Dealing with unsupportive family
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August 20th, 2008, 03:00 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Well don't let whatever was going on there influence you.
For example, it is NOT normal for an exclusively breast fed baby to lose weight without solids at 6 months. Something else is going on there. Some breastfeeding moms practice child-led introduction of solids - they do it when the child shows signs of readiness, not on a schedule. It's not uncommon for some babies to wait a few more months and be exclusively breastfed after 6 months. This is not "weird" or "wrong" (barring other factors, I'm talking normal stuff here) and it won't hurt your baby if they don't get solids right at 6 months. There are moms here who waited until 9 or 10 months to introduce solids and have happy healthy babies, not malnourished ones.
If you practice child-led weaning MOST kids will wean between 2 and 4 years - obviously not all, but there is nothing wrong with extended breastfeeding as long as it is wanted by baby and mom. So breastfeeding a 4 year old may not be for you but again, it's not weird, wrong or harmful. In some countries they go as long as 5 or 6 but that is not the norm in western countries with abundant fresh, safe food sources.
As far as not feeding your baby enough, this is not a breastfeeding thing. You can underfeed your baby formula too if you are warped about it. As long as you feed on demand, your baby will have enough to eat. I'm only commenting on it because this seems to be a new mom's biggest fear and the biggest thing that doctors and relatives who are ignorant about breastfeeding seem to harp on. A doctor who is uninformed will almost always recommend supplementing an this is almost always the WRONG thing to do. The best thing to do is to nurse as often as the baby wants - a baby who wants to nurse around the clock doesn't mean that your supply is inadequate but there are many doctors who will tell you so and encourage you to supplement with formula. Yes, there are cases where a woman cannot produce enough milk for medical reasons and I do not mean to minimize those but most women make plenty, even if your breasts don't feel full, even if your baby eats very often and even if your baby is not huge. Breastmilk digests more quickly so your baby will eat more often than formula fed babies and breastfed babies tend to be slimmer and healthier than formula fed babies - although a pudgy breastfed baby is just fine too! They slim down nicely when they start crawling. Regardless, being stubborn about not supplementing is something that if you are committed to exclusively breastfeeding your baby you might have to do when people start giving you what amounts to bad advice due to ignorance of breastfeeding - and most doctors know nothing about it.
I just wanted to stress that if your uncle's wife had issues, it's not because of anything inherently related to breastfeeding even though it sounds like your family thinks so. If the children were malnourished, it's not because she breastfed them - it's because of other issues.
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