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I am starting to get upset by these comments!

(23 Posts)
fadingfast Wed 17-Jun-09 21:47:48

DD is 14mo. I've posted on here before about when/whether to give up bfeeding, as I didn't expect to continue beyond a year. I suppose in my own mind 12 months marked some sort of watershed, in which case perhaps I shouldn't let these comments upset me.

My family have always been very supportive of bfeeding and mum has even been known to boast about it to her friends. However, she's now started to make comments, not to me but to DD (shock), along the lines of "you're spoilt" and "when is your mummy giving up"? I didn't really let on that I was upset but did point out that I had been really pleased she was still bfeeding the previous week when she had been really ill (and not eating/drinking anything else). Even the out of hours GP (male, 50s) was pleased she was still bfeeding, so why can't she be?

Then to cap it all tonight, when I commented to DH about how I thought we would still be wiping DS' bum when he was 16, DH retorted that DD would be asking for 'bitty'. I was really annoyed and he did apologise, because he knows how sensitive I am about it.

I suppose this has ended up being an 'AIBU' thread!?

Why is it that you are virtuous for feeding for 6 months, positively saintly for feeding for 12 months, but more than a bit strange to feed beyond 12 months? hmm

Thank you for listening to me rant.

nickytwotimes Wed 17-Jun-09 21:50:08

That is a shame fadingfast.
Well done for bfing this far.
I don't need to tell you this, but you can always quote the two years WHO guidelines.
Rotten you are not getting support from the two people you want it from most.

And yanbu. wink

moaningminnie2020 Wed 17-Jun-09 22:00:48

I struggled to feed DD for 13 weeks before giving up.
DS is 26 weeks today and still BF, I am so proud. But now, having got this far, I can't imagine wanting to stop and hope to carry on til he decides he doesn't want it anymore. It will have to change, of course, as I will be going back to work part time when he is 12mo, but I hope to still be feeding him then.

Seems totally understandable to me, as pp said - WHO says 2 years and beyond IIRC.

My DH has also made occasional comments asking when will he 'get them back' and got a filthy look for his trouble.

I realised how important BF is to me when I heard a relative has stopped BF at 8 months and I thought 'what a shame to stop now' when its a fab achievement in itself!!

And YANBU

whomovedmychocolate Wed 17-Jun-09 22:08:55

Ah my DD is self weaning (she's three soon) and DS is 11 months and I don't intend to wean him yet either.

If you haven't been there, you don't understand extended feeding and try not to take your mum's comments too hard, she is from a generation where very few people breastfed and it's difficult to remain supportive when you intrinsically believe something is wrong (even if logically you know it's not.)

However I have told mine very clearly that it's none of her damn business how I choose to parent and the evidence is with me and not with the bigots. That was a cheery lunch when we had that conversation hmm grin

Maveta Wed 17-Jun-09 22:09:25

It´s awful isn´t it? My parents were also very supportive but after a year my dad kept making comments about "when are you going to stop that?" as did my sisters, which really surprised me. My mum was the only one who would jump in and say something along the lines of no need to stop when it was obviously going so well. It did really hurt me, you can shrug off strangers´ ignorant comments but feeling like a freak by your own family is another kettle of fish.

dh´s family were unanimously supportive as his older sister fed her ds til well over 2yrs so they were already broken in grin Although dh also had a few misguided comments in the last few months which did not go down well..

Chin up, you are doing a fabulous job and you know it and that is what matters smile

fadingfast Wed 17-Jun-09 22:12:10

It's not even as though I'm feeding all hours of the day, or in public for that matter! I only feed first thing in the morning and last thing at night, and usually only for about 15 minutes. I have found it really helps me reconnect on the days I am at work.

I have just self-administered some therapy by reading kellymom and feeling all smug about how many benefits she is getting by carrying on grin

JackBauer Wed 17-Jun-09 22:12:19

I do understand how you feel, I am still feeding DD2 at 20 months, after stopping feeding DD1 at 13 months (not by choice, I was pregnant and she went on strike)
My MIL and mum have both made 'are you still bfing' comments and I just say 'Yes, I am.' and leave it at that.
If anyone comments further I just say 'I am going to feed we are ready to stop, but thanks for asking'
My sister has now asked (since DD2 was about 14 months) that I leave the room whne I feed her as her bf and she find it 'creepy'
I told her she had legs and she could fuck off for a walk if she was going to be so narrowminded (She's my sister thouhg, so I can swear/be abusive freelygrin)
I am cutting down feeds, some nights she gets cows milk, some nights I can't be bothered and I feed her, but I don't tell anyone so they can't comment.

Dh did comment once in a lighthearted way, and I told him that if he fancied doing it he was welcome, but otherwise to leave it and be supportive and he has.

I have seen a couple of other mums BFing toddlers recently and couldn't help striking up conversation about how I was feeding DD2 as well, they both seemed a bit taken aback but then both said how nice it was to meet someone else who was so they didn't feel like such a freak (their words not mine)

thell Wed 17-Jun-09 22:32:40

I know how you feel!

My DH also used to make the 'bitty' joke occasionally - always joking, but I knew it was because he really was worrying about it a bit as he would also (even less occasionally) nervously ask me when it would end. I told him in no uncertain terms that although I knew he was joking, and I actually do like Little Britain, he was not to make that joke or use that word for feeding on pain of death or I would be unhappy

My opinion would be that you should tell your mum about the WHO guidelines, that you won't be feeding forever and ever, and that you value her support. All positive comments to counter the negative ones!
And possibly then mention that you don't like her making comments like that to your daughter, as it's up to you and DD to talk together and decide when bf will end, and you don't want your DD to worry that she might be doing something wrong / think of it negatively.

I hope you manage to sort this out without any conflict - it's definitely possible!

MamaMaiasaura Wed 17-Jun-09 22:42:11

fadingfast, hard to do but ignore them. I have a 18 month old who i still bfeed. There is a fab book Mothering your nursing toddler. Really really good with some good sound facts which will support you.

thell Wed 17-Jun-09 22:46:00

Ooh, yes, that book is really good -
Mothering Your Nursing Toddler

I also started going to the odd La Leche League meeting once DD was past 12 months, just to meet other mums who were doing extended feeding and to feel normal! That's where I borrowed the book too.

PrettyCandles Wed 17-Jun-09 23:04:09

My mu started making comments about me feeding dd once she was older than 12m - despite the fact that she bf all of us well into our second years. Shows the effect of popular culture on people's perceptions and attitudes!

I didn't pay too much attention. Spouted a bit of WHO guidelines and some science, and the biggest response of all: "Why should we stop?" There is no rational answer to this question. If it's about sex, or ownership of breasts, well my boobs are mine, and up to me to decide with whom I share them. Besides, of course, they're not jsut about sex. (BTW, eventually they do become more available even if youre still feeding, though perhaps not quite as erogenous IME) If it's about squeamishness, get over it - it#s normal worldwide. And she'll give up by herself at some point, or I'll wean her if I feel it appropriate. "Don't worry mum, she won't still be feeding when she starts school."

Now I'm still bfing ds2 at 2y8m. So of course once I'd passed 24m (the age at which dd self-weaned) the questions began again. This time I really didn't make any effort - I just said that if he was still feeding when he started Reception, he could have it morning and evening I didn't see that starting school should be a problem. That silenced dm PDQ! grin

And I never imagined bfing beyond 10m!

kitkatqueen Wed 17-Jun-09 23:05:14

If this were an AIBU then no you are NOT!!

Its no-ones business but your own and you are doing a good thing.

My DP Is v supportive of me feeding 18mnth old ds, he isn't so sure about me tandem feeding when the baby arrives, but thats mainly because he's worried that ds won't want to share and it will put a "wedge" between them / make him resent the new baby, I'm happy to cross that bridge when I come to it. One way or another it will work out.

My sister has told me that I am disgusting for feeding a child beyond 6 months and am harming their health hmm [angy]

Have now been pregnant, breastfeeding or both continuously since May 2003. Most of my family have realised by now that I'm going to do it my way anyhow so why waste their breath?

mawbroon Wed 17-Jun-09 23:09:09

fadingfast, it's pish isn't it when they start all that crap.

I agree with whomovedmychocolate that it really is something that you have to have done to truly understand the ins and outs of it.

Perhaps next time your dd is ill or teething or has a terrible night, you could remind your dh about how much worse it could be if you weren't still able to calm her by feeding, and ask how would he have liked to have dealt with it?

I would have a word with your mum though, it is out of order saying stuff like that to your DD. The last thing you want is for her to feel that she is doing something wrong. sad

Is there a LLL group near you? Our has a specific meeting for toddlers and older babies and it is great to be surrounded by like minded mums, although my ds is getting to be the veteran of the group now! smile

DitaVonCheese Wed 17-Jun-09 23:12:04

YAsoooNBU!

DD is nearly 9 mos and I'm suddenly starting to get these - from my mum, who thinks it's easier to stop sooner rather than later (though she bf three babies herself), and from some friends we saw at the weekend (and only see every few months), who asked when I was going to stop and told me that they don't need it once they're on solids, it's weird when they can ask for it etc. Fucked me right off angry Neither of them have children.

Incidentally, we then had a brief discussion of "that documentary" and it transpired that my friend's DP had somehow got that and Little Britain confused in his head and was convinced that the docu showed people still being bfed in their 20s and 30s. He does drink a hell of a lot but still <mind boggling smiley> hmm

Theimperialcharliecat Wed 17-Jun-09 23:20:06

YANBU at all! I bf my dd for a year and only stopped because I had to have a back operation that would mean taking heavy painkillers etc. I would still be bfing now if that hadn't happened.
I got so much negative feedback after 6 months of bf, along the lines of aren't you going to stop now/ she is using you as a pacifier etc etc that I started to feel that I had to excuse myself for doing it.

However dd is thriving and has had hardly any colds or viruses and I would do the same again (probably for longer) if I am lucky enough to have another dc.

LongtimeinBrussels Wed 17-Jun-09 23:24:33

I bfed my dd until she was 3½, just at night for the last year or so. Most people didn't know in the end because I used to just take her up to bed and do it there. Like you, I got some negative comments but didn't care really. Please don't let them put you off! I knew she was going to be my last child so was quite happy to carry on until she wasn't interested anymore or I wanted to stop, whichever came first (it was the latter in the end!).

KirstyJC Wed 17-Jun-09 23:35:26

Well done on still feeding for so long!!

Your mum shouldn't be saying things to your DD - I agree with the others who have said show her the WHO guidelines, and ask her for her support in continuing, and not to question your/your DD's choices.

I only BF for 11 months with DS1 as he gave it up - I tried for weeks to keep going but he eventually gave me a serious look, then bit VERY hard and let go, and refused to have anything to do with them afterwards...sad.

Now with DS2 we are up to 7 months and still going strong, and I'm quite happy to continue as long as he wants to. We are doing BLW so he will be the one to drop feeds, rather than me, and so far he hasn't dropped any. I haven't got any funny looks or comments, other than people asking if I'm still feeding, although I think out of genuine curiosity rather than any desire to tell me off!

The only downside I found with still feeding when they get older is that he has now figured out how to grab my boob with both hands and bite it hard to get latched on, which he does if I'm too slow to get 'em out...!grin

Oh and don't forget, breastfeeding uses up to 500 extra calories per day...that works out to just over 4 kitkats!!!gringrin

weasle Thu 18-Jun-09 01:10:00

fadingfast - well done for feeding so long. I have no family support for feeding my 18mo either. It is very hard to develop a thick skin! this is good advice for dealing with criticism.

KirstyJC - Kitkat! They are made by nestle! shock wink

MrsMotMot Thu 18-Jun-09 08:52:21

Agree with the poster who said it's family's opinions and daft comments that hurt the most- random strangers or less close friends etc are easier to tell to piss off shrug off.

My family are agog that I plan to feed DS til he's 12m (actually I hope to feed for much longer but think they might suffer heart attacks if I tell them this) and one of them is a doctor. But I'm sort of viewing it as a way of introducing them to the idea of bf being normal generally. It's pretty invisible usually.

zeke Thu 18-Jun-09 11:21:44

My MIL was a little like this. I used to put up leaflets and articles on the fridge that recommended weaning (to solids) at or after six months, breastfeeding to 2+ etc. Well before he hit these ages!

I think sometimes it boils down to the fact that you are doing something different to what they did and that they feel sensitive about the choices they made.

Personally, I would tell it to her straight -it is RECOMMENDED that children continue to breasfeed until they are two+ and you fully intend to do that.

Actually, my step-mum was worse! But she is like this with everything so I didn't take so much offence. She made a comment when he was 5mths old that I was starving him (he was a very healthy weight) as I was 'only' giving him breastmilk and that was just a 'fad'. I just told her staight that she was being ridiculous. Outrageous giving human babies human milk! Afterall, it's just not natural - no other animals do it. Totally normal to give Tiger milk to puppies, and dog milk to tiger cubs. She got the idea grin

kitkatqueen Thu 18-Jun-09 13:17:06

Good on you zeke, A friend of mine is a wildlife vet. He currently works in the uk with british wildlife, but used to work on the wildlife on one program with all sorts of animals - one day I asked him at what stage Chimpanzees and Gorillas stop feeding their babies and he said that in the wild breastfeeding continues for about 2 years for both species. grin

That is what I have told my mum, she takes the nature bit quite seriously so it ended any discussion from her point of view

fadingfast Thu 18-Jun-09 20:12:07

Thank you for all your messages of support. It IS the fact it is family who are making the comments that has started to get me down, and I think if any more is said I will be more prepared to respond in a measured way.

It did occur to me to try and get along to the local bfeeding group, but it is always full of new mums and I think I would feel a bit strange taking up space, as if I needed congratulating on carrying on for so long or something. I'm not sure if we have a LLL group in our area but will check.

Now DD is at nursery she is picking up all sorts of bugs and I am still really worried about the whole pig flu thing. I think DH thought I was mad for thinking bfeeding would do any good if she gets pig flu!

Sadly I no longer think I am using up 500 cals with only two feeds a day - I don't seem to have lost any weight for ages now.

thell Thu 18-Jun-09 21:28:22

I was surprised to find that most of the mums at my LLL had toddlers (12-24 months) rather than teeny babies, although there was one or two of those aswell. You'd definitely not be 'taking up space' at a group like that - especially as the more experienced bf-ers get to offer support to the newbies aswell as receiving solidarity etc from the other extended bf-ers.

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