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Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's



 
 
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  #11  
Old September 19th 06, 03:44 PM posted to misc.kids.breastfeeding,misc.kids.pregnancy,misc.kids
Mary Ann
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Posts: 47
Default Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's


wrote:
I am about 3 months pregnant


Congratulations :-)

and I have 4 stepson's (one away at
college) ages: 13, 13, 16 and 18. The boys reside with my husband and
I on a full-time basis. I have a good relationship with all of the
boys and they were actually quite excited when we told them that we
were going to have a baby (something we've been talking about since we
got married in 2003).


It seems like the arrival will be a very happy event.

Anyhow, I was hoping that someone out there can offer me some advice
about breastfeeding with older children, specifically boys, around. My
husband isn't entirely supportive of it 'cause he thinks that
breastfeeding is an inconvenience.


In what way? You need to be more specific so we can advise.

But I've been reading up and I told
him last night that I want to at least try breastfeeding because I feel
that the benefits highly outweigh the inconveniences.


No question.

The only thing I
am really worried about is how to talk to the boys about it and/or if I
should consider not breastfeeding for the sake of their comfort because
I am afraid that they might feel weird about it. Of course, those of
you that have teenage boys know how they can be sometimes with sexual
type issues.


I certainly don't think you should consider not BF because of what you
are afraid of in this respect. I do however think it is good you are
thinking about these things now. You will need the support of all your
family.

If they have never seen a woman BF they and you may feel uncomfortable.
I was certainly a little uncomfortable to start with when BF infront of
my father, brother and FIL, only because they had never seen my
breasts. As my confidence grew I became more comfortable.

I feel like it's a natural thing though and I want to explain to them
the reasons why it's so important that I breastfeed. Of course, I
wouldn't be hanging out exposing myself everywhere but just the same I
want to be considerate of their feelings and am worried there's no real
way to balance the issue.


I think you need to talk to them about it. Without knowing what sort of
relationship you have with them, it's hard to say whether it would be
better for the whole family to sit together, or whether it's just you
and one or more of the boys, or whether their father speaks to them
first.

If I were you I wouldn't talk to them as if you were asking for
permission if you know what I mean, but tell them you are going to BF
and you're happy to answer questions.

Any help or advice, especially from someone who may have experience
with a similar situation, is appreciated.


Mary Ann

  #12  
Old September 19th 06, 03:50 PM posted to misc.kids.breastfeeding,misc.kids.pregnancy,misc.kids
Frisbee®
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Posts: 45
Default Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's

wrote in message
oups.com...
I am about 3 months pregnant and I have 4 stepson's (one away at
college) ages: 13, 13, 16 and 18. The boys reside with my husband and
I on a full-time basis. I have a good relationship with all of the
boys and they were actually quite excited when we told them that we
were going to have a baby (something we've been talking about since we
got married in 2003).

Anyhow, I was hoping that someone out there can offer me some advice
about breastfeeding with older children, specifically boys, around. My
husband isn't entirely supportive of it 'cause he thinks that
breastfeeding is an inconvenience. But I've been reading up and I told
him last night that I want to at least try breastfeeding because I feel
that the benefits highly outweigh the inconveniences. The only thing I
am really worried about is how to talk to the boys about it and/or if I
should consider not breastfeeding for the sake of their comfort because
I am afraid that they might feel weird about it. Of course, those of
you that have teenage boys know how they can be sometimes with sexual
type issues.

I feel like it's a natural thing though and I want to explain to them
the reasons why it's so important that I breastfeed. Of course, I
wouldn't be hanging out exposing myself everywhere but just the same I
want to be considerate of their feelings and am worried there's no real
way to balance the issue.

Any help or advice, especially from someone who may have experience
with a similar situation, is appreciated.


Okay, for what it's worth, here's the opinion of a guy...

I've read a few of the replies in this thread, and while I agree that you
should definitely breastfeed (my wife breast-fed our twins), it should
definitely be done in private.

One reply highlighted that breast-feeding is not sexual. While you are
correct in that statement, these are teenage boys who are NOT blood-related
to "step-mom." It -will- be sexual to them. It's sometimes uncomfortable
enough for a teenage boy to see his biological mother breastfeeding, but in
the case of mom being step-mom, the guilt of ogling your own mother's
breasts is not there, she's not related. While I don't think this would
mess them up, so to speak, it's still a pretty good idea to be as discrete
about this as possible.

I hope this is taken in the way I intended.


  #13  
Old September 19th 06, 03:51 PM posted to misc.kids.breastfeeding,misc.kids.pregnancy,misc.kids
Sandie Hudson
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Posts: 11
Default Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's

wrote about breastfeeding with older
children, specifically boys, around. My
husband isn't entirely supportive of it 'cause he thinks that
breastfeeding is an inconvenience. But I've been reading up and I told
him last night that I want to at least try breastfeeding because I feel
that the benefits highly outweigh the inconveniences.


I'm afraid I just don't see what is inconvenient about BF. Bottles to clean,
fill, store, warm, etc. Now that is inconvenient.
Covering yourself discreetly and breast feeding your baby almost anytime,
almost anywhere. What could be more convenient?

Sandie


  #14  
Old September 19th 06, 03:54 PM posted to misc.kids.breastfeeding,misc.kids.pregnancy,misc.kids
[email protected]
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Posts: 7
Default Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's

Irrational Number wrote:

The first couple of weeks, breastfeed in your bedroom
so that they don't see you naked from the waist up
for hours at a time while you learn how to breastfeed.
With DS#1, I didn't know how to BF with a bra on and
I was so exhausted that I didn't care, but there were
only DH and my mom around.


My stepsons were 12 and 11 when I gave birth to my son, and the advice
above is just what I did. While I was getting the hang of
breastfeeding, I excused myself and went upstairs to my bedroom to
nurse, which is what I did when *anyone* but my husband was present for
those first few weeks. After I grew more comfortable with it, I
started nursing in front of my stepsons (who didn't live with us
full-time, but were with us on weekends and school holidays).

My stepsons had been around extended family on their mother's side who
breastfed so it wasn't that big a deal for them. The 11 year old
couldn't have cared less and ignored what I was doing. I did have a
couple of occasions with the 12 year old when he came over to look -- I
know it wasn't to see my breasts, but it was that he was very involved
(you could say overly-involved) with his new baby brother and wanted to
see what the baby was doing all the time. The second time, he saw a
lot more than he was bargaining for, backed off, and never snuck a peek
again.

I have a girlfriend who breastfed all of her babies in front of her two
stepsons (both of whom lived with her full-time) and she was a bit
worried at first (as was I) but she didn't have any problems. It
really gets to be boring and old news with them very quickly.

I think a supportive husband would make a world of difference, so get
DH on board, and best wishes.

-Stephanie

  #15  
Old September 19th 06, 04:10 PM posted to misc.kids.breastfeeding,misc.kids.pregnancy,misc.kids
Banty
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Posts: 2,278
Default Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's

In article . com,
says...

Thanks for the advice. I COMPLETELY agree with you about everything.
I'm not squeamish about the issue at all, and I know that feeding
your child is what breasts are really for...

But I also know it might be rather difficult to explain that to a 13 yo
boy. I certainly want them to know, understand, realize the intended
purpose for breasts and set a good example but I guess I'm just
afraid because of their age and they're not *my* children.
Unfortunately, society does set a "standard" and "boobs" are a
funny thing that little boys talk about. If they were a bit younger, or
mine, I would have no issue with it. To be honest, I don't really
have any issue with it, I was just wondering how others in the step-mom
role may have dealt with/approached it with their stepchildren.


Thirteen year old boys? I *have* one of those at *home*! He's increased in
size beyond my own and I ain't exactly tiny, and he's grown hair wherever hair
can possibly grow that I can see, as well as (I presume) where I can't see, so I
can fully understand how 13 year old boys may appear to the unprepared as a
monster. But believe me they're really not! ;-)

Thirteen year old boys may be adolescent males, but they are not dumb or without
insight and understanding. And they're still kids! A little ordinary
discretion (like a light receiving blanket thrown over your front while you set
up) is all that's necessary for the sake of a need for modesty. Sorta like you
throw a robe or pj's on (depending on your in-bed state of being when you
get up in the morning so as not to parade naked. No big deal, but no need to
put on a full day's dressing gear either.

So go about it matter of factly and cheerfully, taking some simple measures of
modesty for the sake of the situation, answering whatever questions are halfway
well meant, and you'll be set.

Then, of course, I've got to really get my husband on the "same
page" with me so that he can enforce the normalcy that is
breastfeeding and not contribute to the phobia.


Sometimes folks just have to grow up and get used to things like that. At least
one male in your household needs to be required by you to be a grown up.

Cheers,
Banty

  #16  
Old September 19th 06, 04:10 PM posted to misc.kids.breastfeeding,misc.kids.pregnancy,misc.kids
Ericka Kammerer
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Posts: 2,293
Default Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's

wrote:
Thanks for the advice. I COMPLETELY agree with you about everything.
I'm not squeamish about the issue at all, and I know that feeding
your child is what breasts are really for...

But I also know it might be rather difficult to explain that to a 13 yo
boy.


I think you are underestimating them, truly.

I certainly want them to know, understand, realize the intended
purpose for breasts and set a good example but I guess I'm just
afraid because of their age and they're not *my* children.
Unfortunately, society does set a "standard" and "boobs" are a
funny thing that little boys talk about. If they were a bit younger, or
mine, I would have no issue with it. To be honest, I don't really
have any issue with it, I was just wondering how others in the step-mom
role may have dealt with/approached it with their stepchildren.

Then, of course, I've got to really get my husband on the "same
page" with me so that he can enforce the normalcy that is
breastfeeding and not contribute to the phobia.


Absolutely. That will be key. But truly, I think
you will find that this is no nearly as big a deal as you
imagine. If you need some resources explaining why
breastfeeding is a good idea, this might help:

http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/bab...feed/8910.html
http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBJulAug01p124.html
http://www.hbns.org/getDocument.cfm?documentID=1300
http://www.chw.org/display/PPF/DocID/35498/router.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breastfeeding#Benefits

I'm sure there are many more--that's just a quick search.

Also, given that you are hoping to breastfeed
in what may be a less than ideally supportive situation,
you should probably take extra care to become as
educated as you can. There are so very many misconceptions
about breastfeeding, and they lead many women to incorrectly
believe that they're not producing enough milk or even to
take actions that sabotage the success of breastfeeding.
Sadly, all too many people in healthcare are also
underinformed about breastfeeding, so you can't always
count on them to give you accurate information. Having
good information and finding some friends who have
successfully breastfed (and hanging around on
m.k.b and m.k.p) will give you a much better likelihood
of success.

Best wishes,
Ericka
  #17  
Old September 19th 06, 04:21 PM posted to misc.kids.breastfeeding,misc.kids.pregnancy,misc.kids
Ericka Kammerer
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,293
Default Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's

Irrational Number wrote:
wrote:
I am about 3 months pregnant and I have 4 stepson's (one away at
college) ages: 13, 13, 16 and 18. [...]

Anyhow, I was hoping that someone out there can offer me some advice
about breastfeeding with older children, specifically boys, around.


The first couple of weeks, breastfeed in your bedroom
so that they don't see you naked from the waist up
for hours at a time while you learn how to breastfeed.
With DS#1, I didn't know how to BF with a bra on and
I was so exhausted that I didn't care, but there were
only DH and my mom around.


This can certainly happen, and you may want some
privacy if it does, but I just wanted to add the encouraging
note that it doesn't always take that much time or
difficulty.

Then, practice breastfeeding in front of the mirror so
that you don't show too much flesh. Yes, BF is natural
and good, but you don't have to flash everyone all the
time.


And this is also not all that challenging to do.
You'll find out what works best for you. Towards the
end of pregnancy, invest in a good nursing bra or two
(remember to allow a little room for growth) and practice
opening and closing it one handed. Have a nursing
nightgown and/or some nursing tops, but many women find
that a loose t-shirt works very well. Don't invest a
lot before you figure out what sort of bras and clothing
work best for you, because different women have
different preferences.
Don't worry too much--by the time your baby's
a month old, you'll be wondering why you were so worried
about any of it ;-)

Best wishes,
Ericka
  #18  
Old September 19th 06, 04:27 PM posted to misc.kids.breastfeeding,misc.kids.pregnancy,misc.kids
Rose Garten
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Posts: 28
Default Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's

wrote:
I am about 3 months pregnant and I have 4 stepson's (one away at
college) ages: 13, 13, 16 and 18. The boys reside with my husband and
I on a full-time basis. I have a good relationship with all of the
boys and they were actually quite excited when we told them that we
were going to have a baby (something we've been talking about since we
got married in 2003).

Anyhow, I was hoping that someone out there can offer me some advice
about breastfeeding with older children, specifically boys, around. My
husband isn't entirely supportive of it 'cause he thinks that
breastfeeding is an inconvenience. But I've been reading up and I told
him last night that I want to at least try breastfeeding because I feel
that the benefits highly outweigh the inconveniences. The only thing I
am really worried about is how to talk to the boys about it and/or if I
should consider not breastfeeding for the sake of their comfort because
I am afraid that they might feel weird about it. Of course, those of
you that have teenage boys know how they can be sometimes with sexual
type issues.

I feel like it's a natural thing though and I want to explain to them
the reasons why it's so important that I breastfeed. Of course, I
wouldn't be hanging out exposing myself everywhere but just the same I
want to be considerate of their feelings and am worried there's no real
way to balance the issue.

Any help or advice, especially from someone who may have experience
with a similar situation, is appreciated.


Before you need to worry about what your stepsons think you need to work
on what your husband thinks. I planned on bottle feeding DD because it
was all that I knew. DH suggested breast feeding and I started to look
into it. I decided to try it for at least the 6 weeks that I was home.
I ended up going almost a year and cried when I decided to stop.

As to your husband saying it is inconvenient, I had to switch to bottle
three times for medical reasons. I found it infinitely easier to breast
feed. Getting up to make a bottle was such a pain. It was much
easier to just lift my shirt. In my own home (with no strangers
present) I did not cover up. Out in public or in others homes I covered
up or went to a different room. I remember one time at my in laws motor
home my FIL got up and left when I started to feed DD even though I was
covered up. I was concerned and offered to feed in the bedroom. My MIL
got upset and said he would agree with her that the baby came first and
that I should not have to hide something that was completely natural.

I know that none of this answers the questions about your stepsons but
if you are supported by their father in this then they will learn to
deal with it. Since they are not blood I would recommend discretion and
not just "whip a boob out" in front of them but I wouldn't hide in the
bedroom either. The suggestion of practicing in private was a good
idea. With time you should be able to BF without very little to-do. I
used to work early mornings and would meet DH and DD at synagogue
saturday mornings. DD would be hungry and I would nurse her in the back
row. More that once the Rabbi came around behind us to say hello and
would beat a quick retreat when he realized what I was doing. Again all
of this was with complete coverage. When DD got old enough to pull the
blanket off I no longer fed out in public because I was not comfortable
with it. That was my choice though and by then DD was old enough to be
fed other foods to tide her over if there wasn't a place I was
comfortable with nursing.

Good luck in what ever you decide.

  #19  
Old September 19th 06, 04:39 PM posted to misc.kids.breastfeeding,misc.kids.pregnancy,misc.kids
Ericka Kammerer
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Posts: 2,293
Default Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's

Frisbee® wrote:

I've read a few of the replies in this thread, and while I agree that you
should definitely breastfeed (my wife breast-fed our twins), it should
definitely be done in private.


I understand your intentions are good, but do you
understand the repercussions of this statement? It most
definitely makes breastfeeding a difficult and isolating
chore for women. Many babies spend quite a lot of time at
the breast. You cannot always predict when they will need
to eat. Breastfeeding only in private means that most women
will give up breastfeeding early because they're going stir
crazy and are unable to carry on with their lives because
they can't go anywhere for fear that they'll be caught out
in public when they need to nurse. (And believe me, public
restrooms and such are *NOT* an acceptable alternative most
of the time.) So, keeping it in private is an absolutely
unacceptable solution, in my opinion. I've spent about
four years of my life breastfeeding, and breastfed in
public whenever necessary or convenient for all of it.
I never got a single dirty look or comment. It is entirely
possible to breastfeed discreetly in public. Anyone who's
seeing too much when a woman is breastfeeding discreetly
is actively looking for trouble.

One reply highlighted that breast-feeding is not sexual. While you are
correct in that statement, these are teenage boys who are NOT blood-related
to "step-mom." It -will- be sexual to them.


I don't believe that's necessarily true. I'm sure it'll
be odd and maybe even uncomfortable at first, but they will very
quickly get to the point that they don't give a rip and just
want to make sure baby gets fed and stops fussing quickly.

It's sometimes uncomfortable
enough for a teenage boy to see his biological mother breastfeeding, but in
the case of mom being step-mom, the guilt of ogling your own mother's
breasts is not there, she's not related.


I don't buy that either. I suspect most step-sons would
feel guilty about ogling, but you know what? There's a *really*
easy cure for that. They can choose not to ogle.

While I don't think this would
mess them up, so to speak, it's still a pretty good idea to be as discrete
about this as possible.


I would definitely agree that discretion is appropriate.
However, saying a woman must avoid breastfeeding in public AND
ALSO in her own home whenever one of four family members happens
to be around is just way beyond the pale in my opinion. I can't
imagine hardly anyone breastfeeding beyond a week or two under
those circumstances. Who'd want to live like that? I just don't
think you can claim to be "supportive" of breastfeeding on the
one hand, and then impose so many restrictions on it that practically
no sane person would continue to do it. One of the things
many women need the most after having a baby is support and
companionship. Handing her a baby that needs to eat frequently
(and possible for long stretches of time) and then telling her
to go away every time she needs to nurse can have lots of
negative consequences.

Best wishes,
Ericka
  #20  
Old September 19th 06, 04:43 PM posted to misc.kids.breastfeeding,misc.kids.pregnancy,misc.kids
[email protected]
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Posts: 215
Default Need Advice: Breastfeeding with 3 older (13+) stepson's


Anne Rogers wrote:
).

To the OP, I realise these are not your kids, so I can see you are concerned
about how you are going to explain things to them, but presumably they
either already know about how babies are made, or this pregnancy has raised
questions? If they already know about how babies are made, there are likely
to have some vague awareness of the existance of breastfeeding. I know the
book that I had from fairly young about "how the body works" had conception
on one page, then pregnancy and the next had a picture of women
breastfeeding, chances are they have done something about it at school and
without having gone into any details, they will have some awareness that
that is how mammals feed there young.

I suppose there are two approaches, one is doing it face to face, bring it
up in conversation as a general baby care issue, "have you thought about
what the baby eats?", "where does the babies milk come from?", talk about it
as if it is the most normal thing in the world, because it is!


I don't think this approach would be a great one for most 13 and 16
year olds. They KNOW where babies come from. They also know, on an
intellectual level, that women produce milk in their breasts.


I would
totally understand if that is not a conversation you want to have, so there
is the other approach of finding a decent book (others have suggested some)
and leaving it lieing around. Oh and there is one final idea, don't even
mention it, just do it, which makes it seem all the more normal, I'd be very
surprised if they would dare make a comment even if they wanted to!


This is the one that makes the most sense to me.

Maybe I'm wrong here (having a teen-age daughter, and a teenage
daughter who has ALWAYS known what breasts are for!), but I think the
best approach to to say something much about it. Just as you are
unlikely to be discussing the details of whether or not you have an
epidural, or use cloth/disposible diapers, how you feed the baby is, on
most levels, not really their concern. If they ask about it (why
haven't you bought bottles yet? What kind of formula do you need?) you
say, "Oh, I'll be breastfeeding the new baby. Otherwise, you just do
it. (I think it makes sense to be a bit discreet about it initially,
just as you might be with any other non-intimate family member, but
there's certainly no reason to hide.)

Naomi


Cheers

Anne


 




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