April 19, 2006,
A. asks from Bedford, TX on April 06, 2006
Breast Feeding - Bedford, TX
I am currently pregnant and considering breast feeding. I have a 6 y/o daughter that has never really been exposed to breast feeding. Her aunt came over who at the time was breast feeding and my daughter was curious and did not understand at all what was going on. If I do breast feed I need some advice on the best way to explain it to older siblings.
5 moms found this helpful
C.V. answers from Dallas on April 06, 2006
okay, i had to explain to a 6 year old boy, when i was breastfeeding, he would say eeewww! at first, then he got used to it. I would usually try to chose privacy like turn a movie on for her or coloring book while you breast fead, or for jealousy issues, talk to her while you breast feed, it is nothing to be ashamed of it is natural. And explain to her that this is the healthy way to feed baby, but girl, breasfeeding, is strict, eat strictly and only healthy foods, to avoid a baby with colic. there is so much i could say, just start to form a close relationship with your daughter now, then later it will be easier, for her, instead of putting her through shoc
A.C. answers from Norfolk on April 07, 2006
I think breastfeeding is great for you, your baby, and a good example for your older daughter. Hopefully, she will be a mom someday and seeing you breastfeed will show her a good parenting skill. There are a lot of books on having a new baby in the house that are for younger siblings, and those may help. If you want to be scientific, you can explain that all mammals (giving examples of other animals) feed their babies with milk from their bodies. If you do decide to breastfeed, I would let your older daughter watch or ask questions. She may or may not be very interested; let her take the lead. I haven't lived here very long but where I lived before there were breastfeeding support groups, and those would be able to help you as well. Good luck!
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F.S. answers from Dallas on April 07, 2006
I'm a mom of 3 kids my oldest son was 5 yrs old when my youngest daughter was born I breast fed her and it was so natural that my son & my other doughter which was 3 1/2 yrs did not make a big deal they did ask & I explained that babys get thir food from mom's body until they grow older, I think when you hide & make it a big deal they are more curious I even use to joke wiht them and tell them one breast was milk and the other one chocolate milk.
A. answers from Dallas on April 06, 2006
Congratulations on your decision to breastfeed! Breastfeeding can be difficult at first, but it's so rewarding in so many ways. The best advice I got about breastfeeding was to give it a good 3 weeks before you decide if you're committed or not - it takes about that long for mom and baby to get the hang of things. Don't hesitate to go to a lactation consultant for help and advice. Your hospital should have at least one on staff.
As for your 6 year-old, she's old enough to grasp some of the major concepts of breastfeeding. Let her know that once the baby comes, you start making milk for her, and that you are able to feed the baby. It's ok to make the comparison to how a cow produces milk and feeds their babies - a lot of kids understand that better. My 4 year-old niece called it "utter feeding" at one point!
Don't be surprised if your daughter pretends to breastfeed her dolls. It's all part of understanding it.
O.M. answers from Dallas on April 06, 2006
I nursed both my children for 1 year. My oldest was 3 when her sister was born but 4 before i stopped nursing. She thought it a bit strange but she learned that that is where the milk came from and that is how her sister ate and even though at times she would "mention" to people how her sister ate, it was no big deal. Of course she ate that way as well. Also, you need to go into nursing with the expectation that it WILL hurt at times but you will eventually get used to it. I pumped at work 3 times a day as i work full time and never had to supliment for the whole year. There are some natural pills that do work as well called Fenugreek to help with the milk supply. If you don't get enough rest or don't drink enough liquids, it will affect your supply. There are all kinds of rules/laws in place nowadays that make it easier to pump at work without getting trouble. Feel free to email me should you have any more questions. I am not a nurse or anything, i just speak from experience.
J. answers from Dallas on April 06, 2006
I am from a large family. Growing up, breastfeeding was just another normal part of life. My Mom breastfed all 11 of us. It is really no big deal unless adults make it that way for kids. I would explain to her that your body is producing the only necessary food/drink for your baby he/she will need for the first year of his/her life. You may want to consider comparing it to other mammals(cows, horses, gerbils, pigs..)! It think it is a shame how our society has turned the whole breastfeeding thing taboo! The main purpose of "mammary glands" is for the production of milk for infants. I think the scientific approach might be your best bet.
M.B. answers from Dallas on April 06, 2006
I would suggest just telling your daughter that it's a natural (and healthiest) way for babies to get their nutrition. Our society has way too much of a hangup about women's breasts. I can also guarantee you that when you're around others, they'll be far less offended by a breastfeeding baby than they will be about a screaming baby (particularly on an airplane). Also, I highly recommend you find a local La Leche League group for support - for yourself and your daughter - she'll be able to meet the siblings of other breastfeeding mothers and the normalcy of the process will be re-enforced.
My son was much younger when I breastfed his baby brother, but I remember him taking his baby doll and "nursing" it - lifting up his shirt and all. (And, yes, I'm one of THOSE mothers that believes in promoting the nuturing side of boys as well, so he did have a doll). My boys are now 10 and 13 and breastfeeding is the only decision I've made that there's no doubt in my mind at all that I did the right thing. They were extremely healthy as babies/toddlers, even being in daycare. We later learned that they have a genetic auto-immune disorder (celiac disease) and are allergic to dairy, so I know that my breastfeeding really helped keep them as healthy as possible in those early years.
Most importantly, you'll be setting such a fine example of nurturing for your daughter.
S.E. answers from Dallas on April 19, 2006
My advice is to answer all questions openly. Never act as if nursing is a bad thing or try to hide it from her. She will only become more curious and it may disturb her more when you act differently. Remember its a natural and healthy way of feeding your child. Your daughter will appreciate the fact that you treat her as valuable part of the family by taking time to listen to her questions and concerns.
** Sorry for the late response **