How long did you/do you want to bf for?

(82 Posts)
HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Mon 25-Mar-13 16:19:48

DD (2) recently had a bit of a strike and I panicked because I hadn't expected it. Up until then I didn't really think I would be that bothered when she stopped as we've reached my (WHO recommended) goal of 2 and beyond, but I was absolutely gutted.

Luckily, she's stopped striking now and we're back to normal, but it's got me thinking about how long I would like to feed for. It is obviously down to DD when she wants to stop, I'm not going to try and influence her either way but I think I will be really emotional when the time comes. Especially as I am unlikely to have any more babies.

My mum remembers the last time she fed me (self weaned), she said it was if we both knew it was the last time so it was bittersweet and when I thought DD had stopped, I was so sad I hadn't had that final feed for closure.

I suppose I'm just wondering what it was like when your DC weaned and how I'm going to feel when it does happen. At the moment I'm thinking that I wouldn't mind another year or so, but I might want another year after that, and another, and another........

Welovegrapes Sun 31-Mar-13 16:11:41

Before I had a baby I was astonished to hear you could bf a toddler - was aiming for bf for 6 months.

Now DS is 20 months and I'm going strong grin

Welovegrapes Sun 31-Mar-13 16:10:06

Oh yes I love my LLL group - keep me sane and are lovely ladies smile

EauRouge Sun 31-Mar-13 11:45:00

God yes, I started going to LLL when DD1 was about 18 mo and everyone I knew had stopped BF. I had already made my plan to let her self wean and it was such a relief to meet some like-minded people. Also they have good cake.

Kveta Sun 31-Mar-13 11:38:55

Those of you who are bfing a toddler, have you got a local La leche league group? I found mine very useful to remind me that I wasn't doing anything weird or freaky. Very gentle reassurance that I wasn't alone helped me a lot smile

MostlyLovingLurchers Sun 31-Mar-13 11:13:00

Perhaps we need to organise a mass toddler bfing somewhere very public!

It does seem that a big part of the problem is that people just don't see it, and most of those that do bf beyond a year or two feel they can only do so in private. I remember reading somewhere on here that even some bf support groups only let you attend for the first 6 months (not mine i'm glad to say), and that only reinforces the message that it doesn't matter after that.

Maybe just a paragraph in the nhs pregnancy/0-5 books would help, so that people are aware that natural term feeding it is at least a possibility, so that they don't feel like a freak for wanting to bf their child beyond infancy. The Real Baby Milk Guide does mention it - under special circumstances, which doesn't really help normalise it.

BertieBotts Sun 31-Mar-13 11:02:35

Well I know that now! grin this was in the days when babies were just cute things that other people had!

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 30-Mar-13 22:18:49

My ex MIL was born with a tooth!

hoosyermama Sat 30-Mar-13 21:32:13

I have been very lucky being able to breast feed both of my children. With my first DD we went to 12 months (literally - the day before she turned one, all felt very symbolic!). I was very sad to stop and whilst she'd largely lost interest (before bed only feed by this time) and it did feel like a natural time to stop, with retrospect I was also responding to pressure, an assumption, that you don't go beyond a year (my mum and sister had and continue to have strong views about this, we were all bottle fed). So with my second, a boy, it has been a totally different story, he is devoted to the breast and is showing no signs of wanting to stop anytime soon! I had assumed I would go to 12 months, then 18 months, he's almost 26 months and I've stopped guessing when we'll stop! It works for both of us and I love the bonding / emotional element not to mention the sheer convenience! I still have to contend with disapproval / lack of understanding amongst some of those closest to me and when I'm tired I find I start to believe they are right and it is time to stop. Thankfully the desire to keep going outweighs that most of the time. More and more I think if I am lucky enough to be able to continue then I shall let him self wean.

Schooldidi Sat 30-Mar-13 21:21:14

Bertie if you had to stop when they got teeth than I would have stopped at 6 weeks with dd1 because that's when she got her first 2 teeth! Even my ex-sil realised that was stupid, and that was the woman who told me it was perverted to bf because boobs are for sex confused.

Weissdorn Sat 30-Mar-13 21:15:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BertieBotts Sat 30-Mar-13 20:51:36

I thought the recommended time was 12 months when I had DS, but I don't know where that came from because I don't think it was the official advice. I think my step mum breastfed until about 9 months when her DC got teeth. I remember assuming you stopped when they got teeth anyway.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 30-Mar-13 16:19:52

visualise that sounds horrid. sad

I think that because breast milk is technically the best nourishment for babies yet the bf rates are so low, cases where bf is not necessarily the best choice or is difficult are swept under the carpet to prevent them from putting people off trying or giving up.
But then people who do struggle feel marginalised and don't receive the support they need which creates resentment.

fannywetleg Sat 30-Mar-13 15:31:26

It is so nice to hear people saying they are bf past 2 years! I was beginning to feel like a social pariah because DS is 2.3 years, still bf regularly and nearly everybody including HV and GP think I am an oddity!! I am planning to let DS decide when he wants to stop. I never had a particular bf goal when I started - just a wait and see. Thank you all for reminding me I am not weird!!grin

I never really felt good about BF until the end. I had D-MER (Dysmorphic Milk Ejection Reflex), which meant that during the first 4 months, every time I fed the baby, I felt hollow and empty. And sometime nauseous too. I never got that feeling of bonding, in fact, even towards the end, I never felt bonded with the baby during feeding - I was doing it because I knew it was best for him.
I did begin to enjoy it towards the end, but still never felt great about it.

I think there is too much of 'BF is the best way to bond with your baby, and snuggling up with your baby is lovely' etc - there is not enough about how many mothers really struggle in the early days, and that it's normal to feel like your body has been taken over by this tiny being and your boobs are huge and you just feel so unlike your old self.

(But I also suffered PND and psychosis, and intitally tried very hard to BF - it's long and complicated, but the short story is that I believed that he was someone else's baby and his 'real mum' would be really mad at me if I didn't BF.)

weegiemum Sat 30-Mar-13 04:27:57

With dd1 (who is now 13!) I fed her for a year, when I gave up in order to ttc again - I now know I didn't have to but it was way back pre-mumsnet!

With ds (now 11, he was supposed to be my last baby) I thought I'd go to 2 years, but at 15 months he started head banging against me, screeching, biting. After a couple of days I realised I'd totally dried up - and that I was 13 weeks pregnant! So that xplained it.

Dd2 is now 9. She fed for almost exactly 2 years. By the end we were down to mornings only. Then one morning she bounced into bed and said "no no more mummy mok!" I asked what she wanted, she said "cup!" (her big sister and brother had a cup of milk in the morning). So we got her a cup. A few days later she said "more mummy mok?" and I had decided it wasn't starting again, so I said "sorry all gone" and she was happy enough, just asked for "more cup".

I was emotional stopping. I'm not sorry ill never be pg or give birth again, but I am a bit sorry ill never bf again.

Bunny19 Sat 30-Mar-13 03:55:55

Was aiming for 6 months, reached 6 months and am now aiming for a year!

msbossy Fri 29-Mar-13 23:47:11

DD1, aiming for 6 months but only managed eight weeks. Very little help available to someone with a BF baby with colic :-(

DD2, hoped for 3 months but was able to do a bit more research in advance, knowing what I was likely to be challenged with. Avoiding expressing did help but also meant DD2 refused a bottle. EBF for 12 months until she was happy to drink from a cup.

GrandPoohBah Fri 29-Mar-13 23:15:50

Badguider, my 18wo dd is bf all the time - except for the one bottle of formula she gets in the evening so daddy can put her to bed and I have some time to myself. It works fantastically for us and I can't imagine that it wouldn't work with ebm - we use formula because frankly I can't be faffed with expressing.

My aim is to get to at least 6mo but I can't think of a reason I would stop then - it's easy and works well for us. I suspect that I'll bf most of the time until I go back to work when she's 12mo, then do a morning and or evening feed until it stops working for us.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Fri 29-Mar-13 22:52:04

Yes i read something about bf in Mongolia too visualise The general attitude over there is completely different to here IIRC the author mentioned that when she worked in an office there and left expressed milk in the fridge, colleagues kept nicking it to drink for themselves!

Yes you're right bonzo your response was valid. It's interesting on this thread some of us never wanted to bf at all, some didn't ever see bf as an emotional thing and some (including me) feel that it's very meaningful and emotional. I wonder what it is that makes us feel differently about it? I always assumed that all bf mothers felt like this and that it must be an innate biological response that resulted from the endorphins you get when you bf, but it obviously isn't if not everyone feels that way.

chroniclackofimagination - that is a fab idea. I stopped BF at 8 months but really wish that I'd carried on going. I'd never of thought to offer a toddler EBM in a cup before. Once I'm pregnant again, and BF the next one, I'll remember to do that.

(I read once that in Mongolia, it's not uncommon for a mum to express some milk for her husband as a treat or for someone who is ill in the family!)

bonzo77 Thu 28-Mar-13 21:06:38

Point was I chose not to BF. not everyone wants to. It's a valid response to the OP's question.

Crunchymunchyhoneycakes Thu 28-Mar-13 20:30:46

Fed ds1 till he was 18 months, still feel a bit sad I stopped when I did bu it was the right decision at the time.

Ds2 is 9 1/2 months now and I plan to feed as long as he wants really.

Not really sure what the pint of bonzo's comment was...

bonzo77 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:31:17

Didn't want to BF at all. Didn't BF at all. 2 DCs.

nananaps Thu 28-Mar-13 19:00:20

Schooldidi hi! Yes 10 weeks old and im still a nervous wreck!
Pinch myself daily to remind myself that he is here and that he is mine and that FINALLY we did it, we actually got our baby.
grin so happy to hear that i helped someone from my miserable journey, thats lovely xx

Schooldidi Wed 27-Mar-13 14:53:20

Nananaps I can't believe your little one is 10 weeks already! It's amazing! You won't even recognise me now because I've namechanged but you helped me a lot around about this time last year.

I fed dd1 for 14 months. I'd just assumed that I would bf, didn't think about how long for, then once she arrived I wanted to get past the first week, then the next week, then before I knew it we'd gone past a year. She stopped when i went to uni full time. I recognise it now as a strike, but at the time I thought it was her self weaning.

Dd2 I fed til 2y8m. Again I just assumed I'd bf, and decided to aim for a year so we could avoid formula altogether. Then I never found a good enough reason to stop until she self weaned just before Christmas.

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