Getting pressure to stop breastfeeding

JoLee - posted on 11/03/2010 ( 125 moms have responded )

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I keep getting pressure to stop breastfeeding my 15 month old by my husband and mother. I am wondering if any of you are getting similar pressure and how you handle it.

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Karen - posted on 11/10/2010

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My son was 28 weeks old when he was weaned. I got a lot of grief from family and friends during those last 8 months. Mainly because my son was already half my size. Lol I would have probably still have been breastfeeding him if my milk supply hadn't stopped. This choice is really all up to you and your child . He will tell you when he's done and as long as you arts perfectly happy with that then hold your head up high.

Antoinette - posted on 11/10/2010

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Don't let them get to you! Its your choice as a mother and its requimended to breastfeed till your baby turns 2. And there will always be people that think that breastfeeding interveres. They are just wrong and jelous of your bonding time with your baby. YOU MUST DECIDE WHEN TO STOP NOT THEM!

Autumn - posted on 11/10/2010

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Hi there ,Im sorry to hear you are being preasured for stopping bnursing but I think you should know when your done and especially yout toddler because there is no set time on when to ween . I am still nursing and my son is 20 mo...I feel preasured sometimes by society thinking he's too old for it but when their ready theiy'll let you know ..Im thinking night feedings then he'll stop,all the best :-)

Jessa - posted on 11/10/2010

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You could always tell him that if he wants a choice in how long the child is breastfed he could try giving birth next time :) but that wouldn't be so great for the marital relationship. I really hope you are able to get him to see how wrong he is being and that he will be more supportive.

Heidi - posted on 11/10/2010

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Totally disagree, but if it means keeping the peace I guess so. Though I strongly feel that the husband should support the mother’s decision when it comes to nursing or not nursing her own child. If you are wanting to continue to nurse, the husband, and the mother of the mom should be more then supportive. To compromise on only nursing at home, in some cases yeah ok, but really I would tell him to grow up and to stop being so male chauvinist.

Amy - posted on 11/10/2010

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I was pressued not by family but by others around me to stop before my daughter was one and I found out I was expecting again. I stoped not long after she was one because she was rubbing her teeth on me and cassing sorness and also I was so sick with morning sickness that I felt that I was lossing too much nutrents doing both. If it was just your mother that I would have ingnorred but you do need to talk it over with your husband more and decide together on this. I don't know I would keep doing somthing that my husband did not fully understand or excepted. I would talk to him about it. We would then make a decision together. Even if its just cuting feeding down to only at home ectra....

Danielle - posted on 11/10/2010

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You are giving your baby the best possible start in life, Its better for them, so ignore them and hold your head up high.

Jennifer - posted on 11/10/2010

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We've all heard the snickers and the comments and had to deal with the judgements of "ignorant" people. Everyone has to deal with it in their own way. My mother never bf any of us so when I chose to bf my boys she would go around actually mooing at me joking that I was a cow because I made my child's milk. Even my husband when my boys reached about a year would start making comments trying to get me to wean them. I simply told everyone that they were my children and that I understand their points of view but I would decide when it was time to wean my children not anyone else.

Heidi - posted on 11/10/2010

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Yes, my mom and husband feel the need to pressure me to stop nursing my 14 month old son. I feel the pressure especially from my mom. I’m not about to start my baby on formula now. And he still needs the nutrients I can supply for him. So It make no sense to me why I would stop now.

I did my research. Here in North America and some parts of Europe are we the only 2 cultures that seem to put this pressure on moms to stop breastfeeding their babies. As soon as 3 months in to it even. This seems to be the age where we, the mothers are asked when we’re planning to start weaning. Like we should be already thinking about it or that the decision is only ours. As though our child doesn’t have a say in it.

First off the public doesn’t feel comfortable with breastfeeding. It is a mother giving their baby what they want and suppling them with the best thing you can possibly give them. Besides all the other benefits to nursing.

Secondly, your mom and husband only pressuring you because they think it’s “time” for you to stop nursing, that your child is old enough. This is because of what are society is accustom to. They also probably care/fear what others will think.

Nursing your 15 month old is perfectly healthy and if are culture wasn’t raised the way it is or brought up to believe these negative views on the subject, then we wouldn’t be even having this issue. We would be getting an applause and a big congratulations!

To our society it’s a “hush, hush" thing that should only be done behind close doors. Treated as though it’s wrong and rude to do in public. The more people that speak and act against this theory the better for are culture and the better mothers of this society will feel. If not then there is the fear that one day all babies of North America will be formula feed babies. Breast feeding will be thought of as something that only "third world” countries do and is not proper. Such as allowing your curious baby/toddler play in the dirt.

The way I deal with my mother and my husband is by ignoring their comments and continuing to do what I believe to be right and what my 14 month old wants. Especially when I can. He’s my child, I’m his mother. I was made for this. I would give him the moon if he wanted it. So long as it wasn’t going to hurt him or anyone else. If all our babies want is some of our milk, that we so happen to be supplying for them, then we should be more then happy to do so. Anyone that doesn’t support me in this should just keep their mouth shut. It is not harming them in any way.

When it comes to people’s negative out put on the subject of nursing mothers and they frown upon us. Then it is us mothers and our children that our the ones being harmed.

Kelly - posted on 11/10/2010

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I feel that it is up to each mother and her child. I personally was not comfortable breastfeeding past 12 months, but that doesn't mean every other mom shouldn't continue to breastfeed. I support every mom and her decision! I am sad for you that your family is not supportive. I would just explain to them that it bothers you and that it is up to you and your child when you want to stop breastfeeding. Good luck to you!

Brooke - posted on 11/10/2010

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Tell them that the World Health Organization average recommended weaning age is 3 to 7 YEARS not months, and that obviously they are not properly informed. Your husband of all people should want the best for your child. America is the odd ball in the world... Not the norm.

Brittney - posted on 11/10/2010

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this happened to me with my first child, and with my second. with my first, i stopped breastfeeding and since i wasnt ready and neither was my daughter, i felt horrible and wished i had breastfed longer. tell them that you will stop when you are ready and when you feel that your baby is ready. its not their decision. its about what you feel is best for your baby. :)

Ashley - posted on 11/10/2010

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I was never pressured but was asked how long I was planning to breastfeed. I practice child led weaning, so it wasn't up to me! My son self-weaned at 25 months old, I was 5 months pregnant at the time and had zero supply left... I am now 8 months in with my daughter.
I would just tell them they your child will wean when they are ready, and it is none of their business.

Adrienne - posted on 11/10/2010

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Your the mommy, and all the advice in the world doesn't even compare to what you think is right for you and your child. = ) tell them their advice will solicited when its needed. If you wanna stop breastfeeding then ask them to support you in the difficult transition for both your child and you. If your not ready or you don't think your child is then ask them to support you in that decision too. I breastfed my 4 y/o for 2 years when he was ready we stopped and my 22 month old just recently was weened. Go with your instincts let them lead you. They are usually right. = ) I hope this helps.

[deleted account]

I didn't get pressured to stop with either of mine. I also went with child directed weaning with both of my kids. My daughter was ready to wean at 13 months, but my son nursed until 18 months. The both let me know when it was time. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends two years, so as far as what others think I would just say do what you feel is right and don't be influenced by others opinions on the matter especially if they have no experience in the matter.

Ilaria - posted on 11/10/2010

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go with your own insticts dont let your decision to stop be influenced by others...My daughter is now 3 1/2 yrs old now and she still asks for booby when she needs to be comforted. Do what you feel is right. My decision to stop bf was mine and no one elses. I hope this helps.

[deleted account]

You will know what's best for you and baby, no matter what anyone else tells you. It's different for everyone. So, just keep doing what works best for your family and kindly tell everyone that you don't need anymore pressure. Being a mommy is enough pressure in many different ways! :) You're doing great!

Xiomara - posted on 11/09/2010

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Sadly I stopped primarily breastfeeding at only 2 weeks because of pressure from my family to formula feed. My mom and others kept telling me I wasn't making enough milk and that my baby was not getting enough nutrition. It was the worst decision I ever made. I still regret it to this day. Had I continued with it, I would certainly be making more milk to satisfy his needs and wouldn't be spending so much money on formula. I applaud you for breastfeeding for over a year. That requires great courage and resolve. Be proud of yourself and don't listen to anyone no matter how bad they try to make you feel about breastfeeding. You'll feel worse if you quit when you and your child don't even feel ready to.

Louisa - posted on 11/09/2010

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No, and I dont pay attention of anybody my son is 22 months old he still wants his booby before night time.

Momof1 - posted on 11/09/2010

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My son is turning 1 year in a week. I'm not really getting pressure, but I know my husband thinks it is weird that I still want to breastfeed. His family thinks it is weird that I have breastfed for this long. I don't really care, I just wish my husband would understand.

Johanna - posted on 11/09/2010

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Flavia Orlandi, that tshirt is so cool. All you moms I have to say hang in there, and I am greatful for my mom and family. my daughter is 18 months and nurses about 3 times per day. it is wonderful, she runs all day except when nursing and i love it, she snuggles into me, she some times wiggles her feet and toes she is so happy, and sometimes she sings while nursing. if I had stopped after a few weeks or even months I would never have seen these outward expressions of her happiness and contentment. I focas on those things when some one is questioning me on this. Then I preach to them for at least ten minutes on all the benifits of this for my baby and me, I do not have many people give me even questioning looks even twice.

Lisa - posted on 11/09/2010

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I am no longer breastfeeding any children, but did breastfeed FIVE of mine and they were all so different. My first nursed til TWO, that was just about my limit also even though I know others that did it longer. my second weened herself at one, the third at nine months (boo hoo) my fourth child I went through a very horrible time in my life and had to quit cold turkey at eight months...it was easier on her than me...and my last i wanted to nurse forever...but he chose to ween himself at nine months. It is REALLY between you and baby, and NO ONE else!!! keep on loving your child, through the closeness you share in nursing! Good job Mom !!!

Cat - posted on 11/09/2010

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I've not received much pressure, to be honest. I've made it pretty clear that on that count, I call the shots. We're breastfeeding until Kiddo decides she's done or my supply kicks it. At 18 months (15 months adjusted for prematurity) it doesn't look like either will be happening soon ;-)
However, if you are getting pressured, sending things like the WHO recommendation to breastfeed a minimum of 2 years and links to resources discussing the benefits of breastfeeding beyond a year may prove helpful for you. You may also want to just ask "Why is this an issue for you if I'm happy and the baby is happy?"

Jessa - posted on 11/09/2010

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I have been blessed to have never had any issues from my husband, but from his family, whoa boy have I heard it all! They didn't feel I should bf past 6 months on any of my kids, shoot my sister in law thinks bfing is gross and nobody should do it and insists formula fed babies are much healthier. It is partially for these reasons I am very grateful that my husband's job moved us 14 hours from his family!

When they visit I still have to listen to it all the time and it does get old. I have learned to just tell them that is their opinion and they are entitled to it, but their opinion isn't right for my baby and I. Then I quote all the health benefits a bf baby gets and how those extend the longer you nurse.

As for the issues with your husband the best I could recommend would be to find every link and resource you can to show why it's so important to bf longer and sit down to talk with him about it. Maybe if you can really make your case and show him how much better it is for your baby then he will stop listening to and siding with his family and start to stick up for you.

This is a tough situation, but stick to your guns it really is better for your baby. We will keep you in our prayers and hopefully your husband will come around.

Cinda - posted on 11/09/2010

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My son will be 23 months tomorrow & we still breast feed as often as he wants. After he turned 12 months, I DID get comments from some people asking when I planned to stop. I would just tell them when my son is ready to stop & that I had no plans of forcing him to wean before he's ready. If they persisted, I firmly stood my ground about WHY I was still breastfeeding & WHY it is important to me. We each have our own reasons. If this is something that is important to you, I would HIGHLY recommend sticking to your guns & being firm with your loved ones that this is what you are choosing for yourself & your baby & that you would appreciate it if they would stop making comments to pressure you into stopping.

If you allow youself to be pressured by others to stop BFing before YOU are ready, you're likely to regret it down the road. Your son is 15 months. He's only a BABY once. When you stop BFing, there's no going back (usually). I mean, how long could he REALLY nurse anyway? Until 2 years? 2 1/2 years? 3 years? In the grand scheme of things, it's not REALLY that long. You will stop when you & your baby are ready to stop & no one should be allowed or able to pressure you into stopping before that. Ask them to be patient with you & to respect your choice in this matter.

Jennie - posted on 11/09/2010

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Your 15 month is still a baby-and like other 15 month olds-still needs his mamas closeness. If he is not ready to stop nursing & you feel ok nursing then its your choice! Its not like he is nursing like a newborn. The benefits of nursing a toddler are unreal-just look it up...and kuddos for you mom! You're giving your son something he will soon not want....and giving it to him willingly.....the benefits are endless and know that he will tell you when he is ready. BUT its a partnership-if you are ready (not your hubby w/ all due respect)-then time will tell. Congrats again ona healthy nursling!

Jayde - posted on 11/08/2010

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Helen you hit the nail on the head. I agree with you it varies depending where you are. I am in perth and it is the same here. My daughter is 10 mo and she has her 3 meals a day and breastmlk4 times sometimes 3 so I hear where your coming from. Nice to know there is someone that is the same as me :)

Tiffany - posted on 11/08/2010

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I think if you're comfortable breastfeeding, then keep doing it. I would just tell your Mom and husband their comments are unwelcome and if they love you, they will support you. I don't personally agree with BFing past 2, but that is just me. If YOU are okay with it and your son is okay with it, don't even worry what anyone else has to say! Good Luck! =)

Ericka - posted on 11/08/2010

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i just remained calm and confident.
"ill consider that"
"she wont be breastfeeding when she goes to college"
"my doctor and i have talked and this is the healthiest thing i can do for her"

i dont know what would work with your husband, but just make sure that you arent neglecting his needs. sex is a need for a man (and im not being anti-woman, he bonds to you by making love just like you feel bonded to him by the romance and stuff...). if you have hangups about breastmilk, let go of that, my husband loved it :P LOL!

Coco - posted on 11/08/2010

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I wasn't pressured to stop - but have had little comments from family; how long are you going to do that? (disapproving look). I plan to nurse my son til he's three. I believe it's best for him. Do what's best for you and your baby. You will know when you both are ready. Love to you both!

Angela - posted on 11/08/2010

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My daughter is 27 months old and still breastfeeds at least several times a week. My milk is starting to wane, but as long as she requests it and enjoys the closeness, we will continue regardless of what anyone says. The best advice I have seen here is to ignore the naysayers. It is the only thing that has worked for me. I have been confident in my decision with her from day one and have not wavered in that. Finally now most of those who disagree with me have just realized they're not getting anywhere and have given up saying anything. Enjoy this time and love your child in every way you can ... breastfeeding included.

Morgan - posted on 11/08/2010

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WHO Recommends until at "least 2 years of age and then as long as mother and child find it mutually desirable" Baby's ween when they are ready. Do not let anyone guilt you into stopping. My husband got a bit pushy about it for a while but when I expressed why it was important for me to continue he stooped. My oldest weened at 2 1/2, my middle child right before her 2nd birthday, and my youngest is still going at almost 2 1/2. All kids are different and your little one will ween when he/she is ready. To force the issue before they are ready will do more damage than continuing to nurse" too long"

Amanda - posted on 11/08/2010

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I breastfeed my son till 13 months. Reasons for stopping were maybe a little bit selfish as I found out I was pregnant & wanted to claim back my boobs for a little while before the next one came along.. I sort of wished that I had continued for a little bit longer because as soon as I stopped he got sick with his first cold & had another one within a month of his first one.

Kristin - posted on 11/07/2010

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I kind of did with our first, but I just said that it would stop when he or we both wanted to stop. I would continue for him, even if I was ready, for as long as he wanted. He started waffling at about 14 months so I just made the decision. I did that again with our second at 18 months. A two minute nurse, where I have to costantly get his attention back, constitutes waffling for me and it just gets kind of painful. They wanted to be doing something else and were happy eating regular food and getting pumped/stored milk in a cup.

Anyway, I said we would be done when WE were ready and not before. Good luck.

Jennifer - posted on 11/07/2010

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You go girl - I intend to do it as long as possible and can only hope I get half as far as you have. It's the absolute best for your baby and for you and that is all that matters.

Cheryce - posted on 11/07/2010

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I breastfeed my daugter till she was 12 1/2 mths then she weaned herself off. I cant really give really any advice cause well my daughter weaned herself off early and both my familly and friends and my fiance's family and friendswere very supportive

Sally - posted on 11/07/2010

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I'm lucky that my mom breastfed; my mother in law had been abused out of questioning anyone else's parenting by her daughter and other daughter in law long before I had kids; and my husband knows that I have more time and incentive to research what's best for our kids than he does so he trusts pretty much whatever I do with them.
Make sure they have the info on all the ways that EBF is very healthy for the baby and for you. If that doesn't help, ask them why they love you and your child so little to want you to lose those health benefits. If that doesn't help, remind them your breasts are part of your body and YOU are the only person to decide who uses them and why.

Jennifer - posted on 11/07/2010

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I felt pressure when my son was close to a year old due to extended family nursing until after 3 yo. I stopped when he was 13 mo...now 29 mo and with Early Intervention for many issues I realize that was a huge mistake. I intend to continue nursing my daughter until over 18 months or more. This time I will tell my family not to worry I won't nurse forever but until the right time. That I am doing what is best for us. My husband also was jealous for not being able to feed him so I let him supplement with formula occasionally and also asked that he do most of the food feedings. Give your hubby all the articles on the fomula recalls and also the benefits of breastfeeding...smarter and healthier kids! Or just ignore them. You know best!

Becky - posted on 11/07/2010

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My son is 25 months old and still nurses and I plan on letting him do it as long as he wants to. My husband has always been supportive with the exception of one brief period of time when he felt resentful that I can calm my son with nursing and he doesn't have that tool to use when he's alone with him. There was a 6 month period of time where he would tell me the negative things that my father--in-law would say about the fact that I was still nursing and my son was over a year old. My F-I-L would claim I was going to turn my son into a "titty-baby" or he would talk about how no one he knows nursed over a year (he lives in the sticks). First I told my husband not to tell me about it because it frustrated me to hear it without being able to respond. Then I printed out a bunch of pediatrician and World Health Organization studies about the benefits of extended nursing and the fact that in non-industrial countries they nurse up to 7 years old but that 4 years was the average outside the U.S. I used a highlighter to mark all of the important facts I wanted to get across and told my husband to give my FIL another copy of the same research every time he opened his mouth about my breastfeeding. Then he'd learn to just keep his mouth shut whether he agreed or not. It took one time and he's kept his yap shut ever since.

Cheryl - posted on 11/07/2010

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It is sooooo frustrating to hear people pressuring mothers to stop breastfeeding. My sister didn't stop breastfeeding her son until he was a little over 3 1/2. People (including myself) always used to think it was so weird. Now that I have a son (who just turned a year), I completely understand why she nursed so long. Not only does it provide your child great nutrition, it makes the bond between mom & baby so much greater. AND IT"S FREEEEEE!!!! What could be better! I feel the older my son gets, the stronger our bond gets while he nurses. He is not ready to stop nursing & I am not ready to stop breastfeeding, so who cares what anyone else says or thinks.

Monica - posted on 11/07/2010

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I also get it from my entire family I don't really care what they say. My son is 11 months, he will be turning 1 years old in Dec. 1 I will continue breastfeeding as long as I can! Don;t let anyone stop you from being a good mother!!!

Merry - posted on 11/07/2010

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First off my husband is amazing, he wants Eric to breastfeed till he 6 like gengis khan did!
Now, he didn't come to me like that! :) around 11 months he made one comment how Eric was getting big to nurse, so I started telling him all the COOL things I learned about the benefits of full term bf and risks of early weaning, and the other countries normal ages and the recommendations.
Now he goes in his job and teaches everyone about breastfeeding and he knows so much facts he never gets stumped either! They all hated him at first for proving they were wrong but now they see the truth and want to improve!
So that's my husband. My mil and fil have been wonderfully supportive, my fil only said once that I shouldn't bf at the dinner table with his mom there because he wants to help her like me, and it's not easy! But around a year they started hinting about weaning and asked me outright once and I just said that the who says two years minimum and he's not ready yet. Then I got pregnant and my mil worried that she was told you can't bf while pregnant, I already knew it was ok but I humored her and Sid I'd ask my dr what is ok or not. Next time I saw her she asked me again and I said the new research says it's perfectly fine as long as I am healthy and eat well. She said it's weird how much changes but she said it was nice I didn't have to wean him when he still needs it so much!
No mention since!
And for my sister, she thought it was weird etc as she is VERY conservative and pretty much uncomfortAble in her own skin. But I just told her the health stuff and the emotional stuff and the world average etc and now she is supportive, still weirded out but she knows she has to get over it. I even told her when she has kids she isn't allowed to wean before two years and she said ok, I know!
So my main facts I say are the aafp saying that a child is at increased risk of illness if weaned before two years, and then beyond that I say world average weaning age is 4 so I don't want him to be too much below average right?
But with the holidays coming up I will most likely get much more comments as my brother in law and his wife are not ok with bf past like a month or so! And my aunt and uncle idk if they bf their kids or not and I assume they have no clue about full term bf, and the before mentioned mother of my fil was a "good mom" in the 50s and weaned to a bottle by 2 months and cereal around the same time, so she is old and set in her ways. I just hope she keeps her mouth shut cuz my husband will have a go at her!

Number one priority for anyone is getting husband on the right track about full term bf and from there it all is easier and he can fight the battles for you :)

Allison - posted on 11/06/2010

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My Mother and afew others also tell me that my 15 month old daughter is too old now to be breastfeed. I simply say "we'll stop when we are ready".. if they keep talking about it I casually laugh and say "dont waste your breath" :) I have started to wean, she mostly only nurses before nap and bed time and has bottles during the day. Dont let ANYONE make you feel like you need to stop until you and your child are both ready! :)

Bernadette - posted on 11/06/2010

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my little girl decided to stop on her own at 17 months, and I think that's probably because I'm pregnant again and the milk changed. I had support from my husband and parents though, although a few other people seemed surprised if I told them she was still feeding. Not many people outside of family actually knew though, as she was only feeding at night by then. Feed for as long as you feel comfortable (I have to admit, I was over it by the end but still had a cry about it when she stopped as it really hit home that she is no longer a baby and doesn't need me exclusively anymore) or if you're happy to keep going, stop when your little one decides it's time.

Noreen - posted on 11/06/2010

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My husband is SUPER supportive (Thank the Lord!) But I do have some family members who are not so supportive. My grandmother tells me every chance she gets that I should switch my daughter to soy milk (she is severely allergic to milk) or ask me all the time when I plan on weaning her. UGH! And I continue to tell her that I don't ever plan on weaning her and that I might have to go to college with her so I can nurse her in between classes. LOL

Gabriela - posted on 11/06/2010

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By now you have all the facts and know very well what's best for your baby, and have probably told those pressuring you all the facts. But this point is the most practical: why buy an imitation of something you produce for free? That is why buy formula when you make a much better milk? And why deal with bottles, boiling water, and running to the shop if you run out of formula if you don't have to?

Ruth - posted on 11/06/2010

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I have had similar pressure but I started getting it when my child was just 6 months old its your choice and im not sure where your from but in Australia the recomended age to start weening is 2 years but my health nurse told me my little girl will decide when she is ready and will ween herself.

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