When did you give up Breastfeeding, and why?

(57 Posts)
amri Tue 26-Mar-13 20:59:48


I've been breastfeeding my daughter for 6 months - 4 months exclusively, and introduced a bedtime bottle as part of her routine from 4 months on. If you had asked me before she came along how long I'd like to feed for, I would have said 6 months, but I don't feel quite ready to give up (though part of me would like to, mainly for selfish reasons!) Will be going back to work in August when baby is coming up to 10 months, so will probably keep at it until then, in combination with BLW. It's so convenient in many ways, and i'm enjoying the cuddles which are happening less and less these days! Also can't really face washing bottles, the one-per-night is enough as it is, goddamn Dr. Browns bottles and their little parts :/

Just wondering really how long you breastfed for, and what your reasons were for giving up?

LilRedWG Tue 26-Mar-13 21:03:27

DD didn't feed, so I expressed for her and bottlefed her my milk for just over three months, which totally exhausted me.

DS I fed until a week before his second birthday. I stopped because I was going overseas to visit my sister without DS and the time kindof seemed right, although I still found it hard. Two months later he still asks for milk, although isn't too gutted when I tell him it's gone. I miss it.

How about sticking with the morning breastfeed when you go back to work?

LilRedWG Tue 26-Mar-13 21:04:12

Oh, I also said six months initially, then it went up to 12...... etc etc.

Enjoy it. smile

BimbaBirba Tue 26-Mar-13 21:08:30

I'm still breastfeeding my 13 month old and I'm not planning to give up any time soon because it's easy, convenient, good for both of us, doesn't cost me anything (money-wise and effort-wise), I enjoy the time spent with him while he's feeding. It would break his heart to stop and I don't see one single reason why I should. I'm at the stage where I can go for hours without feeding him if he's at nursery and my boobs can cope alright so the freedom consideration doesn't even come into play.
Does this make sense? smile

GreatBags Tue 26-Mar-13 21:08:53

I thought I'd do a year but went to two. Then stopped when we moved house more because it fell by the wayside. By the time you go back to work you should find that your boobs will be able to cope with a feed in the morning and/or evening only without getting engorged, if this is what you want to do. I am currently bfeeding dd2 who is 20 months, but only in the morning.

Willdoitinaminute Tue 26-Mar-13 21:26:26

22 months because always had plenty of support from DH
Gave up when I felt it was right for DS and me. He accepted it quickly although would only have milk out of tommee tippe nature bottle which he then took far longer to separate from.

Booyhoo Tue 26-Mar-13 21:33:28

i gave up at 20 months because i realised that DS wasn't actually asking for it anymore and it was only out of habit that i was doing it once in the morning and once before bed. i really was ready to give up though and wanted to end it. i cant really say why i wanted to stop but i just felt i needed to. i found myself groaning when it came to feeding. i wasn't enjoying it and when i twigged that ds wasn't asking for it i thought it would be worth a try at stopping so i just didn't feed him one morning and he never once looked/asked for it so i know he was happy to stop.

i found going back to work whilst BFing was fine. i had a great CMer who was near my work and on days where i hadn't been able to express enough or had forgotten to pack it she was happy for me to come on my lunch break and feed him. he was 9 months at the time and on solid meals so it wouldn't have been a big issue for him to have missed it but it was great to know i was welcome to come and feed him.

i did not like expressing though. i wasn't very good at it and never really got enough.

Booyhoo Tue 26-Mar-13 21:35:48

i had aimed for 6 months and when i reached that i aimed for 1 year and then just kept going because it was not a hassle.

leedy Tue 26-Mar-13 23:06:11

Just past two with DS1 - I was pregnant and didn't really want to tandem feed, my supply was tanking anyway, and he was already down to just bedtime and (I think) losing interest somewhat when we stopped. I also continued after I went back to work at 10 months: just fed morning and evening (I expressed a lunchtime bottle for a couple of months but he lost interest in it after he was about a year and I was happy to stop being hooked up to Robobaby). Definitely not a hassle for us either, I could even go away for a weekend when he was a toddler and just resume when I got back.

DS1 is just four months, so who knows...

MousyMouse Tue 26-Mar-13 23:07:26

at 18m
because I needed my sleep back, working full time and being milk bar all night...

BlissfullyIgnorant Tue 26-Mar-13 23:09:54

DS was 8 months - he wanted to do more interesting things than look at my armpit.
Dd was about the same age and equally bored.
I wasn't going to force it.

ceeveebee Tue 26-Mar-13 23:14:20

I bf my twins until 10.5 months (not exclusively). Had to stop before going back to work - by that stage we were down to just morning feed but it used to take well over an hour for them both. Couldn't tandem feed anymore as they just wriggled and fought and DS starting biting really hard.
So just didn't have the time to continue in the mornings as well as getting ready for work and getting them ready. It broke my heart the first morning when I gave them a bottle instead but they didn't seem to notice sad

TheEasterBunnyVsTheKids Tue 26-Mar-13 23:17:37

I aimed for 6 weeks, and 11 months later we're still going strong!!

Ds took to it easily, much easier than either DDs and he settles well, so I'll keep doing it.

I also love the cuddles at bedtime!

Startail Tue 26-Mar-13 23:18:03

Because DD2 could feed standing up without a chair.

PogoBob Tue 26-Mar-13 23:22:20

Still breastfeeding DD at 31 months as well as 12 week old DS.

DD is a total bib monster who fights any hint of stopping but we are currently night weaning.

Startail Tue 26-Mar-13 23:23:29

ok she's probably taller than me and way more glamorous

Also I don't do attachment parenting, DD just liked BFing.

A year, only stopped because I wanted another baby, and despite dropping to one feed a day I still had no periods. Stopped that feed, period back a few weeks later, and fell after the next one.

He wasn't arsed about feeding by that point, which was sad.

KatAndKit Wed 27-Mar-13 08:31:31

I aimed for 6 months, after a couple of weeks I was only aiming for 3 months, I got to 6 months, I kept going, I'm now nearly at 12 months and nowhere near giving up yet! I'll carry on for a few more months but with a view to giving up at 18 months in order to be able to go away on my honeymoon for 4 days and then try for another baby. It's nothing to do with attachment parenting either for me - it's milk and cuddles. I haven't BFed exclusively, after about 7 months it became harder and harder for me to express any decent amount so he has formula if I am out for the evening.

Iggly Wed 27-Mar-13 08:47:26

With ds, at around 26 months. I went back to work when he was 15 months and kept feeds up. Feeding dropped right down to evenings only by the time we stopped.
With dd I'm still going - she's 16 months. I went back to work when she was 9 months and fed mornings, bedtimes and nights on my work days and I feed once in the day when at home.

You could still keep BF when you go back to work if you choose.

Eskino Wed 27-Mar-13 08:59:22

bimba you said it so well.

Ds1 bfed to 2yo
Ds2 bfed for 6 months sad as I went back to work sad
Ds3 bfed til 14 months, just bedtime feed in the end, he went off it when I became pregnant
Dd. 9 weeks old. I'll bf for as long as she wants

Just to point out there can be differences even in same family.

willyoulistentome Wed 27-Mar-13 09:14:40

1Year with ds1. We were down to just one morning feed a day by then and he was having loads of solids and cows milk too. He was quite happy to stop and so was I by then. Ds2 for 18 months as he wanted to carry on.

Beatrixpotty Wed 27-Mar-13 09:19:14

7 m with both,co-incided with weaning,increasingly more frequent night feeds which were exhausting,going back to work in one case,and wanting to actively TTC again.Easy adjustment and neither showed any signs of missing it so eased my guilt!

weebarra Wed 27-Mar-13 09:27:05

DS1 was 6 weeks, it just wasn't working for us and I was very sad about it.
I educated myself a lot more for DS2's arrival and fed him till he was over 2. Stopped in the end as he told me there wasn't much left and kept messing about. He gave it up no problem.
Currently pregnant with DC3, will feed as long as we're both happy with it.

Zara1984 Thu 28-Mar-13 11:03:00

Could you not stick with some bf/some ff? Lots of mums I know do morning and evening feeds after childcare. Will she take a less fiddly bottle eg Avent or Tommee Tippee?

Quite unexpectedly, I stopped at 2 weeks! I planned to bf for 1 year +. I was devastated when DS refused to latch from the start/seemed terrified of my boobs and screamed heartbreakingly whenever I tried to feed him (but loved bottles!) It was awful. Like, really fucking awful, the worst thing I have ever experienced and made me feel suicidal. Every support person and bf professional i saw/hired was at a complete loss as to why he wouldn't feed. Would do labour 10x over than go through that again. So DS was fully FF from 2 weeks old! Well he never latched at all really, so perhaps I never bf at all! grin

I really hope I can bf the next one! smile Again I plan to feed for 1 year +, but my actual goal is to get DC2 to latch with ease and get to 6 weeks at least. Maybe I have no control over that. But next time I think I will be quicker to switch to formula if it's similar to the horror show. If DC2 is also a boob hater like DS I think I will FF almost immediately.

Pleased to read on this thread of all the mums who have bf for a long time. Because I went through such hell I try to give practical support wherever I can to my mum friends who want to bf long-term and, on the flip side, to those who hate it or have to stop and want to move to FF!

MyNameIsAnAnagram Thu 28-Mar-13 11:17:09

Stopped at 18m. I was very stressed with work and also poorly with sinusitis which I'd had for a couple of months. Stopped purely for me and wish I hadn't.

heymammy Thu 28-Mar-13 11:23:45

We bfed until 9 months (I was aiming for 12 months). Bfeeds gradually turned to ffeeds for a few reasons. At around 6 months ds became impossible to feed in public...always bobbing on and off and noseying around so I started taking a bottle out instead.

Soon after, bedtime turned into a farce with ds nursing on and off for up to 3 hours and still not falling asleep (and he was furious about it) so DP gallantly took over the routine while I hid put the DDs to bed, so the bedtime feed became a ff.

Night feeds soon turned to ff as well when I realised that ds slept for longer after DP gave him a bottle than after I'd bf him hmm, then he was usually full up come morning time after ff 2/3 times during the night so he no longer wanted his morning feed.

That was quite cathartic grin

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 28-Mar-13 11:29:41

Stopped at 19 or 20mo. But DD was a great sleeper so BF was never an issue. I just decided it was enough and swapped the bedtime feed with a story. She didn't complain at all.

DS was 8 months, I was mixed feeding and he took to solid food very quickly so I think he found the boob unsatisfactory after the formula and real food! He just stopped wanting it.

HappyJoyful Thu 28-Mar-13 11:55:02

DD was 9 months.. it was a mutual and natural end I felt. She was down to just nightime feed, DH and I went away for the weekend and she was very contented without me and boob! Went onto bottle and formula and we didn't look back.

dietcokeandwine Thu 28-Mar-13 20:28:27

I am going to sound like a total control freak amongst the people who planned a short period of time and ended up feeding for years rather than months...but with both DS1 and DS2, I planned to feed for six months and then start moving to bottle feeds, which is what I did. I dropped feeds gradually over a month and by seven months they were exclusively formula fed. Plan to do the same with DS3 who is currently 8 weeks. Will wait to see how I feel nearer the time, but the 6/7 month thing felt completely right with both of my older two and the transition was very smooth and easy. They had both had daily bottles of EBM and, later, formula from an early age, so this probably helped. But 7 months was definitely about right for us.

Stopped at 18 months with DD, she made the decision herself. It was quite sudden but I was early pregnant with DS so possibly my milk tasted funny! After a few weeks I was quite relieved as didn't want to tandem feed as only one breast works and thought that would get a bit complicated trying to feed 2 from one breast!

Still breastfeeding DS now who is 1 year next week. I've started back at work this week (just 2 days) and feeding is fitting round it ok.

Chiggers Fri 29-Mar-13 11:14:34

I didn't have any particular time to stop BF my DC as I was just going to see how it went.

With DS, I had to give up at around 4.5m (give or take a few weeks) as my nipples were excruciatingly painful while i BF. I didn't have the pain at any other time and initially I thought I had sensitive nipples, but when I pinched my nipples hard, I realised that it wasn't sensitive nipples.

When I had DD I thought it might be different, but it was the same and, again, I had to give up as it got to the point where I was dreading BF so much that I was seriously thinking of throwing myself under a train to escape the BF.

I couldn't have more DC without trying to BF at the least, and I didn't want to BF ever again, so I got sterilised.

Chiggers Fri 29-Mar-13 11:20:32

In hospital I had DS and DD's latch, feeding position checked and so on, and everything was fine. The BFC didn't know what was wrong as I had no mastitis, no other infections or problems related to the breasts. Like I say, eerything was grand and there were no problems.

Chiggers Fri 29-Mar-13 11:21:20

everything, not eerything.

amri Sun 31-Mar-13 21:07:57

Thanks all for your interesting replies - food for thought (no pun intended, lol!)

I haven't tried her with another type of bottle lately but that's a good idea. Will stick with the bf for now anyway as it's working well for us both. I'm not sure I'd be cut out for extended feeding, but will keep an open mind! I do really enjoy the morning feed so wouldn't mind even keeping that after I go back to work smile

Thanks all!

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Mon 01-Apr-13 08:53:55

DS was 14 months and I was just feeding at bedtime by then. We did some sleep training and that sort of coincided with stopping feeding as he was still waking in the night for me and I wanted it to stop.

pnin Mon 01-Apr-13 19:54:11

Dd1 aged about 3. Demand fed until a little over 2 but needed a period to conceive. Gave up two months into tandeming. She said ' it's for my sister'

Dd2 demand fed co sleeper still at 22 months. She can feed 5-20 times I a 24 hr period

wigwam33 Mon 01-Apr-13 21:50:37

Still going with DS1 at 2yrs 4 months though thinking of stopping soon (I have been saying that for the past 5 months though!).

cece Mon 01-Apr-13 21:54:47

DD - 9 months - gave up because she had reflux and I was fed up with being sicked up all over whilst feeding her. Felt it was DH's turn for a bit!

DS1 - 14 months - gave up because he started to talk and I felt a bit funny about him asking for some booby milk.

DS2 - 20 months - I was aiming for 2 years but he was a biter. He drew blood once too often so called it a day sadly.

BertieBotts Mon 01-Apr-13 22:05:46

Ended up letting DS self wean because I didn't see a need to wean. Just cut down feeding gradually, as he got older and more able to deal with things without it it was easier to say no if I didn't feel in the right kind of frame of mind or it wasn't convenient and he eventually stopped all by himself.

Zippo Mon 01-Apr-13 22:08:07

"Just wondering really how long you breastfed for, and what your reasons were for giving up? "

Have been doing it non-stop for 5yrs, tandem feeding for 2.

Would like to give up soon. DC1 seems to be reducing feeds to once a day so maybe she'll be off by 6.

I bfed ds yuntil he was about 10 months old, he wasn't that much interested then, and I was also ready to stop.

I bfed dd until she was 7 months, I had to take antibiotics and other drugs for an abscess and I was told I couldn't breastfeed while taking them. I was in too much pain to think about anything else, honestly.

aufaniae Tue 02-Apr-13 10:29:03

You don't need to express at work to keep feeding, necessarily. I always thought you did, but when I went back to work at 14months, my body adjusted and we continued feeding morning and bedtimes.

FWIW our society is very anti-breastfeeding. There's a lot of pressure on mums to give up IME. DS was a big baby and people kept asking when I was going to give up, I found the questions increased when he was about 10 months or so.

I had no idea when I was going to give up BFing, I didn't give it any thought when pregnant, I guess I thought maybe a year? But it just felt like the most natural thing in the world, and I was very grateful that I could still BF DS when he was ill and refusing any food or liquids. And DS has never showed any signs of wanting to give up. So we just carried on. DS is 4.3 now! grin

He still feeds now on those nights I put him to bed (he's quite happy to be put to bed by DP too though) and most mornings he comes and gets into bed with us and feeds then too. I was feeling recently that I really should put a stop to it soon as I know no one else who feeds such an old DC. But then someone asked a question very similar to this on mumsnet the other day, and there were load of people feeding DCs who were 4+, which gave me a confidence boost and helped me reassess - if he's happy about it, I'm happy about it, and I know it does him good, then there's no reason to stop just yet!

amri Tue 02-Apr-13 20:45:07

I'm actually surprised how long the average is - given how poor the breastfeeding statistics here in Ireland are. It seems quite common to feed until 2 or later, whereas that's nearly unheard of here.

My mother in law (who breastfed her own two btw) keeps dropping in comments about how 'disgusting it is to breastfeed a toddler' - my own daughter is only 6.5 months, and it's like she is urging me to give up before she gets 'too old'. FFS. Really annoys me tbh, none of her bloody business how long I decide to feed for.

Anyway, I digress smile

Thanks for the replies all!

abbyfromoz Tue 02-Apr-13 20:51:55

5.5months. She NEVER latched on due to my flat nips but i used nipple guards. She had terrible colic so this didn't help. I expressed into a bottle and introduced formula when i had exhausted every avenue. I wish i knew how hard it could be. I feel really jibbed sad but proud i got as far as i did!
My sister breast fed DS1 for 4 years and DS2 is 18months and going strong- she could do it with her eyes closed standing on her head so i felt like a total failure- to the point i was ashamed to tell her i was giving DD a bottle... Now i know i was being rediculas!

BearsLikeMarmalade Tue 02-Apr-13 21:07:26

17 months with DS. We were only doing one morning feed by then and I was getting a bit fed up (I can't quite remember why though now). At 10 months he hardly fed in the day at all so if I'd gone back to work then it would have been fine. I went back after a year and we were doing morning and evening feeds then so working had no impact (and it was lovely to bf after a day away from him). Personally I found bf very convenient after 6 months - would have been much more faff to have been using bottles. He gradually had less bf and more solids, and I didn't really notice the change so didn't have to think too hard about it. We did have a couple of episodes of biting post 6 months when he had teeth, but he learnt not to do it very quickly so it didn't become a problem (so many people were aghast at me feeding a baby with teeth!).

DD is 6 weeks old and I'll BF her for as long as we both feel happy to.

FadBook Tue 02-Apr-13 21:42:05

Still feeding here at 20 months.

Always had 12 months in mind which came and went and now I have no intention of stopping until DD weans herself. I look back pre-dd and must admit that I thought the idea of feeding beyond 12 months 'weird' and "for the mums benefit" blush. It isn't weird and it definitely isn't for my benefit.

She loves breastfeeding and took to it quite well from day 1 despite 100% tongue tie. My milk in bottle or beaker was continually refused!

She 'reconnects' during the day when she's been busy playing on her own, or hasn't seen me for a little while; it is only her morning one that is the main one now, she has even cut out her bedtime and late night one in the last 8 weeks on her own (she doesn't have cows milk replacement).

I now use "don't offer, don't refuse" with her and that works for us.

At 6 months OP there is no reason at all why you can't continue to mix feed. Several of my friends did/do this and have lovely bedtime and morning breast feeds, and formula (or expressed) during the day when at work post 6 and 12 months old.

BadBuddha Tue 02-Apr-13 21:51:16

I also had 12 months in mind with DS, but ended up having to stop at 16 months so that I could start on the IVF drugs again. Think I would definitely have gone to 2yrs otherwise.

Am now pregnant again and all things being equal will BF DC2 for as long as it suits us both....

As eskina said there are differences in a family as none of my 4 have been same.

Dd1 2 weeks ebf then ff I just couldn't get the hang of feeding and felt like a failure. As abbyfromoz said about her sister being a bf whiz my sister was the same & this made me feel even worse.

Dd2 was mix fed for about a month I was very ill after she was born as had pph and blood transfusion so feeding never established properly

Dd3 bf until about 4,5 months and stopped due to her being hospitalised and tube fed with bronchiolitis and milk supply dwindled and she wouldn't feed after that

Ds until almost 8 months when we both lost interest and my chest was covered in bruises from him pinching me! Made it past his hospital stay and intubation at 2 weeks though and was proud of what we achieved.

mumnosbest Wed 03-Apr-13 10:28:25

Still going at 14 months and beginning to ask similar questions to you. I think I'll carry on as long as DD wants to. It does become even easier as they get a little older. DD can go all day without if I'm working or we@re out or feeds several times when she@s under the weather or I'm off work. We both just adjust. Dropping night feeds would be good and I'm not sure how I'll feel when she's not a 'baby' anymore and comes asking for it but for now I'm happy to BF as long as she wants it.

SuffolkNWhat Wed 03-Apr-13 10:44:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kytie Wed 03-Apr-13 23:10:12

Hi Zara 1984 I was wondering if your baby is tonguetied as my baby is and it's really hard for a baby to latch if they are tonguetied I had the tonguetied cut and it made a big difference go on tonguetied baby and see the symtoms a lot of profession s miss diagnose a tonguetied and it cases many breast feeding problems all the best Katie

Kytie Wed 03-Apr-13 23:25:05

Hi Zara 1984 my baby had big problems latching and feeding al because of a tonguetie d .alot of professionals miss them I had my babies cut and he feeds a lot better .if you go on the site of baby with tonguetied and the symtoms all the best Katie

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Wed 03-Apr-13 23:31:15

DS1 11months 3 weeks ( I remember because dh and I had a row about the week of formula that he insisted DS1 had because he wasn't ready for cows milk angry )

DS2 just over 12 months

Both of them decided to stop feeding and after 3 days of trying to get them to latch we gave up. I now know about breastfeeding strikes and wish I had tried for a few more days I loved bf'ing the boys and I am sad I will never do it again.

mumnosbest Wed 03-Apr-13 23:41:50

Breastfeeding strikes???

FadBook Thu 04-Apr-13 12:49:28

Mumnosbest - this link from Kellymom is a good source of info on breastfeeding strikes. It is unusual for babies to self wean before 12 months (normally more like 2 years) but it does happen, sometimes due to development, low milk supply and mums naturally putting food before milk (which is very normal to do, especially when real life gets in the way and you're going back to work, not around etc) The link has some times to over come strikes.

seeminglyso Thu 04-Apr-13 14:18:07

27 months and still going..plan to allow DS to self wean so could be in it for the long haul!

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