% of women who bf past a year

(57 Posts)
minicc Wed 21-Nov-12 18:14:25

My sister sent me a link to a Bbc news article re:bf rates in the uk. (she also said how special I am to have ebf for 6 months let alone feeding at all at just over a year) Anywhoo, does anyone know what % of women still feed at 1yr? No agenda, just curious. Thanks

Svrider Wed 21-Nov-12 18:15:48

I did
Stopped at around 17months (eventually)

naturalbaby Wed 21-Nov-12 18:18:25

I don't know but me too, with all 2 out of 3 dc's.

TerrariaMum Wed 21-Nov-12 18:21:50

Don't know percentage, but I would be in it as am still feeding DD (23 mo)

CaseyShraeger Wed 21-Nov-12 18:24:47

Not sure, but it'll be tiny.

I found w report from 2005 that said only 3% of babies in the UK are still breastfed at 6 months, but I couldn't find anything beyond that.

PogoBob Wed 21-Nov-12 18:40:39

I suspect there aren't any stats available on it to be honest.

I'm in there at 27 months (slightly unwillingly at the moment as 35 pregnant with very sensitive nipples!) and I know a few other mothers who are still feeding children of a similar age to DD but very few.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Wed 21-Nov-12 18:49:52

I'm in. dc1 & 2 to 2yrs. dc3 will stop sooner I think, but I am sure we will at least make it to 1yr.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Nov-12 18:54:06

Less than 1%, I believe.

The infant feeding survey from 2010 hasn't been published yet so the 2005 figures are the most up to date.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Nov-12 18:54:44

Ooh, the 2010 survey is out! <geek>

BertieBotts Wed 21-Nov-12 19:00:08

34% at 6 months according to 2010 infant survey. Looks like they didn't collect data for older babies, unfortunately.

MikeOxard Wed 21-Nov-12 19:08:17

Me too! Dd self-weaned at 22 months.

poppy283 Wed 21-Nov-12 19:13:32

Aren't the stats at 6 months for exclusive bfing? I.e. babies that haven't had any solids yet.

I suppose it's hard to gather this info past the time when you're seeing the hv regularly.

Anyway, still feeding Dd at 27 months here (and ds at 3 months!)

Still going at 3 years! Slowly weaning though...not entirely sure I can wait until my son self weans.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Nov-12 19:23:25

No the 34 percent (why don't I have that symbol on my phone?) is for any breastfeeding. Pretty good :-) it was only 25 percent 7 years ago.

dontcallmehon Wed 21-Nov-12 19:24:20

I bf dd till she was 3 and ds till the age of 2. Doubt that there are many of us though.

RooneyMara Wed 21-Nov-12 19:26:06

I've no idea.

There seem to be quite a lot of us though, which is nice, and surprises me...I fed ds2 till he was 4 and a half, and started school.

BertieBotts Wed 21-Nov-12 19:26:37

Exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months must be pretty rare, even following guidelines most people don't wait until after 6 months to introduce solids.

RooneyMara Wed 21-Nov-12 19:38:16

Oh God I did. I hated the idea of making food for my children, knowing it would end up all over the floor/ceiling/walls.

I mean I did start around then, but I wasn't in a hurry - they both BF more than anything else till at least a year.

I didn't start weaning earnest until DS's 26 week birthday on Sunday. I started giving him some soft carrot sticks and bits of fruit to destroy and hurl at the dogs play with about a week and a half ago but the two minuscule lumps of carrot which made the journey through to his nappy weren't enough for me to think I needed to count myself out of the 1% of EBFers at 6 months.

Mathsdidi Wed 21-Nov-12 20:13:40

I'm still here at 2 yrs 7 months. I was one of the respondents in the 2010 survey and am one of the 1% ebf at 6 months <polishes halo>. I really couldn't be faffed with the puree mess that I went through with dd1 so we did BLW and she just wasn't interested in eating the food she was playing with until after her 6 month birthday.

Mama1980 Wed 21-Nov-12 20:16:48

I bfed my ds until he was 3 1/2 he was ebf until he was 6 months. No idea of official figures though sorry.

messtins Thu 22-Nov-12 12:56:59

You are special minicc and you are doing a great job - you can be proud to be a paid up member of the club we affectionately call "toddler feeding weirdos". I fed both of mine past a year (16 and 25 months). I don't think babies still being breastfed at a year is included in any official figures, which is surprising given that the WHO recommendation is 2 yrs. I suspect they know the figure is very low and will make it look like they are doing a crap job. 34% having some breastmilk at 6 months old (includes babies who also have formula and who are on solids) was quite encouraging, I thought! The 1% is for babies who are exclusively BF at 6 months, so excludes babies who started solids at 25 weeks and 6 days...

Mibby Thu 22-Nov-12 13:03:27

Still going at 24.5 months here

givemeaclue Thu 22-Nov-12 13:05:58

I read the article it is one per cent

jellyandcake Thu 22-Nov-12 13:06:59

I breastfed til 14 months but wouldn't appear in any survey as nobody ever asked me. My health visiting team sort of itsuggested that if I had no problems then I didn't need to see them so when I stopped taking him to be weighed (probably around 5/6 months) I didn't see them again and wasn't offered a one year check. I wasn't asked about breastfeeding at his vaccinations either. So how do we know the surveys are accurate, I wonder?

DuelingFanjo Thu 22-Nov-12 14:20:50

I am still breastfeeding at 23 months. DS eats food but he prefers milk so when he's with me he choses that over food. I wish I could have taken part in the survey.

CaroleService Thu 22-Nov-12 14:33:38

14m and 20m here.

WheresMyCow Thu 22-Nov-12 14:35:22

I breastfed until DS's 2nd birthday, although it could probably have stopped a little sooner because he wasn't really that bothered in the end but I wanted to get to his birthday.

I did carry on getting him weighed, but past about 5/6 months, even though there was a space to write it on the form they never even asked was I still feeding.

minicc Thu 22-Nov-12 19:04:54

Ah thanks mess! *polishes halo and hands round kit kats to fellow weirdos*grin

JollyJock Thu 22-Nov-12 19:10:01

Still feeding at 19mo here. Plan was 6 mo, then 1 year, then 18mo. Now it is 'before (unconceived) dc2 is born'.

I would have guessed 1% at 1 year. I only know two other than me, outwith LLL group.

mummysmellsofsick Thu 22-Nov-12 19:21:04

Still feeding more milk than food at 12 months. Especially when he's got a cold he stops eating altogether and just has milk. We go through the whole weaning process again every time, back to milk then milk & fruit, then fish & veg... Then another cold... I thought bf babies were supposed to have extra immunity, can't imagine how many colds he'd have if I wasn't bfing

BertieBotts Fri 23-Nov-12 09:25:28

Jelly there's some stuff about the methodology of the survey in the files of it (probably one of the appendices) - suffice to say as a sociology student who has briefly studied survey methodology, it's pretty good as they go and therefore should be mostly accurate. It isn't collected through health visitor contact but via a postal survey so less likely for people to lie etc as well as it's anonymous (I never told my health visitor that we co-slept because I'd done my research and didn't want a lecture!)

BertieBotts Fri 23-Nov-12 09:28:23

If we're reporting lengths BTW grin

More milk than food until about 22 months (that was fun hmm) and DS is still hanging on for the occasional feed at 4. Out of our NCT group of 8, 4 got to somewhere around a year and 2 of us out of the 4 carried on past that - I think the other stopped at around 2, but maybe she's still secretly feeding too grin

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Fri 23-Nov-12 09:38:40

I managed 14 months for DS1, 17 months for DD, and 30 months with DS2, which was 10 years ago so I really was a weirdo! Didn't self-wean, though, which I slightly regret as it would have been lovely for the DCs.

Just got to the stage where I made the decision for them each time - although that stage became later with each child.

Xenia Fri 23-Nov-12 10:33:16

Over a year with all 5 (and worked full time). They all stopped by about 2 or 18 months. I would have been happy to carry on.

UK rate as so,eone said above is about 3% over one year. We have the worst breastfeeding rates in Europe here.

stopgap Fri 23-Nov-12 13:20:12

We're still going at 15 months. Our paediatrician was surprised, but of my eight mum friends, six are still nursing past a year (this is NYC).

poachedeggs Fri 23-Nov-12 13:26:23

I was horrified to read that only 1% manage 6 months EBF. I know things are improving but it's hardly a poorly publicised guideline.

Fed both of mine beyond 2 years (still feeding DD for now, who knows when it'll stop? !)

RosannaBanana Fri 23-Nov-12 13:31:56

I fed DS the longest of all my peer group- 15 months. Hoping to feed DD until around 2 years as per WHO guidelines!

MarzipanAnimal Sun 25-Nov-12 08:58:47

I don't think the 'ebf at 6 months' is a particularly useful statistic given that the advice is to start solids at around 6 months and when your baby shows signs of being ready. Plenty of BLW babies will start eating a bit before 6 months but I wouldn't consider that as a 'failure' to stick to the ebf guidelines

BertieBotts Sun 25-Nov-12 13:55:23

Exactly Marzipan. It's better in that case to look at the chart where EBF drops off - you'll see that there's a shift over the past 20 years or so to later and later and quite a big shift when they did change the advice, it's now much less common for people to stop EBF before 4 months and a much higher proportion than that 1% figure suggests are EBF by 5 or coming up to 6 months.

Kelvinator Mon 26-Nov-12 11:06:56

This really surprises me. I would have guess 10-15%

Mixed feelings really as I have been trying to stop bf DS since he was 6 months, He never took a bottle, I found his crying too stressful to try harder and dont have much friend family support, so couldnt hand him over to anybody so they could try.

He is 17 months now and I am desperate to stop, I have gone back to work part time and I feel so guilty as I see it as an escape from him.

One reasons I initally wanted to stop was to ttc (have not got my period back) but now I am having doubts about having any more DC as I dread bf them but I know I couldnt live with the guilt of formula feeding them.

Feeling very selfish and a failure of a mother tbh

showtunesgirl Mon 26-Nov-12 11:13:39

I asked this question last week when the new report was published.

I have JUST entered the feeding at over a year old club. smile

FivesAndNorks Mon 26-Nov-12 11:17:43

There aren't any decent stats and the numbers are so small few conclusions can be reached about it.

" poachedeggs

I was horrified to read that only 1% manage 6 months EBF"

Me too, yet I suspect its not helped by the guidelines about introducing solids no later than 6 months hmm and the all important window of opportunity for successful weaning.

Woodlands Mon 26-Nov-12 11:25:14

Yes, when I read the survey I saw that 12% have not introduced any other milk by 6 months (the 1% figure refers to those who have not introduced any other milk OR solids). As someone said above, 34% of babies are receiving some breastmilk at 6 months. I don't think the survey gives a percentage of babies still receiving any BM at 12 months, does it? I think 1-3% sounds about right. Much much higher here on MN of course! And in real life I'd say maybe 20% of the mums I know have BF past a year, but that's quite a middle class older mums group of people.

nethunsreject Mon 26-Nov-12 11:26:11

The 'exclusive till 6 months' also rules out all the people who have given the occassional (or even one off) bit of formula. I have met many people in my work as a bf counsellor who have bfed for a very impressive length of time, but have perhaps been advised (rightly or wrongly) by medical staff to top up here and there, os to give a one off feed if their milk was very slow to come in.

Still pitifully poor bf rates. Not mums fault - bloody marketing bastards, poorly trained health care professionals (some are great though _ don't get me wrong!) and general lack of support network.

FivesAndNorks Mon 26-Nov-12 11:29:15

No i don't think it does. The question is how is/was your baby fed at 6 months I think. So excl bf would still be an option even if the baby had a bottle of formula when tiny.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Mon 26-Nov-12 11:29:20

Its not what I'd think of as ebf though. Lots more people are just bf and haven't touched formula - but happened to have tried banana or a breadstick as well. I think that's a bit misleading. 34% still bf at 6 months is a better statistic.

I bf to at least a year as can then do cups of milk as well without a formula stage. No 1 weaned off about 18months. No 2 still going.

ISeeThreadPeople Mon 26-Nov-12 11:31:31

Did somebody say kit kat? Chocolate? Yes please. Probably should have a non-nestle badge of extended bfing, yummy though they are!

DD was bf exclusively till 6 months, self weaned at 3.4yrs.

DS exclusively till 6 months, still going strong at 14 months. Will let him self wean too.

Am pleased the recent stats show an improvement.

FivesAndNorks Mon 26-Nov-12 11:36:34

Nethuns, please add conflicting advice to that list which is giving me the rage.
Completely agree. The vast majority of women do their utmost to do their best for their babies, and many want to breastfeed. Many of those stop before they want because of lack of support and /or culture of bottlefeeding. Passion about improving bf rates should never be confused with wanting to dictate how individual women should feed their babies. On that, thryre best placed tojudge. Doesn't change the fact that nationally we need to improve.

Kelvinator Mon 26-Nov-12 11:54:39

Are poor bf rates really down to "bloody marketing bastards, poorly trained health care professionals (some are great though _ don't get me wrong!) and general lack of support networkconflicting advice"?

I must live in some sort of vacume then, I hear this all the time on mumsnet and read about poor rates in the news but my bf experience was so very different and not at all affected by the above.

I got given info about bf from my midwives, I chose to bf and I did.

I went to nhs bf class when pregnant which gave me some idea of what to do, looking back with hindsight it wasnt very helpful but it did give me some basic understandings of which I had none to begin with.

It took a lot of time to work out what to do in the early days but I didnt need to consult anyone about it fortunately.

Early problems and anxiety I did have were sorted out in part because I was stuck at home with terrible back pain after labour and couldnt do much except for stay in bed and feed DS.

I never even considered using formula until he was 6 months as that is what the guidelines were and I chose to follow them.

I really think blaming "bloody marketing bastards, poorly trained health care professionals (some are great though _ don't get me wrong!) and general lack of support networkconflicting advice" is a bit patroninsing to mothers who make a concious choice to ff.

(This does not apply to those who have had difficulties bf and who really struggled to make it work and didnt get support they needed. Of course these mothers exist as well, but I am just saying that there are plenty of others who make a deliberate and informed choice to ff)

Startail Mon 26-Nov-12 11:57:16

I think DD2 probably qualifies as 0.000000000001% of DC were still BF.

I'm happy to accept she was something of an exception, but 2,3 and up to 5 are perfectly achievable.

I don't know why people feel they have to give up at a year, the mum's I know best didn't they carried on in to toddlerdom, some self weaned, some stopped because mum got PG, some were encouraged to stop because mum wanted her bed back.

It seems so sad that mothers feel they have to stop.

Carrying on is easy, perhaps dear DD2 too easy, DCs will settle to night and morning or even just evening, they can miss a few days and start again.
Feeding a baby to sleep is beautiful, but feeding to sleep an older child who understands it's special too is the greatest honour of all.

BertieBotts Mon 26-Nov-12 20:55:32

There are no guidelines which differentiate between breastmilk and formula at 6 months or any other age - the recommendation is exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and then breastfeeding alongside solids for however long you want, the only guideline about formula is to keep using it until 12 months rather than cow's milk (and not to use follow on until 6 months).

BadlyWrittenPoem Tue 27-Nov-12 20:43:41

"One reasons I initally wanted to stop was to ttc (have not got my period back) but now I am having doubts about having any more DC as I dread bf them but I know I couldnt live with the guilt of formula feeding them.

Feeling very selfish and a failure of a mother tbh "

Kelvinator, this was one of my worries wrt another child. I was not looking forward to the soreness and was worried that it would be too much for me to manage while looking after my existing child. However, I have actually found BF much easier this time. I did still have the sore bit but it lasted for a shorter length of time and I didn't have all the stress and worry that was created for me the first time by all the information I had been given that said BF does not hurt if you are doing it properly. I had more confidence that I was doing it correctly, the soreness wasn't as bad and I knew that the soreness wouldn't last. First time round I honestly would have switched to formula if my husband had suggested it (but fortunately I had drummed so much into him about how good BF is while I was pregnant that he didn't) but this time round I haven't ever considered it.

I am also baffled as to why people stop after the first few months. I found the initial bit the hardest and can totally empathise with why people stop earlier on but to go through all that and then just decide to stop once you are in the easy bit seems puzzling to me. I'm sure people do have good reasons - I just can't think what they could be and feel like to ask would seem like a criticism.

BadlyWrittenPoem Tue 27-Nov-12 20:47:32

Also, I have read the infant feeding survey in detail and the definition of exclusive breastfeeding is nothing except breastmilk and medicines. This means that if you have given your baby sips of water before six months (which my HV with DD1 advised) then you don't count as EBF at six months. I think a lot of people who would consider themselves to be exclusively breastfeeding would not count as such for the survey. (e.g. I wouldn't with DD1 because she had 7oz of formula over day 3/4 when I was very sore and had water albeit probably negligible from a sippy cup from about four months)

CaseyShraeger Tue 27-Nov-12 21:22:16

Only one of mine would have counted as EBF at 6 months.

DS was weaned before 6 months because our HVs were a bit pants and I didn't frequent MN then.

DD1 did BLW and had helped herself to a couple of bites of things around 5.5 months.

DD2 also did BLW but had no interest at all in food until nearly 7 months.

All three of them were bf past a year, though, and neither of the DDs has ever had any formula.

Kelvinator, but those who make a decision in advance to ff and never even try bf are a small minority -- I think it's 19% in the latest survey, although I may be misremembering. Most mothers do want to do it and do try, but somewhere along the line it goes wrong. Very very very often IME they are led to doubt that they are producing enough/good enough quality milk and are advised to top up rather than being helped to boost supply.

SirBoobAlot Wed 28-Nov-12 00:20:37

I think the rates are so shockingly low because there is too much air time given to profit hungry companies. There is also a huge lack of education among medical professionals, so women are often put off. We live in a society where bottle feeding is the norm, and that in itself creates a cycle: more mums bottle feeding, pregnant mums haven't seen many mums breastfeeding, they don't know much about it and have no one to ask, so they bottle feed, next pregnant mum sees them bottle feeding...

DS weaned himself a few months ago, just before turning three.

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