Premature Weaning

I cry for you Kourtney Kardashian.

I always love it when a celebrity openly talks about breastfeeding. Whether they like it or not, they are role models. Young girls watch what they do intently and often want to follow their example—that includes them entering the realm of motherhood. It always makes me happy when a celebrity mentions breastfeeding in a new mom interview. It makes me even happier when they tout the benefits of it. Kourtney even posted a blog about nursing in public and honestly I can say that if the paparazzi were following me around with cameras, I may cover up while NIP too.

This week, Kourtney posted on her blog that her son has stopped breastfeeding. That, of course, is not the thing I feel so sad about. Every child stops breastfeeding at some point and that’s how it’s supposed to be. I’m sure that when Peanut stops, there will be a moment or two of sadness, but since I plan on weaning when Peanut chooses to, I don’t think there will be regret. I feel sad for Kourtney Karshasian because she sounds like she has regret.

She explains in her blog about weaning that once she got beyond a year, people started asking her “when are you going to stop nursing already?!” That’s where it all stems. Do you think she would have weaned if people weren’t pressuring her to? She barely hit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ minimum recommendation and people already started pestering her. Nevermind the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 2 years.

Personally, since Peanut will be 2 this month, I’m ready to have those questions start. I got a few “how long do you plan on nursing?” questions before Peanut was even a year and some people seemed like they wanted to say something when she was over a year, but I haven’t really gotten much flack. I’m sure a big part of that is because I am so obviously pro-breastfeeding and confident about it that people don’t want to say anything and have me explode at them. I’m hoping it’s mostly tolerance from the people around me. I’m sure that with Peanut turning 2, we’re hitting even the most pro-breastfeeding people’s limits though, so I’m sure some comments will start.

Why though, do we live in a society where it’s okay to pester a mom about her breastfeeding habits? I mean, is there any other aspect of life where people feel like they’re allowed to butt in like that? Maybe family will bother you about your habits, but do random strangers tell you what you’re doing wrong in any subject other than parenting? And beyond that, breastfeeding is the most butted into thing about parenting! Do you have random strangers telling you that you need to get your child out of their crib or your bed? Do you have people telling you that you’re forcing your child not to potty train because you enjoy changing their diapers? Maybe cuddling your toddler to sleep at night is selfish? And you know what? I’ll never tell you that the Happy Meal you’re giving your child isn’t nutritional even though I’m thinking it, but you’re allowed to tell me I shouldn’t breastfeed my child because beyond x amount of time it’s no longer nutritional (which is totally wrong). Not even your pediatrician will tell you that you shouldn’t feed your child a Happy Meal, but I’ve heard many stories of pediatricians telling moms to stop breastfeeding.

So I feel sad that Kourtney Kardashian was pressured into stopping breastfeeding before she wanted to. I feel sorry that we live in a world where any mom is pressured to stop before she and her baby are ready. Moms who are still breastfeeding, don’t give into the pressure to quit. Stop when you and your child are ready, not when society tells you to.

Have you received many comments about stopping breastfeeding before you were ready? Did you stop breastfeeding before you were ready? If you stopped before you were ready, do you have regret?


11 thoughts on “Premature Weaning

  1. I also felt badly when I read that she felt badly.

    I nursed my almost 2 year old in music class today because he was asking and seeming tired and a little overwhelmed. I was pretty sure my teacher wouldn’t mind because I know how crunchy she and her daughter (who has a daughter my son’s age) are. After class she came over and said, “I think it’s so great that you’re nursing him. It’s so good for them.” I was happy she took the time to make sure I knew she approved- any encouragement for toddler nursing is appreciated. And I felt like I was offering a model to the other nursing moms in class- as I was leaving, for the first time ever, another mom was sitting against the wall nursing her 6 month old. A lot of dads attend this Saturday music class which is why I think I don’t see as many moms nursing there, but I was quite happy to set a precedent that it’s ok! Even if I showed one person, “Oh, it’s cool to nurse here- I can do it too, and not have to rush out and do it in my car,” I felt like I’ve done something very positive.

    • I’ve also nursed Peanut in her music class and while I’ve never had anyone congratulating me (which is totally awesome of them BTW!), I also haven’t had anyone get upset. I avoid nursing her in class because she just gets distracted and stops anyway, but I almost always nurse her after class on the couch. I’ve talked with a few different moms about nursing and I hope that I’m shedding a good light on it.

  2. My son is 16 months and we are still nursing at/during night, in the mornings and during the day if he is sick or stressed out.
    Most of my mom friends quite around a year, and because I don’t NIP much anymore, not many people ask me if we are still nursing. It’s mostly my mom and MIL that make comments =(
    I’ll continue to nurse as long as my son and I want to. But I will say it is annoying and disheartening to get comments from my mom and MIL insinuating I am doing harm by continuing to nurse. Strangers comments I could care less about, family hurts.

    • It seems like a lot of people are in your situation with the mom and MIL bothering them about breastfeeding. It’s always the most difficult when it’s people close to you too. *hug*

      Have you tried posting about it on the forums? So many other moms have been in your situation that maybe one of them can help you decide how you can remedy it. Sometimes simply telling the grandmas how you feel about their comments can help.

  3. I totally agree with you. It’s sad she felt pressure when it sounds like she clearly did not want to stop.
    I was reading the comments people wrote and it really hit home that ‘most’ mothers don’t get to 1 year. I knew this but it settled in more reading comments. Some were like, congrats for nursing that long and what an inspiration for nursing so long. What? So long? What would they say to a mom who nursed til 3, 4 etc… They probably wouldn’t praise her…but hey should!
    We need a cultural shift with bf asap!

    • I read another blog about her blog post and they called her an “extended breastfeeder”. Not only do a disagree with the term, but cutting out all day feedings at 13 months and night feedings at 14 months just sounds like she went slightly over the “deadline”. I mean, I’m all for moms breastfeeding any amount of time, but there’s nothing “extended” about 14 months.

  4. I have to say I am in total agreement with you. I had many family members telling me my son was too old or too big to nurse at 12 or 13 months. I did quit. I became a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor when my youngest was 3 months and while training learned that if mother’s quit breastfeeding before they are ready then they can go through a period with symptoms like post partum depression. Looking back at my previous breastfeeding experience I remember feeling depressed and lonely when I quit. I ended up nursing my 3 month old till she was the ripe old age of 26 months. She pretty much weaned herself. I would love to have another as my youngest is 5, but I guess I will have to settle with seeing all the babies at work! :o)

  5. …I also forgot to tell you…
    I had an in-home visit to get my son into preschool and the next day a DHS worker came to my house. One of the “problems” he had to address was that I was still nursing my 13 month old. I am guessing because while the preschool ladies were there my baby came up and wanted to nurse, they didn’t ask if she had breakfast or how old she was, they just insinuated I was just breastfeeding her and not offering food! I was livid and called the school and immediately took my son’s name off the list.

    • That is absolutely ridiculous! There is nothing wrong with nursing a 13 month old. I hate people sometimes!

  6. At my daughter’s 9 month visit I was shocked to hear our pediatrician’s nurse say “now mom, your gonna want to make sure you’ve stopped breastfeeding by a year”. I said “why? The WHO recommends 2 yrs”. She responded “that’s just what we tell all our patients”. That was the last straw for me.

    • Oh my goodness I hope you gave that nurse an earfull! I feel so sad if they’re saying that to all parents that are still nursing. I’m sure that there are moms who quit just because the nurse told them to. Gah!

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