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Expressing for an older child - why?!

(40 Posts)
hunkermunker Sun 24-Jul-05 21:34:33

So many times I have heard people say that once a child reaches some arbitrary age (for some it's six months, for some a year, for some 18 months), if the mother still wants to breastfeed, she should express and give the milk from a cup.

I thought I would explain the reasons why this is impractical and nigh on impossible, for me at least, and see if others who feed toddlers have had the same experience.

I expressed when I went back to work and initially could produce enough to leave 20oz a day, plus feed DS morning and night. I only worked one day and one afternoon/evening a week, so I breastfed him the rest of the time and my supply wasn't affected.

However, as time went on, I was able to express less and less milk. DS was eating more, which I think had some effect, but he didn't eat much until he was closer to a year and he still breastfed on demand.

Now he is 15mo, I have no desire to get the breastpump out again (and all the faffing about washing it and assembling it) and sit trying to express for the one or two feeds DS has a day. It would take a long time and why should I? Because society feels weird that I feed an older baby? It is much easier to give him a discreet feed when he needs it - he rarely asks when we're out any more, but does occasionally, so I just do it. He feeds quickly, then he's off to play again - no worries!

Caligula Sun 24-Jul-05 21:38:47

hm but you should always do what other people think you should, not what you feel happy or comfortable with. And as for trying to cut down your workload...well...what kind of mother are you?

Magscat Sun 24-Jul-05 21:39:48

Blimey - expressing 20oz a day - good on you.
I'm getting about 12oz a day which is enough for the 2 feeds dd has when I'm not there in the day.

I agree with you. DD is nearly 7 months now & I'll feed her as long as she wants but when she gets to not needing feeds when I'm not there then I'm definately giving up the expressing & she can feed direct from me when she wants.

hunkermunker Sun 24-Jul-05 21:40:17

Sprung - am a slacker!

Had steered clear of the breastfeeders are slovenly slatterns thread so well too

hunkermunker Sun 24-Jul-05 21:40:55

Just call me Daisy, Magscat Mooooo!

fastasleep Sun 24-Jul-05 21:41:15

My god don't ever express when you can breastfeed instead (obviously if you're working that counts as having to express)...


Take it from one who expressed the whole time - don't go there if you don't have to!

Caligula Sun 24-Jul-05 21:42:14

Was just about to start a thread called "Mothers who bf past the age of 6 months only do it because they're too lazy to wean and clean bottles and cups - discuss" but then I realised some people might take me seriously and agree with me!

hunkermunker Sun 24-Jul-05 21:42:51

LOL! I'd agree with you Caligula

Magscat Sun 24-Jul-05 21:44:30

I saw the other thread & backed out of getting into that debate.
Truth is I am too lazy to be arsed steriling & pumping any long than I have to but also I'm really not that bothered what any one else thinks if I b/f in public

spidermama Sun 24-Jul-05 21:48:02

Can I copy the bit I wrote on the other thread because it took a while type with baby feeding on me and I think it's relevant to this thread. Also looks like the other thread might finally be dying?

Sorry if you've already read it ...

I remember my goregous 3 year old ds2 feeding on one side, wiping his mouth with his sleeve, looking up at me in almost drunken bliss and saying 'Ugga Shide'. (Other side). It made me laugh.

I also remember a time when dd1 was four, she fell really badly in the swing park and screamed and screamed. It was a nasty bruise.
I cuddled her ... she just arched her back and screamed, I tried to calm her with words .... no luck. Eventually I offered her the breast (she hadn't had any for a few months but I was still feeding her brother) and she had a lovely long suck and was soothed and calm in no time.

I remember sitting on the bench with her, relieved and deeply contented, feeling so grateful to breastmilk and in awe of its power. I also felt very proud of myself to be able to sooth my daughter this way.

Breast milk is such incredible stuff. I wouldn't pretend to understand it but I could never feel squeamish about such a beautiful thing.

Funnily enough though, I DO feel icky about cow milk.

hunkermunker Sun 24-Jul-05 21:52:58

SM, you should've got your breast pump out and expressed so you could comfort your daughter...according to some! Mental isn't it?!

LOVE ugga shide though - how cute!

fqueenzebra Sun 24-Jul-05 21:59:02

i feel icky about cow's milk, too, spidermama. I still have some (in tea), or as other things (thick yogurt on curry, cheese on various things), but don't like it if I think about what it is.... I can still eat meat quite comfortably, but cow's milk really bothers me if I think about it too much.

nooka Sun 24-Jul-05 22:39:44

When my dd gets herself into a paddy, the last thing I can imagine doing is giving her my breast to suck on. It would feel an incredibly odd thing to do (especially after a 3 1/2 year gap). I would give her a cuddle, try distraction or bribery, and give her time to calm herself down. Now, OK, my dd is almost five and will be going to school in September, and your dd may be much younger, but I think that at the age of four she (and this is my dd I'm talking about, not I hasten to say yours, and the circumstances may be very different) should really be able to calm herself down. What would her teachers do, or for that matter her dad? Surely a breast is not the best comforter at the age of four?

nooka Sun 24-Jul-05 22:40:36

Of course this should have really gone on the other thread, but as I'm only a late night poster I missed the opportunity.

spidermama Sun 24-Jul-05 23:01:54

Nooka you would surely cuddle your daughter and not leave her to calm herself down. Normally at four this would be all my daughter needed (a cuddle) but in this case I was so pleased to have another tool in my mothering I could use. She had stopped bfing a few months before, can't remember exactly how long.

By the way she's now seven and extremely bright and independent. There's no hint of clingy-ness or over reliance on me. On the contrary.

bobbybob Mon 25-Jul-05 02:06:32

I expressed last week so that I could blast ds's conjunctivitis in one hit. I don't have the pressure to do the old squirt in the eye technique now he's a wriggly 2 year old.

He looked at me and said "what are you doing mummy?" - see he has no idea what 'breasts are for' as our favourite maternity nurse would say.

nooka Mon 25-Jul-05 20:47:34

As I said spidermama, I would cuddle my dd, and try a few other tricks, but sometimes she gets a bit carried away with being upset, and yes in those circumstances I would give her some space and expect her to be able to calm herself down. She goes to nursery and will soon go to school, and she needs to be able to cope with her emotions. Sometimes the "owch" sort of crying, goes into a more tantrum/hysterics sort of crying, and I don't think I would be doing the right thing to give her lots of positive messages for that.

I'm not saying it's like that, or was like that for your dd, just saying that as a mother of another four year old girl, I can't imagine even thinking about breastfeeding in those circumstances.

TracyK Mon 25-Jul-05 20:54:43

Its amazing that they remeber how to do it! I wonder if my ds would remember if he was offered? Its been almost 6 months since he was last bf - now he just tries to poke my nipple inside out if he gets the chance to get near them!

CheekyGirl Mon 25-Jul-05 20:59:40

Depends how old an 'older child' is...
My ds is 7mths and has always been a very difficult bfer. he will only feed if i rock him to sleep first. He has been like this since 3mths. I love bf and would love to go on a lot longer, but if he gives up under a year old, I would express for him and give it by beaker (he won't take a bottle). Perhaps this would be more for my benefit than his, i don't know.

Gobbledigook Mon 25-Jul-05 21:15:13

20oz?? Blimey! I could only manage about 1oz and it was bloody agony!

wordsmith Mon 25-Jul-05 21:21:50

Why on earth should you feel icky about cow's milk? Please explain.

hunkermunker Mon 25-Jul-05 21:27:01

GDG, not all at once (although in the early days, I'd fill a 9oz bottle in 10 minutes ). Usually I'd get 6 or 7oz a go. I meant to donate, but by the time I'd got my act together, DS needed every drop I could express as I didn't build up a store in the freezer before I went back to work - dur!

spidermama Tue 26-Jul-05 21:18:13

wordsmith ... because it's meant for baby cows.

Fran1 Tue 26-Jul-05 21:45:55

I breastfed my dd until she was two.

But i gave her cows milk during the day. NOt because i was worried about other people, but because i felt she was old enough to not need a breastfeed during the day. The same as i don't think children should really need bottles. I wanted her to move on to a cup.

btw i havn't read the other thread, so am only responding to this one.

blissfulmama Tue 26-Jul-05 22:08:55

hello new mum here - very interested in this topic but first could someone tell me what dd and ds stands for? and any other mumsnetisms...

I am still bfeeding my 14month old baby boy who looks like he has no intention of giving up. I am starting to worry a little about other people's reactions although I've had no thing negative but my little baby is quite huge now. I do all the 'wrong' things - baby bf to sleep, baby in bed with us, baby cuddled when crying... But he is extremely happy, healthy, strong minded, confident and very individual. He's got to a really cheeky phase where he does something and watches for my reaction. I love our nightime bfeeds, he's obviously so comforted and strengthened by them, he can catch up with himself after all the exciting things he learnt that day and recover from all the worries and bumps. And I really am too lazy to mess about with bottles and formula stuff (I don't even know how to do it!). And I definately know what you mean about cows milk - I have been having it less and less, if you think about the fact that even adult cows don't drink it and we are the only creatures not to be 'weaned' from milk - it's quite weird. If you actually see what they do to cows to get the milk such as taking away their calves from birth (and giving them formula!!!!) it's quite shocking how much we dominate nature. Other animals eat animals but I've never seen another animal suckle milk from another species. Apparantly in Victorial times they used to bring in goats to ophanges to stand over the babies for them to gfeed from them - is this really true, let me know if you find out! I think I will start a new dairy free, meat eating diet! Lots of problems in adult life traced back to dairy....

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