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How long to breasfeed for?
Your experiences please

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61 replies to this topic

#51 TwistedIvy

Posted 26 August 2009 - 04:14 AM

I have three kids:

DS1 - Breastfed until 1yo then he self weaned.
DS2 - Breastfed until 3yo when he self weaned.
DS3 - Only 5 months old, and intend BF him until he self weans.

I choose to BF until my kids self wean, because once you get past those first 6 weeks, then the first 6mo it is too easy and convenient NOT to do it.

Also, I would not consider formular feeding before 1yo as I would not want to feed my baby food produced in a factory. At least after 1yo you can use cows milk.

#52 Hootabelles

Posted 28 August 2009 - 07:37 AM

Prizzy  Thanks for adding that piece of info..it was nice to read for a mum who is having issues with a biting bub and emotional about giving a bottle for night feed (7pm) and now not exclusively BF anymore  sad.gif

#53 Guest_calidarling_*

Posted 28 August 2009 - 08:11 AM

I BFed my first two boys for 3 years, and my third for 2 years.

I'll go to 2 years this time, I'm comfortable with that.

I roll with the biting periods, I can handle it.

#54 mmk

Posted 28 August 2009 - 08:50 AM

QUOTE (coogeebeachbabe @ 25/08/2009, 11:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How long is it "normal" to breastfeed for?
I've just read lots of conflicting information and I"d like to know how long you did it for and why.

And the more you read the more conflicting it will be! wink.gif

I was the 'abnormal' one in my group of friends.  We had issues along the road but I weaned DS at 12 mo.  We went through breast refusal at 9 wo so I was expressing every feed, and then not long after he went the other way & went through bottle refusal & would hang out for me to get home so I couldn't leave him with either EBM or formula rolleyes.gif  I had 'no choice' but to BF until 12 mo when he could have exclusively cow's milk.  Even then he wanted it in a cup & not in a bottle.  My initial intention was to BF until 12 mo, but when we were having so many issues up until 9 wo I thought "if I can get to 3 mo I'll be happy".  Our next goal was 6 mo.  By then things were perfect & we didn't have another problem (other than bottle refusal tongue.gif )

My friends on the other hand - one couldn't wait to get to 3 mo because she hated everything about BFing but wanted to give her DS what she could.  He was then FF.  Another couple I think got to 6 mo, but they were all having formula for at least one feed a day from earlier than when they were weaned.  One weaned because she was going back to work, and the other weaned because her baby preferred a bottle by then & she was happy enough that she'd got to 6 months.  Everyone's reasons for weaning were different...

And the other thing I'll add is that I hadn't even considered formula for DS because I was "going to BF".  We were nearly kept in what felt like detention, because the hospital weren't going to let us go home if DS couldn't attach & suck properly.  I was in tears at the thought that I would have FF him & that we were being 'kept back' because we couldn't get it right.  So even if you intend to BF, please keep it in the back of your mind that there might be setbacks right from the start.  The thing that got us through though was persistence.  I set myself time limits instead of just deciding "that's it!" and giving up.  When he was 9 wo & wouldn't have a bar of me I stopped offering him a boob for a day so he got over his fear of it.  Turns out it was the letdown coming early that he didn't like, so in the end I would only offer the later feeds that were slower, until he got used to it & slowly introduced the other ones back.  I'd set my limit that I could persist with expressing every feed until he was 3 mo & then I would stop.  We were back on track before then & I was then able to set my next goal that I would persist with whatever I had to until 6 mo.  It made it much easier to continue knowing that if it wasn't working that there was an end in sight.  Like being on a treadmill & knowing that there's only 2 minutes left - 2 minutes is do-able when you're knackered, but if it was to go as long as you could you'd just give up when you'd had enough - even though in reality you had another 2 minutes left in you IYKWIM?

Good luck!  Have your intentions in mind but be prepared that you might have to reassess along the way.  And my main advice is to not just give up one day 'because it's all too hard'.  If you really want to BF then seek help if you need to but stick with it & chances are things will improve.  

Oh, and in regards to extended BFing - it's not for me I don't think, but each to their own with what they choose & I generally don't judge.  I do think it's a 'little odd' though for an 8 yo to still be BFing...  I don't know where I would draw the line though before I starting thinking like that...

#55 m2j

Posted 28 August 2009 - 10:57 AM

Yes I agree with all the other PP's - I don't think there is a 'normal', it's just whatever works for you and your child.

For me, I am aiming to exclusively breastfeed until 7 months when I will be going back to work. From then I'm hoping to express at work but may also have to introduce a bottle of formula here and there. I'm happy to go with it and just see how it pans out.

#56 lelbobel

Posted 29 August 2009 - 11:38 PM

I'm tandem breast feeding my 7.5mth old and almost 3yr old.
They'll wean when they're ready.
I've witnessed my nearly 3yr old DD thrive on being breastfed for so long, it seems completely normal and natural to us and we wouldn't have it any other way!

#57 lucky 2

Posted 30 August 2009 - 10:59 AM

I wanted to bf my bub till 2 years at least (noting the accumulative positive health effects of extended bf) but alas my bub did not follow my plans, she refused breast feeds from 8 months (when she was ill) and never went back to bf, and also refused bottle, so I expressed breast milk for her till she was 23 (and a half) months old till my volumes were down to 70 mls per day, so I really did almost reach my goal!
That was normal for me, to get breast milk into her any which way I could.

#58 witchesforest

Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:45 PM

in my circle of friends i would say around 15 months is about average.

#59 NoNoBoo

Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:50 PM

There is no ''normal''. It's what works for you. I had trouble feeding DD and gave up at six weeks, but breastfed DS1 until he self-weaned at 9 months and DS2 until 12 months. All three happy and healthy (now 9, 5 and 2). Go with the flow and do what works best for you.

#60 lozoodle

Posted 03 September 2009 - 10:10 AM

OP, there is no normal - its an individual thing.

I always thought I would breastfeed DD for around 12 months, but not past that. I have no problem with people who feed longer than that, but for me personally its probably the age I am comfortable with.

That being said, i didn't realise how tough it could be, and I ended up stopping at just 6 weeks of age.

I do intend attempting to feed again with my next baby as I know from reading on here that different babies can be SO different with regards to feeding. But this time I am not placing time limits on myself, I will just do it for as long as I am able to and as long as it feels right.

I hated breastfeeding, more than anything. But I'm willing to give it another go for the sake of my next child. I wont beat myself up if it doesn't work out though, but I'll try at least original.gif

#61 Blondiebear

Posted 03 September 2009 - 10:19 AM

My almost 1 year old still has 4 BFs a day. She was breastfed exclusively until 5 1/2 months.

My goal was always to get to 1 year and reassess. I'm planning to have another baby next year and not expecially keen on the idea of tandem feeding so ideally I'd like her to wean by 2. My plan for the short term is to at least continue breastfeeds first thing in the morning and before bed, and gradually replace daytime drinks with cows' milk or water.

#62 zande

Posted 03 September 2009 - 10:19 AM

My 2 DDs were breastfed exclusively for 6 mths (DD1 was in fact 7 mths before she would take any solids), and they continued breastfeeding until they both weaned themselves at about 2.5yo. Neither DD had any formula at all. I loved breastfeeding and fully believe in all the benefits. I will forever remember breastfeeding my DDs as newborns, they are the most special experiences of my life. I also believe breastfeeding them as toddlers helped with their sense of security and a breastfeed often calmed them down when they were tired, or having a meltdown. My DDs are extremely healthy, hardly even a cold here. I believe it has helped my immune system too somehow, as up until a couple of months ago I had been feeding for nearly 5 years (with 6 mths off between weaning DD1 and DD2's birth) and I have not had a cold since before I was pregnant with DD2 (she's nearly 3).

Edited by zande, 03 September 2009 - 10:19 AM.

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