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Thread: how long to BF

  1. #1

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    Default how long to BF

    My little boy is exclusively BF (will try to get to 6 months before introducing solids) and I keep getting asked how long I will BF him for. I am currently thinking till 12 months if he will take it but not sure about beyond that for the following reasons. I am sympathetic to the infant led weaning concept (though I will show my hand, I don't think I would like to still BF when he is 4 or 5) but would like to TTC # 2 so there is an 16 to 18 month gap between bubs. I don't think I like the idea of Flynn still being BF when bub # 2 comes along because of fear of inducing competition and jealousy, and I don't know how I will go with tandem feeding (I had an extremely easy time BF flynn but I know I may not be so lucky with # 2). So I guess what I am after is how long is "long enough" with BF, and here I mean from a nutritional point of view. I guess it might be all academic if Flynn self-weans at, say, 10 months, but is there any info on the point at which the breastmilk becomes equivalent to a multivitamin - a good booster but not absolutely crucial for good health?


  2. #2

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    Its really hard to say. 1 week is better than nothing and 1 month is better than that and 1 year etc I think you need to do whats good for you. I think the first 12 months are pretty important IMO as breastmilk is pretty much their main source of nutrients after that solids tend to be more than just a taste iykwim? I don't know though I'm sure someone else will have a more thorough answer.

    *hugs*
    Cailin

  3. #3

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    There is no vitamin or anything that compares to breastmilk - it cannot be reproduced because it contains many live cells including white blood cells. Multi-vitmains have around 20 ingredients, breastmilk has several hundred and it changes based on requirement / age etc. So a vitamin cannot match that

    I say feed as long as both mother and baby are happy and willing. You may even change your mind as you go or things may occur which change things for you. When I fell pregnant with Elijah, after a little while my milk disappeared and Marisa weaned.
    Kelly xx

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  4. #4

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    Over here, they recommend that you BF exclusively for 6 months, and continue until at least 12 months. I personally did not continue that long, but not really by choice. With my first, I ran out of milk at 4 months, after having pneumonia pretty badly, and with my second, once I gave her a bottle of EBM at 8 months, she didn't want to nurse anymore. (she much preferred being able to eat and see the world at the same time.) I pumped for a little while, but things got too busy for us, and after about a month, she went to formula.
    My sister's baby weaned herself cold turkey at 7 months. (was she ever in pain after that!:eek: ) So sometimes, they decide for themselves, and sometimes circumstances make nursing too difficult. I'd say give your baby the best start that you can (as you have) and keep it up for as long as BOTH of you are happy, and try not to have any guilt about the outcome one way or the other!
    All the best!

  5. #5
    angelfish Guest

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    Hi Aurora, as has been pointed out, breastfeeding has a dose response, so a little is good, and a long time is better, as far as the benefits that your baby (and you too) can get. Regarding the tandem feeding idea, I have not done it myself, but I have spoken with women who have, and they have all said the the tandem feeding actually reduces jealousy and sibling rivalry. Of course, if you don't like the idea of tandem feeding you shouldn't feel obliged to do it, and in fact some babies self-wean when mum gets pregnant again anyway. But you might like to talk to people who have experience of it before you discount the possibility completely. I would suggest that you maybe don't need a goal/deadline for how long to breastfeed, but just go with the flow and see how it works out. Don't wean at 12 months just because you have decided that looks like a neat cut-off point. But don't keep going for 5 years if you're hating it either. The best answer to how long to breastfeed is for as long as both mother and child want.

  6. #6

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    Aurora, when I got pregnant with Imran I was still breastfeeding Yasin but by the middle of my second trimester he had self-weaned without any dramas.
    I would think that your goal12 months is a reasonable goal because after that they get alot more of thier nutrition from solids.
    I geuss that the best time to wean is when you are comfortable doing so.
    Last edited by Phteven; November 14th, 2006 at 01:59 PM. Reason: because I can't remember my babies' names

  7. #7

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    I had wanted desperately to feed Indah as I couldnt feed #1.
    I initially said for a few months thinking I'd be lucky to last that long, then 4-5 months had apssed without drama, I was returning to work soon so began building a large supply in the freezer & work made an area for me to express in, I then made it past 6 months, then 8 & then 12 months, I am still feeding if & when Indah wants..

    I have actually noticed the only ppl that comment or ask how long I will continue feeding for are women... I am not sure why it concerns them or why it bothers them... I feed Indah bob before bed if she wants in & 5 nights a weekish she does, she was sick a week or so ago & beagn feeding heaps more, slowly now its' 1-3 times a day depending on her, I honestly dont know when I will think I have had enough, I guess when she decides?

    But let me say like you I had a goal, now I dont bother I just love that everynight she generally still wants to snuggle & be fed by me!!!

  8. #8

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    well the who recommends until 2 years old.
    (world health organisation)....

    i have heard tandem feeding can reduce sibling jealousy aswell.

    the more you research/read up on it - the more you might find yourself convinced
    aba has alot of info...

    i bf DD1 until 13 months as i thought it was a good 'goal' - had i know what i do now id have kept going...DD2 is 21months and still going!

  9. #9

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    I can remember setting a goal for myself of 12 months when I had Jess. I thought that by that age they would be so independent and not babies anymore lol...i was so wrong..they are still so little!!!!!! I went to 18 months with the girls weaning due to pregnancy...i had never considered tandem feeding at all..i would now though. Sammy is 15 months and he is such a baby still..i couldnt imagine not giving him boo boo..he loves it so much...feeding prob 6-8 times a day still. I think you will find what is best for you as you go on..its hard planning anything as it really changes so much! I would never believe in a million years that i would have 4 children either..lol

    Jo

  10. #10

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    I think just go with the flow and let bub decide, We held off solids with Jacob till he was 7 months and he was finally eating properly at 9 months and eats great now and is still BF.. I always thoguht 6 months or when they got teeth and then I would stop but Jacob has openined my eyes to alot of issues I had about breastfeeding.. Good luck..

  11. #11

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    Thanks for that, girls. You know, if Flynn is willing I think I might give tandem feeding a go. I am one of those lucky cows (heheh, no pun intended, seriously!!) who had absolutely no probs BF so I kinda feel like maybe I should tackle something hard just so I can "earn" my boobie stripes? Masochistic, maybe, but the thought of a boobie challenge cracks me up!! LOL

    Onceagain, thanks girls

  12. #12

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    PMSL
    i was a lucky cow too

  13. #13

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    Lmao!!!! You go for your boobie stripes!!!

    Jo

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