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Have you lied/do you lie/will you lie (!) about extended breastfeeding?

(45 Posts)
Caz10 Thu 11-Sep-08 20:40:43

DD 9mths, was exclusively bf until a month ago when I went back to work, now gets 1 or 2 bottles of formula during the day when I'm away and bf the rest of the time.

Since I went back to work I have had workmates, friends and family all expressing various degrees of surprise/concern/disgust/disbelief that I am "still" feeding her - even though I normally just say "oh just a morning and bedtime feed".

While I was off and mixing with other mums etc I felt very confident in my hope to bf until she self weans, but now I'm getting such bad reactions from all sides that it is knocking my confidence. It's not going to change my mind, but I certainly don't feel as comfortable talking about it anymore.

I know I am a total wimp and should be more confident, but I am fed up with these comments now at 9mths, can't imagine what it would be like at 2yrs! Is it possible, if not entirely the right thing to do, just to lie about it?!!

RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 11-Sep-08 20:45:44

I didn't lie, but didn't bring it up in conversation unless directly asked. I fed DS until just before 2 yrs.

You're doing a great thing for your DD, don't feel embarrassed <<shaking BF pom poms>> grin

Caz10 Thu 11-Sep-08 20:48:17

I know, I wish i had it in me to be more loud and proud!

Maybe it will wear off, but atm people seem fascinated (in a negative way) and keep asking directly, and I can't lie, then they screw up their face and wince etc sad

thisisyesterday Thu 11-Sep-08 20:50:03

if people ask me if I am still feeding ds2 I just say yes. nothing more.

if they feel they have to then make some comment on it then just ask them why. they usually find it hard to justify.

ie "well, she's a bit old for that now isn't she?"

"why do you think that?" etc etc

PinkTulips Thu 11-Sep-08 20:56:06

i've never lied but i also don't tell people i'm still feeding unless asked.

it's come up in conversation with one friend (we were discussing getting preg while bf-ing and i mentioned it was definitely possible as i'd done it twice). she was surprised but not horrified or anything.

if anyone asked i'd tell them but tbh my own family don't know as it simply hasn't occured to them to ask whether i've stopped and i'm quite enjoying not having to listen to my mothers endless 'isn't he getting a bit big for that now' comments. i think my dad knows but tbh i couldn't tell you for sure!

ds only feeds morning and night so it's not like i'm running out of the room to do it, it just doesn't occur to people i might be!

PinkTulips Thu 11-Sep-08 20:57:53

sorry, he's 2 btw

Elasticwoman Thu 11-Sep-08 21:05:47

I was always proud of continuing to bf my ds and was still doing it occasionally after he started school at age 4. Anybody who expressed any kind of negative reaction was treated to my Breast Is Best speech. You have to pity their ignorance and then fight it.

Elasticwoman Thu 11-Sep-08 21:06:42

ps most people admired extended bf and some (after a few drinks) expressed envy, because it hadn't worked out that way for them.

nigglewiggle Thu 11-Sep-08 21:08:10

I think the surprised reactions are because a lot of people haven't any experience of breast feeding because of the bias towards formula over the last few years.

The more people are exposed to it, the more normal it will become. Not suggesting that you need to take responsibility for a crusade. You are doing what is best for your child, do whatever makes you feel comfortable to continue with that.

I'm feeding my second dd (only 4 mths) and I've really noticed how comfortable other nationalities are with it. I've had a Spanish woman, Norwegian and French men all stopping to talk to my baby when she's feeding (I do make efforts to be discrete, honest) and making comments like "ooh she seems to be enjoying that!" I Can't imagine many British men doing that, but probably just because we'r not as used to it.

electra Thu 11-Sep-08 21:17:22

You have nothing to be ashamed of - don't let other people's hang ups make you lack confidence.

I breast fed dd2 until she was nearly 3 and sometimes people did make comments but I ignored them and thought it was rather pathetic that they assumed they had any right to judge my (normal) choice. I also bf her on a plane when she was 2 and paid no attention to any stares I got.

kama Thu 11-Sep-08 21:20:48

Message withdrawn

strawberrycornetto Thu 11-Sep-08 21:23:59

I am back to work next month when DS will be 7 months. I had planned to continue feeding and express at work and I have actually just found out that he is allergic to cows milk so I will now definitely be doing it as long as possible.

I am definitely embarrassed by it and will try not to let people know, especially the large number of single childless men I work with. Its a large city law firm and I really think people would be critical or ridicule me. I have spoken to HR and there is a room available to book so I guess its not that unusual. I really hope I have the guts not to use the milk allergy as an "excuse" if anyone asks and just be proud of what I am doing. It just feels very personal to have to discuss in the workplace.

Caz10 Thu 11-Sep-08 21:31:58

I'm very surprised at the reactions at work tbh, as I work in a school, the staff are all female and almost all have children, most of them say they bf but obviously not for as freakishly long as me wink.

That bloody Kate G prog got them all going again the other day, it didn't really help the "normal" aspect of bf-ing imo.

I am not ashamed as such, or even embarrassed, but am the least confrontational person in the world, so am finding all the questions and comments very hard. I haven't mentioned it to anyone, yet it's all anyone ever seems to ask about in relation to dd. Someone asked how she was the other day and I said she was teething, cue another 10 min discussion on how it's just "wrong" to feed once they've got teeth. angry

My friends and family are not so disgusted by it, they just don't understand why I haven't stopped.

I feel very sad about it, as up until now I'd been proudly feeding in public etc, supporting a couple of pregnant friends who want to give it ago. Now I feel like I am the freaky breastfeedy lady...

preggersplayspop Thu 11-Sep-08 21:35:50

I don't bring it up normally (DS is 16 mo). Family ask and I just say yes (on the in laws side). I talk to my mum about it much more though, as we are quite close.

I told a couple of people at work but only because I had to explain why I couldn't go to a social function. I got inexplicably embarassed. I knew one of my colleagues would be fine as she had carried on bf for nearly a year, but the reaction of the other was more 'Oh my god!'.

I don't want to advertise the fact at work but it does make it tricky as I can't do certain social things as I want to get back to DS for the nightime feed. I wouldn't lie though if I was asked outright.

preggersplayspop Thu 11-Sep-08 21:40:13

Caz10, that's sad that you have had that kind of reaction. Can you not just change the subject if they want to ask lots of questions about it?

I find it really annoying when people feel they have the right to make you feel bad about it - they wouldn't ridicule or challenge you on most other aspects of parenting, but some people feel quite happy expressing their (uninformed) view on breastfeeding!

Notanexcitingname Thu 11-Sep-08 21:51:12

I never lied, but I didn't bring up the subject at work for a long time.

Then I got sick of ignoring a significant part of my life with DS, and started to mention it. I work in scientific research though, so a bit of good evidenced based knowledge shut as naysayers up wink

fishie Thu 11-Sep-08 21:58:28

i haven't lied and did mention it to some of my neighbours at a drinkie event recently.

while i do talk at work about bf in general i would never discuss my own experience, too open for judgement by prejudiced or ignorant people.

how many posts do you think this thread will manage before someone rushes on shouting freaks and weirdos? <despondent>

Reginaphilangy Thu 11-Sep-08 21:59:37

Tbh no has ever asked. I was talking to a friend who commented on dd's lovely teeth, i mentioned that they weren't so lovely when suspending her off my nipple and she was a little shock (although that could have just been the bad joke wink) but didn't seem too hmm at it.

No-one else has asked me for aaaaaaaaages (as pink tulips said, i'm not exactly running out of the room to feed her, she's 14 mos btw) so the only negativity i get is from dh sad

ILikeYourSleeves Thu 11-Sep-08 22:03:35

I am still BFing DS (10 months) and plan to keep going until at least early next year when we think about TTC again. My friends and family know I still BF but I am starting to get underhand 'Bitty' comments which are making me uncomfortable Like you I always say 'but I only feed him morning and night' as if that makes it more acceptable, I catch myself saying that and get annoyed with myself that I can't be straight with them! I'm going back to work in Nov and not sure what I'll say then, I hope I will be honest.

TandemMum Thu 11-Sep-08 22:49:37

OK - Freaks! Weirdos!
There - I rushed on and said it.
It can be difficult at times - my MIL said to me that I am feeding the children to gratify my own needs. I don't think she liked my reply very much....
I certainly don't lie about it and am proud to be able to continue to meet my children's needs and will continue to honor their requests as long as I can.
I will also continue to advocate breastfeeding and natural term weaning to try and break down barriers and to stretch people's perceptions of the 'norm'.

weasle Thu 11-Sep-08 22:51:53

hi caz

sorry your colleagues are being so annoying. honestly, i'm sure you're not commenting on their parenting styles! why do people think that bf is fair game to give their two-pence worth?

i am quite discrete at work, hardly anyone knows i express and if i mention it to explain where i have just been for example, the subject is swiftly changed by my colleagues! i think people think it is too personal to talk about and find it uncomfortable. however i would quite like the younger women to know it is possible if they have children later on.

my friends and family all think i am weird (ds nearly 9 months)

i am torn between wanting to normalise bf by telling all and sundry and wanting to keep it under wraps because of predictable comments. we are going on a long haul flight soon and i have long used this as the reason i'm continuing to bf, but of course that's not my real reason - it's the best thing for my son!

think if we are still going after a year i will not tell anyone...

the teeth thing always annoys me - some babies are born with teeth, would that mean they could never bf? And had to have solids on day 1??

primigravida Fri 12-Sep-08 03:28:56

I just tell people but the WHO recommends bf up until the age of two and that I just want to give my son the best start in life health wise. People always shut up after that.

electra Fri 12-Sep-08 08:12:49

Yes, agree primigravida - that is a good one.

mangolassi Fri 12-Sep-08 08:31:00

I'm really, really shocked at the number of women who are getting negative comments about breastfeeding when your babies aren't even a year old yet. That's not extended, it's barely getting started!

Not much advice on dealing with it I'm afraid (unless you feel like relocating to Asia, which might not be so practical) but don't feel you have to justify yourself to anyone. Tell them you're following WHO guidleines and offer to direct them to the website if they have any more comments? Then move swiftly on. And spend lots of time on mn with sensible people

aGalChangedHerName Fri 12-Sep-08 08:31:19

I don't advertise the fact but do talk to other mums if they have litle ones bfing. They always say they will be giving up soon as baby is getting teeth. I usually tell them i bf ds2 till he was 3 and bf the dd's till they were 2 and that it is possible.

If i get horrible/ignorant reactions i give as good as i get now tho. One woman said bf past weaning age was not "normal" and i should have put my 6 month old babies on a bottle. I am afraid it got rather heated and i said i couldn't imagine anything more "natural" than bfing and that to me FF was alien and un-natural (i did FF ds1 btw)

I never lie about it!!

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