Thursday, August 25, 2011

After the Nursing Stops-the Truth Comes Out!

I am not breastfeeding anymore, my daughter is now 1 1/2 years old and since she can ask for milk now, she must be too old to nurse.  Right?  That is the most ridiculous comment that I have ever heard about breastfeeding.  I chose to stop breastfeeding her at 6 months, not because I thought she was too old, but because I felt it was in her best interest.  My goal was 1 year, but like most things, you have to adjust when things don't happen the way you intended.  She became fussy most of the time like she wasn't getting enough milk from me.  I tried drinking more water, drinking a oatmeal/milk concoction, asking other moms what to do, but nothing seemed to work.  The last straw was when we were on vacation and after I nursed her, she was screaming for more, but I didn't have anything to give her.  It was so heartbreaking for me to what I felt like was "giving up," but after my husband assured me I was not a failure of a mom, I gave in and gave her formula.  After that, I felt a big relief because she finally seemed satisfied.  Then after I took her to the Dr for her 6 month appointment, the doctor told me she should weigh more and after I told him about the nursing situation, he said "Well you should have put her on solids at 4 months and supplemented her with formula."  Ok, that made me feel even worse then I already did.  This was also the same Dr that told me that he didn't believe in pacifiers.  This prompted me to find another Dr, one that is more supportive of nursing moms and yes, life saving pacifiers!  Not a Dr that likes to put a guilt trip on moms already doing the best they can!  After I told family that I stopped nursing, then the truth came out with stupid and I'm sure unintended hurtful comments like :

"Oh good, 6 months is long enough anyway, when you told me you wanted to feed for 1 year, I thought that was overboard."
"I'm glad you aren't one of those moms who breastfeed forever.  When they can ask for food, it is time to quit"
"I think moms who feed past a year are doing it for their own pleasure" 
"It was about time, your body just wasn't equipped to making enough milk for her"  Ok, this is hurtful because it makes you feel like something is wrong with you.  You aren't able to produce enough food, so a comment like this is a stab to the heart.
"I think you were eating too much spicy food, that is horrible for the baby"
"Formula is much better today then ever before, breastfeeding isn't as necessary anymore."
"Now I am happy I get to bottle feed her now cause you were always feeding her."

I know some of the comments weren't meant to be hurtful, but I don't think the person put much thought into what they said before they said it.  You are already sensitive to if you are caring for your baby the right way, so supportive comments of what the mother decides to do, is always the way to go.  Critzing, being unsupportive, or being snippy is not helpful and only makes you not go to that person when you have questions or need advice.  Just because someone is old does not always mean they are wiser, because someone has 4 kids does not make them a expert in parenting, and a Dr does not mean they have common sense or always know what is best for you and your baby.  That little voice that is inside all of us, yes the one that we try to ignore at times because everyone around us tells us otherwise, well that is the voice we need to listen to most. 


  1. Wow! I've been nursing for 13 months now. I've thought about this before, what people might say after I quit. Very interesting!!

  2. I've also heard the "she's just doing it for her own pleasure" comment- it just floored me. What a ridiculous thing to say!

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  4. I think sometimes too we nursers feel as if we aren't satisfying our nurslings when they cry for more around growth spurts, when they are essentially making more milk by sucking more. Oh, if only I was told about growth spurts before I left the hospital I would have felt more confident as a mom.

  5. Wow. Those comments are definitely hurtful. I wish people were more conscious of what they say and how it can be received. I think 6 months is a fantastic accomplishment and I'm totally proud of you!! It must have been really hard dealing with all the emotions at the end, not knowing what was best, but I think it's important to have confidence in your decision. You're an awesome mom!