17 posts Page 2 of 2
Many congratulations to those of you who are expecting!
I was browsing this forum, spotted the breastfeeding topic and just had to chime in because, although I say so myself, I am an expert at breastfeeding…
I always intended to breastfeed my children for a year and then let them decide when they were ready to stop… which ended up being somewhere between the ages of four and six! With three children that meant I was breastfeeding for ten years without stop.
There were 13 years between my first and second MS symptoms, and that included the ten years of breastfeeding. In fact, my relapse happened only about a year after finally stopping. So I was really interested to read that breastfeeding is thought to have a protective effect. Maybe I should have had a fourth child and carried on..
I sincerely hope it has a protective effect for all of you new mums. And if you decide to continue beyond the one-year mark and need some moral support, just send me a message!
Hazza
I read somewhere once that the worldwide average age for weaning is 4.2 years. That was 20 years ago when I was breastfeeding my one and only child, who didn't wean himself until age 4!

I think I read it in a book entitled "The Politics of Breastfeeding".

It's difficult in Western cultures to continue to breastfeed longer than a few months - I found the pressure is really on to stop after only six months.
Cheers,

Sue

OMG December 2011 OMS January 2012 OMS Retreat March 2012 Benign MS Sep 2015
Two Very Mild Relapses since diagnosis. Copaxone May 2013 No new lesions on MRI since diagnosis
Why is there pressure to stop, I know there were issues with health care contacts using formula growth charts against breastfeed babies and causing unnecessary remarks and pressure that growth was not enough in the UK but in theory this should have stopped now...
Susan's talking about 20 years ago.

But I think there's still some pressure. Currently, I think it's largely a practical issue due to having to return to work. Certainly in my case, my husband and I hadn't reached the "buying a house" stage until after the UK housing bubble had gone crazy, and we're a "2 medium earners" household rather than a "1 high earner, 1 low earner" household, so we need both incomes to cover mortgage, bills etc (that or sell our house and move, but with the housing market in a slump I wouldn't expect to sell quickly and get anywhere near what the house is worth, so still got to keep covering that mortgage...)
Nice to meet someone else who’s bucked the trend in the west (i.e. breastfed for the worldwide average time!).

I agree with you both; there’s pressure to stop for practical reasons and there’s also some social pressure to stop.

I worked as well, but I had long maternity leaves and a lot of help. After about 14 months or so it’s not so necessary to feed in the day and it is possible to go on and on even if you’re working... if you and the baby both want this. In my experience it was at this point that friends, relatives, acquaintances found it very unsettling and increasingly felt the need to comment. Usually this was good natured but it was clear that people found the whole concept uncomfortable, even though I didn’t flaunt it.

There are so many reasons it’s good for the child – hard to find any evidence to the contrary actually. The possibility that there’s evidence that it’s good for the mother is really interesting to me.

Harriet
I'll have 6 months maternity leave (plus a bit extra by using holiday) then my husband will have some parental leave too (and I'll be trying to express milk for him to feed the baby with). Will have to wait and see how much milk I can express to cover the times when I'm working.
This is a website that helped me understand how normal, natural and easy breastfeeding could be http://www.normalfed.com/ And keep in mind that La Leche League is there to support mother in breastfeeding, not coerce or pressure masses of women into doing something they'd rather not (seems to be a common misconception that they are 'breastfeeding nazis' or something).

Do avoid sites like babycenter.com for breastfeeding advice.

If you can breastfeed your child, you will give him or her a great start. If you don't, of course you can make lots and lots of choices throughout his or her life that will help support good health. But I do want to say that breastfeeding, once it is well-established, can make mothering much easier. So much easier to offer the breast for nutrition or comfort than trying to figure out what a child might need, so much less tiring than having to stand up and pace a room or rock a heavy baby to sleep. So breastfeeding is great for the mother with MS.

I agree with others who say there is social pressure to stop. I am made very uncomfortable now breastfeeding my 21-month-old. I cannot 'do it' in front of my in-laws as they have made very clear that breastfeeding is for tiny babies only.

I'm so happy to see that others on here have let their children wean naturally. Anyway, if it is right for you, then happy breastfeeding!
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Dx June 2009
OMS December 2010
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