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?



I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!

You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.

(Visit NPN for the code to place on your blog.)

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