Comments about how long you will breast feed

[deleted account] ( 61 moms have responded )

Anyone else get pissed off with people asking "how long are you going to do THAT" as if it is something that makes them feel physically sick???

I find it funny sometimes and have made comments right back about how I'll feed till she starts primary school....

Other times i feel rather irritated and angry...especially when people make these comments in the earshot of my 11 year old that i have tried very hard to show that bf-ing is good and normal.

If i went up to a bottle feeder,stuck my nose up and asked her how long she plans on doing THAT....whilst clearly showing my disgust....she would most likely clobber me...and rightly so !!!

I've bitten my tongue on many occasions after being made to feel like some sort of dirty animal for breast feeding (and ive only ever breast fed discreetly)...I have strong feelings about bottle feeding but would NEVER voice them other than here on CoM.

So...do others have similar experiences ?

Have you ever made comments to other women about the way they feed their child?

Is it EVER ok so say how you really feel?

Since this is a debating forum,I'd like to know how you REALLY feel about breast or bottle...yeah yeah i know it's old news but I'm bored and can't find anything interesting to comment on.

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61 Comments

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Celeste - posted on 05/30/2012

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No strangers asked me about it. But my family sure did. On Mother's Day, of all days, my mom and sister asked me. Then, they decided to make fun of me, saying that my boys are going to get a boob fetish (LOL), and other stupid things. From that point on, it's something I refused to talk to them about.

I would NEVER say anything about their choices (my sister doesn't have kids, but when she does, I'll offer my support if she plans to breastfeed).

In my area, breastfeeding isn't the norm, so people probably assumed that I bottle fed my kids.

Mary - posted on 05/30/2012

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I never had anyone ask me how long I planned to nurse her, nor make anything other than positive comments about my nursing. In truth - after the first 8ish weeks, no one really said much of anything about it one way or the other. I've said in other threads, pretty much everyone I know - family, friends, co-workers - all breastfed for at least a year. It's not that it was something not talked about, but more that someone would no more notice it as any more unusual for me to nurse her than for me to change her diaper.

The only exception was a "friend" - one of those types who sort of sees herself in competition/comparison with everyone else. Molly was probably 10ish months old, I had just arrived at work, and was putting my pump in my locker. She noticed it and said, "Oh - I didn't realize you were still breastfeeding - I can't believe you're still putting yourself through that!" I'm not sure if she was referring to breastfeeding in general, or just the pumping part. Thing is, although she had absolutely no unusual issues with nursing her daughter, who was almost exactly a year older than mine, she absolutely hated it. She stuck with it for 6 months - and I think most of that was because it really is pretty unheard of - especially among the nurses we worked with - for someone not to. However, I think she felt a little guilty about stopping when she did, and did not like her feeling that she was somehow inferior to those of us who not only seemed to enjoy it, but also went to that one year mark (or beyond).

Becky - posted on 05/29/2012

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I have had people ask when I planned to wean, but I always interpreted it as curiousity, not judgement. Generally, it was my family who asked. With my second, who I did nurse until just before his second birthday, they did suggest at times that it was time to wean him. Mostly, that was after I got pregnant again, and I think it was out of concern for what effect continuing to breastfeed might have on the baby. I never took it negatively, because it was my family and I knew they supported me.

I have never asked someone how long they planned to breastfeed. I would say my opinion on breastfeeding is pretty much the same as what Dove expressed. I think it's wonderful, I think there are a lot of good reasons to at least try it, and I have a little difficulty understanding why a person would refuse to even try. But, I also think that as long as a person isn't giving their newborn cheeseburgers or sugar water, how they feed them is none of my business, so I don't judge. I do get a little bent out of shape when people say they didn't breastfeed because it is gross or sexual though, as I strongly feel it is neither. (If they were sexually abused and can't get past the association with that, that is different.)



Editted to add - Almost everyone I know with kids around here breastfed for some length of time. However, I don't know many who went much past a year, so I guess I was a bit of an anomaly going to 2 years, which is why I would get asked about it. That, and a lot of people still think it is dangerous to continue breastfeeding when you are pregnant.

Karla - posted on 05/29/2012

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I don't even know if this is all accurate, I don't know many people who have 12 week maternity leave in the US, I more than likely hear of a 6 week leave.



The Huffington Post just put this out:

******************************

Here are the maternity leave benefits for 43 developed countries in 2011, from shortest to longest periods of time. Are you surprised by the findings?



United States:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 12 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: No national program but cash benefits may be provided at the state level.



Iceland:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 3 Months

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 80



Germany:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 14 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Japan:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 14 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 67



Malta:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 14 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



New Zealand:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 14 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Switzerland:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 14 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 80



Belgium:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 15 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 82 per cent for the first 30 days and 75 per cent for the remaining period.



Finland:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 105 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 70



Slovenia:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 105 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Austria:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 16 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



France:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 16 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Latvia:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 112 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Luxembourg:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 16 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Netherlands:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 16 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Spain:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 16 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Greece:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 119 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 50



Australia:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 18 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: Each parent can take up to 12 months of leave, of which 18 weeks are paid.



Lithuania:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 126 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Belarus:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 126 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Moldova:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 126 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Ukraine:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 126 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Romania:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 126 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 85



Portugal:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 120 to 150 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: Parental benefits paid at 100 per cent for the shorter duration of leave and 80 per cent for the longer option.



Estonia:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 140 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Poland:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 20 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Russia:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 140 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Italy:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 5 Months

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 80



Bulgaria:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 135 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid:90



Hungary:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 24 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 70



Ireland:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 26 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 80



Czech Republic:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 28 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 60



Slovakia:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 28 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 55



Macedonia:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 9 Months

Percentage Of Wages Paid: Not found.



Norway:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 36 to 46 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: Parental benefits paid at 100 per cent for the shorter duration of leave and 80 per cent for the longer option.



Albania:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 365 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 80 per cent prior to birth and for 150 days after and 50 per cent for the rest of the leave period.



Bosnia And Herzegovina:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 1 Year

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 82 per cent for the first 30 days and 75 per cent for the remaining period.



Canada:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 52 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 55 per cent at 17 weeks for maternity leave, and the additional 35 weeks can be taken by either parent. Wages also depend on province.



Croatia:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 1 Year

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Denmark:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 52 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



Serbia:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 52 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 100



United Kingdom:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 52 Weeks

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 90



Sweden:

Length Of Maternity Leave: 420 Days

Percentage Of Wages Paid: 80



link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/05/22/...

Karla - posted on 05/29/2012

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But Heather, even though women have been breastfeeding through the ages, it was your first time. It is something worthy of being proud! And you are right, we do need more support, information and proper length of maternity leave.

Lady Heather - posted on 05/29/2012

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I can't say I've ever had anyone ask. People get judged on the length of bottle feeding all the time too. Go ahead and post that your two year old drinks from a bottle and see what people say! I think "extended" breastfeeding is probably more generally accepted.

I enjoy breastfeeding. Glad I conquered it. Proud of myself really, which seems silly given how long women have been feeding babies. But the fact is that some women can't breastfeed. The reasons are numerous and some are quite beyond the scope of current support systems. If we really want EVERY baby to have breast milk we have a lot of work to do, in the case of my first baby I would have needed a milk bank. There is nothing like that available here. And what about the mums who have to go back to work really soon? Saying they can pump is kind of lame. That works for some and not for others. We really need systems in place to allow mothers proper maternity leave. From what I understand the US is lagging on that front.

Even if everything were perfect some women will still choose not to breastfeed. I don't understand it but I don't judge it. Breastfeeding can be daunting, especially in the early days. If formula feeding is what makes you feel like you are being the best mum possible, then so be it. I know in my case it felt that way.

Stifler's - posted on 05/29/2012

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Nope. In real life no one cares, where I live anyway. One of my friends is still feeding her 16 month old and I don't find it weird and I don't sit there asking questions like if shes going to feed until yaer 1 or when she's going to give up. Some of my friends chose to give their kids bottle from the start and I didn't start lecturing them about breast is best either. The real issue I have is people starting solids early. it drives me up the wall.

Dove - posted on 05/29/2012

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I never had any serious negative input from anyone who's opinion I actually care about. Questions and not understanding, yes, but negative judgement TO me, no. There were a couple of random negative people, but like I said... no one who's opinion matters. ;)

It's not my place to tell others how they should or should not feed their kid unless they specifically ask for my opinion.

I'm a huge breastfeeding fan and can't understand at least not TRYING to breastfeed, but whether I understand it or not... or whether someone does try and either can't handle it or doesn't like it or whatever... it's none of my business as long as the kid IS fed and cared for. I'm not one that equates formula with poison or bad/lazy parenting or any of that other nonsense.

Karla - posted on 05/29/2012

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Well, I used to work with La Leche League and we were instructed against telling anyone what to do except in a helping way, for instance a mom calling with a breastfeeding problem. But for general parent choice we would suggest options but we wouldn't tell them what to do.



Also, I don't believe I have ever made comments to others about the way they feed their child; that's a personal decision. I might make a suggestion, for instance I if a mom were starting solids when their baby was very young I might share my experience with that, or share info I have read about that, or I might ask if their doctor has recommended solids that young - I guess some doctors do for gastro reflux.



How I really feel about breast or bottle? Truly and honestly I believe breastfeeding is beast, but I also understand that some woman cannot handle it either physically or emotionally. I absolutely refuse to judge a mom on this issue; they need to do whatever is necessary for them to parent in a positive way.

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