.

Echo the suggestion to find a local LLL group - most of the mums I got friendly with when DS was born still go...we even have an evening meeting for us still feeding older children which is lovely to go to when I am feeling a little alone in my parenting-style. Check out here to see if there is a group near you: http://www.laleche.org.uk/pages/groups/groups.htm

kama Wed 11-Jul-07 21:16:41

Message withdrawn

popsycal Wed 11-Jul-07 21:19:28

Count me in. Lots of people don't realise but I don't deliberately NOT tell them IYSWIM. Mumsnet is one of the few places that I feel totally comfortable broadcasting it though.


DS2 is almost 2 and a half. My mum occasionlly asks 'Are you still feeding him yourself?' . But I have recently made a point of mentionuing that I stil am to my family. One real life friends knows - as we discussed how she would feed her newborn. BUT IT IS NOT SOMETHING that really comes up in conversation with other friends and there is no relevance in mentioing it,,,,

(apologies for caps)
and crap tryping

rainbow83 Wed 11-Jul-07 21:41:39

in muslim communities its very very usual to tandem feed, feed past 2 and co sleep well into nursery age so i know lots and lots of women who openly feed their 3 y/olds, its an eye opener really :-)

mozhe Wed 11-Jul-07 21:43:24

Yes...has 3 for a short while all feeding ! Difficult with only 2 boobs...
Currently feeding DT aged 13 months,( her sister weaned herself a month ago ), and expressing for no6 in SCBU..
It IS rewarding...true.

Elasticwoman Wed 11-Jul-07 22:08:10

Policywonk (strange name!): ds had no qualms whatsoever about feeding, but rarely if ever did it in public once he was past babyhood. It was something he did mainly in bed (his or mine) or occasionally in the daytime if he was upset or in pain. I shouldn't think any of his peer group knew that he still bf, just as he wouldn't have known which of them still drank from a baby's bottle or used a dummy.

determination Thu 12-Jul-07 08:20:36

When i was feeding my dd1 i made a point of letting everyone know.. mainly because as she was approaching 1 everyone (esp mymum) was sssooo negative about it - "guess you will be stopping the bfing now that shes waking?!" ---- Eh NO, she will decide when we stop, and she did when i was pg again and she was 25months.

We should all be proud that we are giving our child the best start in life. I certainly was/and am. Again i will let my dd2 decide when she wants to stop.

Elasticwoman Thu 12-Jul-07 10:22:14

When my mother had children, you were supposed to bf for 9 months - no more, no less. Although for MIL, who had children in the same decade but in a different part of the country, the cut-off date was 6 months after which she struggled getting milk down them with a spoon. HVs were v bossy then and not many women dared defy them.

sfxmum Thu 12-Jul-07 10:33:26

my dd is 2.1 and all my family know and approve my MIL thinks it is odd but doesn't really say much i believe she puts it down to my foreignness
FIL thinks it's our business
friends know if they have asked
i have never really had negative feedback

NoNickname Thu 12-Jul-07 13:03:07

Well, seems I'm not entirely on my own then. Makes me feel a bit better. I just find it hard to talk about as I feel I'm instantly being judged - the shocked looks I get when I mention it, even back when ds was about 2 or 2.6, immediately tell you what other people feel about it! And even when he was about 1, I spent hours trying to explain to people why I was going to carry on bfing. I'd like to be out and proud about it, but I think I've let too many people assume I'm not doing it any more, and it would seem weird to now seemingly do a U-turn about it.

Thanks for the advice about going to a LLL meeting. It sounds like a good idea. I looked into it, but I'm a bit put off by this comment on their website:

"Babies and dependent toddlers/children are always welcome at our meetings (though as children over three can grow restless when you are busy chatting at the meeting, they may prefer to stay home with their favourite carer)."

I know ds would be one of those who would get restless, so it wouldn't work well to take him. But dh works evenings, and during the day I don't have anyone who can babysit (certainly no-one who I would be prepared to tell where I was going, IYSWIM).

So - perhaps I'll just stay in the closet about it. Or, the virtual MN closet at least.

terramum Thu 12-Jul-07 13:42:31

Don't let that put you off NN. Why not phone one of the local leaders & ask about bringing toddlers to the meetings - some might not be suitable but others have separate meetings for those with older tots & some like mine just have one big meeting for everyone & all ages are welcome. One of the mum's who attends on & off Home educates & sometimes brings her older children with some drawing etc to keep them happy.

My DS has been restless at LLL meetings since he was born ....the first one & went to after he was born he overheated & screamed pretty much all the way through it...but non-one minded as they all know what it's like - that is what's so great about LLL meetings - all that empathy .....even now he is a strapping toddler with houdini like skills and a running speed that I simply can't match I still go regularly. money permitting, (it's a 70 mile round trip) & if he gets too much for me I just leave....& tbh I've only had to do that once.....he is usually too busy playing with the other toddlers to play up too much plus the venue has a box of toys for them to play with so I don't have to bother taking my own any more. No-one minds all the noise of the toys or the toddler chatter at all tbh it's the little babies that make more of the noise most time ....you just get used to chatting over them whilst making sympathetic faces at the mum(s) in question

gordieracer Thu 12-Jul-07 13:48:57

I've been to a few LLL meetings, and it's the one place where i do feel uncomftable with my older toddler.
It is so focused on talking, but the same issues are dragged up and talked about over and over again. What would be wrong with having a group like a traditional toddler group, but for breastfeeding. I just want to sit and chat to other mums.
I also found the people to be very judgemental of everyone else regarding parenting.

BocoBeak Thu 12-Jul-07 13:51:39

I try to keep it a bit quiet actually as i've had some very negative reactions (all from family) Dd is 2.6. She's a bit vocal about it now though, so i'm sure everyone knows. I've seen a couple of exchanged glances between friends while dd has been asking for boobymilk which has made me feel a litte bit sad.

The other day a friend came for the day who i only see once or twice a year. DD asked for booby milk, and she looked genuinely appauled and said 'you're not still doing that are you? Isnt' she too big?'

I explained all my reasons in as laid back way as possible, but felt really defensive. My cousin once told me that it wasn't possible for me to still be producing milk after 2 years so didn't i find a child sucking on an empty breast a bit odd. Thank you - very impressed with advice from childless people who seem to have bizarre need to tell me i'm doing something wrong.

Pidge Thu 12-Jul-07 13:51:48

Am still feeding dd2 once a day at nearly 2 1/2. Most of my RL friends know if I happen to mention it, but of course it doesn't often come up in conversation. MIL has chosen to believe that I have long since stopped - she more or less said to me with dd1 that anything beyond 9 months was tantamount to psychological abuse! So I am just avoiding the conversation with her. I tried re-education first time round, but fear I didn't make much progress.

The interesting thing now is that dd2 will go up to women breastfeeding newborn babies and will stare in fascination and on a couple of occasions has said "Me have booby in the morning" to their utter astonishment!

Oblomov Thu 12-Jul-07 13:52:46

I don't know about the rest of the population, but I only consider it 'extended' after aged 4.

Oblomov Thu 12-Jul-07 13:55:27

Actually, my apologies, maybe after they are fully weaned and eating a full and varied diet, so probably quite a bit before 4. That is only me. Not making any comment about what anyone else thinks, re when 'extended' starts.

callmeovercautious Thu 12-Jul-07 13:56:28

Glad there are so many of you still bfing at these ages. DD is much younger (10m) but I intend to let her self wean.

Even now I get the "still!" comment so goodness knows how they will be in 2 years !!! I would rather see a toddler asking for milk from his Mummy than have a fruit shoot or bottle of coke in his hand. (or Lucozade as my DS let her 4 year old have this weekend - dread to think what time he came down off the cieling )

TooTicky Thu 12-Jul-07 13:58:53

I bf dd1 for 2.5 years, ds1 for 18m, ds2 until he was nearly 3 and dd2 is still going strong at 2 years.
I don't bring it up in conversation, but dd2 often wants to feed in school assemblies and on buses and it is much less conspicuous to comply than have her shouting. I do feel self-conscious, although I have never actually had any negative comments. And sometimes people look at us and I wonder what they are thinking.

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