Alicia comes to The Doctors asking if they have any advice on how to get her son to stop wanting to be breastfed. She says she stopped breastfeeding him a year ago but he still has this connection to it.
Alicia says he is constantly pulling down her shirt, smacking her chest, and yelling “boobs” out loud! When he does this out in public, at places like the supermarket, it’s embarrassing.
The Doctors consult staff psychologist at the Pump Station & Nurtury Dr. Jill Campbell on how to fix this problem. Dr. Campbell advises Alicia to try and wear a tight shirt when they are out that won’t allow him to get at and pull down. She suggests having something like a stuffed animal, blanket, or even a t-shirt of hers that can serve as something cuddly he can self-soothe with.
Family medicine physician Dr. Mike Varshavski asks Dr. Campbell if she agrees with his belief that these issues are often a form of attention-seeking behavior that is brought on by the responses of family, friends or parents. For example, every time he grabs at his mom’s breasts, people laugh, so he is getting a response.
Dr. Mike suggests correcting the behavior but not bringing a lot of attention to it. Dr. Campbell agrees and adds that it’s important for Alicia to be consistent in her responses to the child’s behavior. If at home, she laughs but at the store, gets angry, this will send her son mixed messages. Dr. Campbell says to be consistent in tone of voice, facial expression and body gestures because otherwise, it’s going to keep him seeking that attention and testing the boundaries.