Thursday, August 4, 2011

Breastfeeding in the face of Opposition

With my first, I was a teenager and decided quietly on my own that I would breastfeed. I didn't announce it to my parents until I was being admitted into the hospital. They asked me as my step-mom came into the room.

Once I brought my baby home, I caught a bit of flack for nursing in front of everyone in the living room. I started taking her up to my room to nurse. Then my father explained that I just needed to cover myself. I started using receiving blankets to cover when I nursed.

Several years later I had Tyler. Her father was supportive of breastfeeding. He was not, however, comfortable with my nursing her as long as I did. I don't recall when the pressure started, but he tried to convince me to stop. She nursed until she was 3½ and weaned on her own. I'm quite proud of making it to that point. I recently found out that he told her she nursed until she was 5! I guess he had a different perception of it.

No one can really force you to stop nursing. He suggested it to me several times, but without taking our daughter and leaving for a while, there was just no way to do it.

My current husband has been supportive of my nursing relationship with Sasha. He said early on that he didn't think kids should nurse "forever," but he didn't really specify an age limit. He knows that Tyler nursed to 3½.

My current high risk OB doctor recently suggested I stop nursing because I'm pregnant. I was so worried what Elmo would say, but he just said that he knew there was no way Sasha would go for it! She is nearing 2 years old and still nurses all the time.

As opposed as Elmo thought he was to nursing older children, I don't doubt that he will support my nursing relationship with our children until they are ready to slowly end it on their own terms. He has seen the comfort it brings to Sasha.

My point though, really, is that you have to do what feels right for you and your child. Be strong! Get support when you need it. If that means finding people outside of your family or circle of friends, then so be it!

Have you faced opposition to your nursing relationships or to nursing in front of others? How did you deal with it?



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  1. A handful of people have given me trouble for nursing Kieran - all of them family members. It's always so sad when the people who you most count on for support, don't. :(
    I'm proud of you for keeping going - both in the face of opposition and at such a young age!!

  2. My mobile home park gave me crap for nursing. At one point I was banned "indefinitely" from the pool... then I was allowed back in but if there were complaints made I would be in trouble and I was "required to be decent" about nursing.... now they have changed it to no areola can be showing and "claim" that was what was said all along... it wasn't... At this point they have said they will leave me alone if I leave them alone and have stated several times that they don't like my facebook page "Stop Canterbury Mobile Home Park Harassment"... it isn't coming down until I get a written apology, the rules state breastfeeding in any form is acceptable as the law states and if it goes any longer I want the manager and her secretary fired! (feel free to read my page for ALLLLLLL the harassment, it has continued.. please also feel free to like the page and lend your support! :) )..

  3. Great post Jorje!

    I know when I originally planned to nurse (and didn't end up continuing for various reasons), my husband was very supportive but found it difficult at the same time (he finds it very hard to dissociate boobs from sex!).

    I think next time around I'm going to focus on some mutual education for both of us - I know he will be more in the full support mode with more of that type of preparation - and it is so important to have that support! (Though it's awesome that you stuck to your guns without it! :) )


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