I Am Being Pressured to Stop Breastfeeding

mother & baby

QUESTION:

“I am feeling a lot of pressure from people around me to stop breastfeeding my baby (including my Mum and husband). They are insisting that my baby (13 months) is too grown up to be nursed and that breastmilk is not good for him now that he is over 1 year old. They think that he is too attached to meand acting too young because I haven’t started weaning him. I’m just not ready to.. how can I respond to them? Or how can I let go a bit?

ANSWERS:

Julie M.

My daughter is now 3 years and 2 months and was completely weaned out when she was 2 years and 9 months. Every mother will go through different experiences trying to wean out their child. Some are easier to wean, others not so much. Trust your mother’s instinct. ?

Jay T.

Sorry you feel so much pressure to stop something so natural to both you and your son. I would have fed my son for 2+years but he decided enough was enough at 13months.
1. My son is clingy even after he has stopped breastfeeding. Breastfeeding doesnt always equal clingy or attached. Mum and dad is what makes him feel safe and secure. You are what makes your son feel safe in a world of new things. Wherever possible follow his needs and obviously he still needs you and the comfort you provide him.
2. Guidelines encourage mothers to keep breastfeeding for as long as both child and mother are willing. As long as you have the right support (and you and baby still want to continue) there is no reason why you should have to stop. Please have an Internet search on the most recent guidelines relating to breastfeeding – there are so many benefits to continuing breastfeeding if you so wish.
3. One day he will leave the nest and be far away from you. He’s still young. Give him time to grow the confidence to be ‘unattached’ (and that really won’t be long in the scheme of things).
4. They say babies should move onto cows milk from 12months onwards. So it’s OK for babies to drink milk from a mummy cow but it’s not OK for your baby to drink the milk your body is making specifically for him? Just some food for thought.
5. Please don’t ignore your mummy instinct. You know what is best for you and your son. He will stop one day soon or maybe you will decide it’s time to stop. But let that be on your sons or your own terms and not other people’s.

I hope you find the support you need in order to continue your breastfeeding journey.

Michelle B.

No baby is too old to be breastfed IMO. You do not have to stop breastfeeding if that is not your wish. I breastfed my daughter until she self weaned around 19-20 months. Even though my husband shared his thoughts that I should stop much earlier then this (he didn’t pressure me though), I kept going. I had the support of a wonderful mothers group who some too were still breastfeeding. Can you find other mum’s that will support you and your decision to keep feeding? Let them be your strength to help you through this time.

Katie G.

I couldn’t breastfeed and wish I could have. However if I could have I was aiming to stop as bub started getting teeth.
Its not that breastfeeding is not good for him after 1 year old , it’s just not necessary if they are eating a healthy diet.
In saying that, there is a lot more to breast and bottle feeding than just nutrition. Only you and your son will know when he is ready to cut back or stop. Every child is different. Do what feels right for him.

Joanne S.

ABA (australian breastfeeding association) has resources to help inform those who criticise your choice to continue feeding as to the ongoing benefits to both mum and bub

Wendy H.

Try ringing the Breastfeeding association’s help line. They can offer great advice and support for mothers who need feeding help of any kind.

Nadine G.

My daughter is 2yrs & 2months and gradually weaned herself until she had her last breastfeed 1 week ago. Every child/mother relationship is different. I’m sorry you are feeling pressure to stop from others. I too had some pressure throughout our breastfeeding journey but always just stuck to what was working best for me & my bub. She now says to me at her sleep time after her milk “I not have my booby anymore Mummy”, and I say “Ok Sweetheart” ?

Kylie L.

My son was 2 and a half when he finally stopped but my daughter is going strong and will have trouble with weaning she is now 2 and 3 months. Let the baby direct you it is actually better for them the longer they have breast milk. Do what you feel don’t be pressured. Xx

Jaimee -Lee E.

I breastfed my 4th and 5th to two years old when they both self weaned.

My advice is get informed. Breast milk has benefits at any age. WHO advises feeding till at least 2 years old. I always said “we” will stop when ready or “thanks but no thanks” or smile and nod.

Keep feeding as long as you both are happy

Cassandra S.

My son was 35 months old when he weaned (about 4days ago lol)
Honestly tell them to go away, it’s your decision when to wean and no one else’s. you are doing what’s good for you and your child, ignore them

Anne F.

I ended up feeding til 2 years 4 months at 16 months she got her first cold which ended up being a chest infection and only wanted to feed. We had dropped to a feed morning and night going past 12 months old breast milk has lots of nutrients in it and my girl was loving trying new foods as well don’t stop because someone else tells you too it will happen naturally as you introduce more solid foods hugs feel free to pm me if as have been there

Bianca P.

Do whatever works for you and your baby.

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