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Supply dropping... self-weaning?

  1. #9
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    I dunno...when my child shows signs that they're not into breastfeeding I'm not going to chase them around and force them to feed because according to some study it's too soon for them to stop. I think that's silly, personally but I know others who are very much in support of it.

    I also don't force my child to sit in his chair and eat dinner if he's not hungry. I figure that if he's hungry later then he can eat. The article from Kelly Mom seems to use circular reasoning by saying:

    "True SELF-weaning before a baby is a year old is very uncommon. In fact, it is unusual for a baby to wean before 18-24 months unless mom is encouraging weaning....

    What is self-weaning?

    A baby who is weaning on his own:

    is typically well over a year old (more commonly over 2 years)"
    So, how do we know a baby before 1-year-old is not self-weaning. According to that article it's because children who self-wean are typically well over a year old." Which tells us nothing. Every child is different. Every situation is different and just because your child didn't truly self-wean at an early age doesn't mean mine won't. My child also walked independently at 8 1/2 months-old when most babies that we knew that age were still either crawling or hobbling around from object to object.

    Also, I find issue with this:

    As long as baby is nursing on cue and removing milk thoroughly, mom's breasts will produce the milk that baby needs.
    No, hormonal flux can definitely decrease milk supply--been there, done that.

    I wish we lived in an ideal world where we could all go to work and have our kid strapped to our boob at the same time. Maybe this works in some places but for most women in HK it doesn't.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  2. #10
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    - Distraction. If you are in public you can try covering your baby to help him focus, although this doesn’t always work! Some babies are more distracted by the cover.. It is sometimes necessary to nurse your baby in a calm, quiet room to avoid distraction.
    When someone finds a way to feed a baby in public in Hong Kong in a non-distracting way, let me know. Of course, I guess mothers can just stay at home all the time and never go out so they have the option of both feeding on cue and providing a non-distracting environment for their child. Oh, wait, that's not reality. I forgot.

    I think most mothers have the intuition to try to decrease distraction when feeding their children--both by breast and bottle. Does that guarantee the baby is going to keep breastfeeding? Nope.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  3. #11
    Lali07 is offline Registered User
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    Gee Thanka2 something just doesn't add up. How can someone have so much faith in a mother's ability to birth a child but not to feed it? Seems your faith in both is directly related to your own personal experiences, not actual trust in the human body..

    When natural birth fails = thank goodness for caesareans..
    When breastfeeding fails = thank goodness for formula..

    Unfortunately in HK and many western countries, the caesarean and formula-feeding rates are much higher than necessary.

    I'm sorry breastfeeding has been difficult for you T2, but such negativity is not helpful. If breastfeeding were that difficult (yes it is that difficult for some, but not all) on the whole, the human race would have died out long ago.

    Gataloca, I think you're doing a great job, obviously its a bit tricky since you're working!

    Other Mamas, for some of you, breastfeeding may not work, and thankfully you can continue to nurse your baby by bottle. But before you give up on this potentially wonderful experience, seek the help of LLL or a lactation consultant. GPs and well-meaning friends just can't offer the same advice as someone trained in the specifics of breastfeeding.

    Lali :)

  4. #12
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lali07 View Post
    Gee Thanka2 something just doesn't add up. How can someone have so much faith in a mother's ability to birth a child but not to feed it? Seems your faith in both is directly related to your own personal experiences, not actual trust in the human body..
    I trust my own body as far as my experience goes. If you had had my experience with breastfeeding you would likely see things differently and if I had had your experience I would also likely see things differently. As I detailed to you before elsewhere, it was not for a lack of trying that I did not breastfeed long-term--there are other factors at play than the ones so often touted by breastfeeding advocates. I find that many breastfeeding advocates oversimplify the process. Yes, there is a trouble-shooting guide but not all troubles can be successfully resolved, in my experience.

    Unfortunately in HK and many western countries, the caesarean and formula-feeding rates are much higher than necessary
    .

    Yes, I agree. I think it is important to note that there is a difference between the local Hong Kong mindset toward breastfeeding and the expat mindset toward breastfeeding. I come from the latter. So, although I live in HK, my choice to breastfeed or not breastfeed isn't tied up with the local mindset here. I come from a place where breastfeeding rates are quite high and almost all of my friends have breastfed their children and it's no big deal. From that perspective, if one is unable to breastfeed, there doesn't seem to be much grace extended.

    I'm sorry breastfeeding has been difficult for you T2, but such negativity is not helpful. If breastfeeding were that difficult (yes it is that difficult for some, but not all) on the whole, the human race would have died out long ago.
    I think it's also not appropriate to downplay or discount the bad breastfeeding experiences out there as just "being negative." It's a real experience and I have empathy for anyone who chooses not to breastfeed. I congratulate women on making the right choice for themselves and sometimes that means not breastfeeding.

    Gataloca, I think you're doing a great job, obviously its a bit tricky since you're working!
    Would like to add that most HK mamas I know do work--including myself. Yes, it is tricky especially in a culture where breastfeeding is almost taboo.

    Other Mamas, for some of you, breastfeeding may not work, and thankfully you can continue to nurse your baby by bottle. But before you give up on this potentially wonderful experience, seek the help of LLL or a lactation consultant. GPs and well-meaning friends just can't offer the same advice as someone trained in the specifics of breastfeeding
    Agree, although I would add that sometimes expectations for breastfeeding to be a "wonderful experience" also set women up for failure. To me, breastfeeding is an okay experience--but to hear some women speak of their experiences it would
    make a new mom expect that she will be experiencing waves of endorphins every time she feeds her baby. While this may be the case with some women, it certainly wasn't the case with me. I breastfeed my daughter now because she cannot tolerate formula so I don't have much choice. I am stubborn and that's what keeps me at it. But, I don't walk around feeling like I have the right to speak into other womens' lives and judge whether they've made a good enough effort with breastfeeding or not--that's their business. I also don't take any particular pride or pats on the back because I'm breastfeeding. I can, however, feel a sense of accomplishment that I made it through another day or week even though every day is a struggle.

    In our modern world is it really fair to put that burden on mothers? After all the other pressures they have that they must breastfeed? I question this a lot and I can empathize with mothers who choose not to breastfeed.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  5. #13
    Koan is offline Registered User
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    Gataloca, I had a similar experience when I was pumping at work. Mondays were my lowest yeild and by Friday I was pumping more. I figured that what I was pumping on Mondays, after my supply had the weekend to regulate to my baby's nursing needs, was what my baby required. I would just continue with what you're doing- feeding him on cue whenever you're with him and continue with your pumping. It's hard work, you're doing great!

    Quote Originally Posted by thanka2 View Post
    I dunno...when my child shows signs that they're not into breastfeeding I'm not going to chase them around and force them to feed because according to some study it's too soon for them to stop. I think that's silly, personally but I know others who are very much in support of it.
    Of course not. You can't force a child to BF. Just like you can't force a mother to BF.

    Quote Originally Posted by thanka2 View Post
    The article from Kelly Mom seems to use circular reasoning by saying:

    So, how do we know a baby before 1-year-old is not self-weaning. According to that article it's because children who self-wean are typically well over a year old." Which tells us nothing. Every child is different. Every situation is different and just because your child didn't truly self-wean at an early age doesn't mean mine won't.
    Naturally there is a range of ages at which a child self-weans.

    However, true self-weaning at under a year is very, very uncommon. The Kellymom article gave many reasons why we may misinterpret our baby's cues and think they are weaning, and how these factors may affect your BFing relationship. Weaning is typically a gradual process. Dr. Katherine Dettwyler has done a lot of research on weaning if you're interested in learning more.

  6. #14
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koan View Post
    Of course not. You can't force a child to BF. Just like you can't force a mother to BF.
    Then, this makes no sense to me. So, if the child isn't self-weaning but refuses to breastfeed because he/she isn't that interested in breastfeeding in early toddlerhood then how, apart from pumping, does the mother maintain her milk supply in order to keep breastfeeding him/her and not fall into the "mother-led" weaning group? I've seen some bfing mothers chase their toddlers around in an attempt to make them bfeed when they were clearly not into it because the mothers were worried about the milk supply issue.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #15
    Lali07 is offline Registered User
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    So T2, if a baby 'self-weans' at say 9 or 10 months, then would you offer a bottle or sippy cup? I would assume so.. If a baby is still drinking milk from a bottle or sippy cup, and the mother is able to breastfeed, then thats a no-brainer to me.

    I definitely did not find childbirth to be wonderful and spiritual like yourself, it was painful and was a little scary at times, but I still have amazing confidence in a mother's ability to birth her baby, and would encourage any mother-to-be to give natural birth a try, like I will for my next baby.

    I found breastfeeding difficult and at times painful at first, I didn't have the problems you had thankfully, and I do enjoy breastfeeding. My main motivator is not for myself but rather my baby.

    It doesn't make any sense to me to tout the benefits of natural birth but not put the same stock in breastfeeding. Like I have said before, how a baby is fed is likely to have more overall health effects than how a baby is delivered..

    Natural birth = the biological norm
    Breastfeeding = the biological norm

    Doesn't always go down like that, and thats fine, but I still don't get your one-sidedness.. Perhaps you know more about birth than breastfeeding - the health benefits not necessarily just the process.

  8. #16
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lali07 View Post
    So T2, if a baby 'self-weans' at say 9 or 10 months, then would you offer a bottle or sippy cup? I would assume so.. If a baby is still drinking milk from a bottle or sippy cup, and the mother is able to breastfeed, then thats a no-brainer to me.
    I'm not really sure what you mean here. But, my thoughts are isn't 'self-weaning' about the child's desire to breastfeed or not--not about the child's ability to breastfeed. Children are physically able to breastfeed until a much older age but whether they're interested or not is a different question. Anyway, again, I'm not sure what you're saying here.

    I definitely did not find childbirth to be wonderful and spiritual like yourself, it was painful and was a little scary at times, but I still have amazing confidence in a mother's ability to birth her baby, and would encourage any mother-to-be to give natural birth a try, like I will for my next baby.
    My first birth was not wonderful at all--it was painful (super painful--back labor--no relief for 43 hours) and very scary at times but it was the best choice for me. My second birth was much better but I also had experience on my side and I was much more educated the second time around. It was still incredibly painful but not a fearful experience.

    I found breastfeeding difficult and at times painful at first, I didn't have the problems you had thankfully, and I do enjoy breastfeeding. My main motivator is not for myself but rather my baby.
    I think that you've hit a key statement here when you say "my main motivator is not for myself but rather my baby." In fact, that means we have the exact same motivation. If i was breastfeeding for myself then I would definitely not even give it a go. But there is a balance to be struck because I do think that breastfeeding is a relationship which takes two partners--baby and mama and is influenced by many factors. It's far to simple to say "those who breastfeed" are selfless and "doing it for their baby" and those who don't breastfeed are "selfish" and "doing it for themselves." If both sides of the equation don't add up, in my experience, the experience is not good.

    It doesn't make any sense to me to tout the benefits of natural birth but not put the same stock in breastfeeding. Like I have said before, how a baby is fed is likely to have more overall health effects than how a baby is delivered..
    To me, breastfeeding brings with it an entirely different set of dynamics that is altogether different from childbirth. I have never "not touted the benefits" of breastfeeding. I believe breastfeeding has many benefits but I think I have a more tempered view of the reality of breastfeeding that many advocates simply choose to downplay or overlook. For me, giving birth is mostly a mental process--one's body will do what one wants if one has the mental/emotional part under control. For breastfeeding, it is more of a physical process. The roadblocks I've come up against in breastfeeding were and are physical--not mental. There's a lot more to work out when it comes to breastfeeding so what I'm speaking of is the real-life practical difficulties women like myself deal with. My experience is not everyone else's experience. Also, when it comes to breastfeeding there is another individual to be concerned with--the personality and ability of the baby as well as any difficulties the baby has play a big part. While giving birth my baby's personality and will had very little to do with how well I was able to give birth. Different dynamics.

    Natural birth = the biological norm
    Breastfeeding = the biological norm
    Sure, I don't think anyone is disputing this here.

    Doesn't always go down like that, and thats fine, but I still don't get your one-sidedness.. Perhaps you know more about birth than breastfeeding - the health benefits not necessarily just the process.
    It's not one-sidedness any more than your approach is. You advocate breastfeeding strongly (possibly because you've had an overall positive experience) while I advocate med-free birthing strongly (possibly because I've had an overall positive experience). I doubt that I know any less about breastfeeding than I do about giving birth--I did, afterall, as I've detailed to you elsewhere, do my utmost for 6 months to work through the problems that arose--I may even know some things about breastfeeding you don't because of my experience and what I had to go through--things that most breastfeeding women who breastfeed without major complications would never have any reason to know about breastfeeding. I don't think either of us has the corner on the market of knowledge about giving birth or breastfeeding. I don't think you can discount the process of breastfeeding because the process is what makes the health benefits possible. It's easy to say "just focus on the benefits" if you've never really, truly suffered because of your determination to breastfeed. It's one thing for breastfeeding to "be painful sometimes" but 6 months of literal suffering is unacceptable for me.

    I think the crux of the matter is that I'm saying you must "walk a mile" in the shoes of a woman like myself to actually understand but in the case of breastfeeding, everyone is biased by their own experience. Likewise, the same is true of pregnancy and childbirth.

    With that, I think I'll take leave of this discussion. We could talk around in circles like this for days. I accept your stance and your right to it.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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