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  1. #1
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    Default Partner unsupportive of breastfeeding beyond a year

    I bf all my kids. Dd1 22months, ds 15mths, dd2 is 2 and still bf.
    Last bub unplanned and me and dp have had issues in our relationship ever since - he favoured an early termination. It's taken a long time for him to really accept her. It's not an exaggeration to say he practically ignored her for the first year of her life.
    Anyways. About 8 months ago I was struggling and asked him to take a day off work to give me a day off. He refused unless I weaned her. This came out of nowhere but as I tried to discuss he said he'd said a few months back it might be time. He was really nasty to me. Accusing me of making her dependent on me. Saying he couldn't look after her for this reason. She was eating well and could go for hours without boob. He was making no sense but I think he was angry because I didn't give up when he had suggested and so it being harder at that age was my fault for not listening to him or being like everyone else and weaning at 6/12 months. It was a horrible time, I cried so much didn't think we could carry on together and he refused to see a counsellor.
    Anyways. Things got better due to me just getting on with things and him starting to be kinder again. But we never resolved this and he never apologised. He never does. So now she's 2 and still quite a boobie monster. Her sleep is bad. We cosleep as we have no bedroom for her - long story involves someone moving downstairs. I coslept with other kids til around 12 months for ease of breastfeeding. She had started looking for feeds every hour or 2 so I've started night weaning. It's only been a week and I think it's going well. I let her feed around 5am and most nights she's ok to have a cuddle instead. Last night she slept through until 4 but then really wanted boobie. I was trying to extend to 6 so did my boobie sleeping have boobie later etc. she was more angry than usual. Next thing dp says I think you have to take away boobie altogether. I said nothing. Fed her about 4.45 and she slept soundly til 7. Me on the other hand couldn't sleep. I've been flashed right back to those fights months ago and his unreasonable behaviour. Makes me want to leave. Sounds extreme but I'm so sick of being blamed for her bad sleep. His out this morning thankfully cus I can barely look at him. I'd be happy to stop breastfeeding but I don't believe cold turkey would be good for dd2. And I am the one whose home all day with her. I can't cope with the everyday stuff with 3 kids, house, school etc this is not a good time for me to be deal with a 2 year old in withdrawal!!!

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    I'm so sorry. I don't have any useful advice really but I just want to give you my support. You are doing an amazing job. Giving our babies breastmilk until (the WHO recommended) age of two might make us a bit unusual in Australian society but it also makes as freaking awesome IMO!!! You are doing the right thing. Please don't doubt this choice. If you have now decided to night wean and put more boundaries in place then great but please don't let yourself be pushed. She won't be feeding forever but this feeling of lack of support from you partner might. Maybe try to explain that to him. He is being unreasonable. You are doing great. Good luck. Xxx

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    I don't really have any advice either except just to point out (again, I think) that every problem you post about, it's your selfish unsupportive partner that is the actual problem.
    I'd be asking for couples counselling. If he refuses, I'd be re-considering my future with him.

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    Default Partner unsupportive of breastfeeding beyond a year

    Can I just ask as gently as possible whether it is possible that your breastfeeding is inhibiting your OH bonding with your daughter?

    This came up when I was out with some friends last night (coincidentally). One mum had fed her child past 2 and while her husband never said anything about it to her while she was still feeding he later told her how relieved he was after she had weaned and how much he felt left out while she was still feeding. He acknowledged that may not have been fair so he kept his feelings to himself.

    It got me thinking. Dads have a say in everything we feed our kids except breastfeeding. If a child was being bottle fed past 2 you'd rxpect both parents would have had a say in that decision. But not with breastfeeding?

    As for the WHO recommendation well that's come under question anyway.

    I'm not advocating weaning your DD if it's not what you are capable of doing at the moment but maybe you can start involving your partner in a plan of how you see weaning happening? That might give him some feeling that he is part of this relationship you have with her and also give him some focus that it's not forever.

    I was going to start a thread on this today so if this gets off beam I'll still do so. It was just something I'd never really thought about until last night but thinking back to how I fed my 4 kids my DH was definitely keen in hindsight for all of them to be weaned at around 12 months, but so was I.

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    Then surely the correct response would be to work on other activities that the dad and child can do together, rather than telling the mother to stop breastfeeding just because he feels left out.
    Like I'm not going to stop DH and DS going on manly camping trips (or whatever father-son bonding they do) later on because I feel left out as the mother, that would be dumb.

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    I think this is a much deeper issue than just breastfeeding a toddler. You said yourself your dp had trouble accepting your dd, possibly because he wanted a termination. Could he have pnd or something?

    Breastfeeding did not get in the way of my dh bonding with ds. Ds is still breastfed at 2.5. Earlier on (first 6 months) dh had trouble bonding/adjusting to fatherhood - probably because he didn't get a lot of time off and wasn't in a family friendly job. He got a new job with better hours and since 6 months has had one-on-one time with ds at bathtime. Plus now picks ds up from childcare so 2-4 afternoons a week they have time together without me around. Also, while ds only feeds morning and bedtime, he will sometimes feed more often overnight when he is getting a molar or is sick. We also cosleep.

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    Quote Originally Posted by deku View Post
    Then surely the correct response would be to work on other activities that the dad and child can do together, rather than telling the mother to stop breastfeeding just because he feels left out.
    Like I'm not going to stop DH and DS going on manly camping trips (or whatever father-son bonding they do) later on because I feel left out as the mother, that would be dumb.
    But using your analogy (which I don't really think is the same but anyway) if your DH persisted in doing something with your son you didn't like would you still be happy?

    I just raised it as it had never occurred to me until last night. DH and I are involved in pretty much every significant decision about our kids so why is this any different? If your partner doesn't care then it's not really relevant.

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    Default Partner unsupportive of breastfeeding beyond a year

    To play devils advocate, I can see his POV. You say you can't cope with three children yet you have three children completely dependant on you. You obviously feel strongly about this and maybe he feels if he says anything about the feeding you are going to get upset and not listen to his POV. I would find it difficult if my husband had insisted I keep a baby I didn't factor into my life, insist the child sleep in our bed and feed the baby and I couldn't be a part of it all. It doesn't sound like you are prepared to compromise at all and you want his unconditional support without considering what he may like. I'm not saying your needs should be tossed aside however he needs to be a part of the decisions
    From the sounds of things, do you both put aside any time for your relationship? A date night each week with young children is probably not going to happen however you need to start paying some positive attention to each other.

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    Default Partner unsupportive of breastfeeding beyond a year

    I can see both points of view here, however it sounds like past issues are causing current issues. You can't really 'get on with it' if you haven't forgiven him, it just doesn't work. I say that because my DH & I went through a rough time recently, but I tried to move past it without really addressing the underlying issues and 2 months later I'm still angry at my DH & it's causing issues for us now, to the point that I really despise him at times. To this end, we are seeking marriage counselling. If your DH isn't committed to doing all possible to improve your relationship then it will never work, and I've learnt that in the last few weeks. This seems less like an issue of breastfeeding, and more a deeper issue in your marriage. A lack of support (for both of you) will continue to cause issues until it's addressed.

    As for the breastfeeding, if you aren't ready to wean, then don't, but I do see his perspective as well, he probably feels he isn't being listened to. Maybe you aren't taking his concerns seriously because you are mad about the unresolved issues in your relationship? Again, counselling can help to see the other partners point of view. I have a girlfriend who won't seek marriage counselling because she doesn't want to hear that maybe she has to change some things too - there has to be compromise from both parties always, not just one way. If you are ready to wean, and your DD can go hours without boob, then perhaps you could stay with family for a weekend (or send her to stay with grandparents?) and chances are she will be okay and won't miss it. My DD2 weaned at 13 months after I had a weekend away with girlfriends and asked maybe twice and hasn't fed since. I was more than ready to wean by that stage!

    Sorry for my long winded post but I really feel this is more than an issue of breastfeeding, it seems as though neither of you want to listen (really listen) to each other and need outside help to get back to a harmonious marriage & parenting relationship.

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    Default Partner unsupportive of breastfeeding beyond a year

    Hey Hun your DP sounds like a bit of a poo-poo head. That being said I think it's ok and normal for a parent to not be happy with multiple night wakings from an older toddler. For the most part unless there are health issues continual night wakings from an 2 year old are preventable. It does sound like the co-sleeping and boob on tap is a factor in your situation - not that I necessarily think it's right however I can see how your hubby might have developed a negative view of the breastfeeding of your toddler. I should add though that he is going about it all in a very dicky way.

    Good luck and which we've way it goes don't let yourself be disrespected.


 

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