BF beyond a year - why?(19 Posts)
What are the benefits of BF beyond a year old?
I've struggled with latch then supply, finally we're now BLW at 6 months. I'm on domperidone after my supply plummeted a month ago. DD has cow's milk protein allergy (so I'm totally milk free). We're planning to try for another baby when dd is one, which my breastfeeding counsellor warned might mean I can no longer BF. Sadly, we can't easily leave it longer than the 12 months. What will my dd be missing out on if I cease bf when she's one?
Why does your BFC say you'll have to stop BF? It's perfectly possible to be pregnant and BF, even feed an older child and a newborn! There are still health benefits to bf past a year, there are always antibodies in your milk, not to mention the comfort it provides.
Well, there are nutritional benefits, immunological benefits and emotional benefits, but with a good diet and a good parent I think at that age you can come close to providing most of these benefits without breastfeeding. I am committed to extended feeding but if I was in your situation then I too would probably stop feeding sooner.
Perhaps it would be more helpful to consider all the benefits she'll already have had by the time she's had your milk for a year?
BF counsellor didn't say I'd have to stop, just that with my already very dimished supply (at 6 months) there's a real risk that if I get pregnant the supply will diminish further and I might not want to be on medication again to combat it.
Human milk is better for human babies than cow's/alternative milk at any age, but after 12 months it is easier to provide a diet containing everything they need without milk.
I bf until DS was 2 because of a cmp allergy. If I had stopped any earlier he would have had to go onto hypoallergenic formula as soya, and oat milk are not nutritionally acceptable as a mian drink before 2 and rice milk is not suitable until age 4.
The main reason for stopping was to get pregnant again, but in actual fact I was pregnant before I stopped.
FWIW it just gets easier and easier to bf once they are over 6 months.
I didn't notice any supply issues at all when I became pregnant when DD was 10 months.
DD had CMP issues as well, and I bfing far easier than dealing with alternatives.
If you want to, I would carry on and see how you go. By 12 months, your baby will be eating so much more and you may find you are less worried about supply. (Obviously, if you want to give up do! There are benefits in every breast feed, but you have already done so well to get so far with what sounds like a lot of challenges).
I knows of people who tandem feed. Many people have an adversion to breastfeeding while pregnant. I believe it often sore breastfeeding while pregnant.
There is no right or wrong with how long you choose to breastfeed for. Very few babies are lucky enough to breastfeed for a year. Some babies self wean before a year. Its all a bit individual. If you choose to wean at a year, then feel proud.
I fed my son until two and half years old and dd self weaned at 22 months. Both of them breastfed for the right length of time for them. As children become older they learn to relate to their mothers in different ways. There comes a point when breastfeeding is no longer developmentally appriopate. DD had no wish to breastfeed and I had to respect her wishes.
I chose to do extended breastfeeding as both my children and me enjoyed it. I now meet my children emotional needs in an age developmental way. I think it helped them fight of bugs at nursery, but that is an anedote.
I could not imagine breastfeeding my nine year old son, but he still needs to be cared for emotionally.
I think there are certainly lots of benefits for BF'ing beyond one but getting to one is an amazing feat when you consider that a huge amount of babies don't even get more than a few weeks.
My DS has just self weaned at 20 months and I feel sad. But, I full admit that I was happy to continue as he had formula at bedtime from 6 months (replacing an expressed bottle), was always happy to be fed by others if we needed him to be, and he slept well. If there had been other pressures I think I would have given up much earlier. I massively applaud you for being dairy free for so long, I really could not have done that.
FWIW I got pregnant when DS was 15 months, and was feeding twice a day, sometimes more (though my period came back when he was 5 weeks old, so unfair!). I suspect my supply has gone down now, and maybe changed in taste too hence the self-weaning, but I'm glad that DS decided on his own and really doesn't seem upset by it. So you may be able to get pg, and just see how it goes
I have recently found out i am pregnant , I am still feeding dd 4+ times a day and at night (11 months old). so far no problems but only 6 weeks pregnant so cant say there wont be any.
" There comes a point when breastfeeding is no longer developmentally appriopate"
If you mean once the child has self weaned then I agree. If you are setting an arbitrary age on that then I disagree
What do you plan to do about an appropriate milk if you stop bfing when she is 1?
Your milk supply might drop whilst you are pg but then again it might not. Even if your supply drops to the point you need to offer supplemental feeds of fatty/calcium rich foods/cow's milk alternative it doesn't mean you have to stop nursing.
When I am pg my supply tanks between week 14 and week 24/26 before returning as colostrum. DD1 dry nursed through DD2's pg (was 11m when I got pg) and DD3's pg (was 34m when I got pg) and DD2 (14m when I got pg) dry nursed through DD3's pg too (yes I tandem nursed through a pg). This is not the norm though to have such a huge drop in supply but it might happen.
I offered cow's milk (though I realise that is not an option for you) in a beaker a couple of times a day from week 14 (probably 4oz 2-3 times a day as a snack) and they continued to nurse for comfort/pain relief from teething/closenessas even though I had milk. DD1 could tell me that I had no milk but it made no difference to her need to nurse.
DD2 self weaned when I was 8m pg at 42m (3.6y) and DD2 is nursing along with DD3 and they are 3.8y & 20m.
Good luck with TTC.
Unless you need to wean to conceive, i'd say just carry on and cross whatever bridge you come to!
I fell pg when ds was 10m, he's still bf now i'm 27wks...no supply issues here.
From what i hear and read, if your supply does drop lo's deal with it quite well, some, like truthsweet's continue to nurse. Others can't be bothered. Either way i don't think they find it a particularly negative experience. If you decide to wean in case your supply drops it might not be much fun for both of you.
You may well find you can get pg, that your supply remains, and you don't need to bother finding a replacement for bm. I hope so!
If you did need a replacement could you use an appropriate formula? Could you pump over the next six months to put aside a stash of bm incase you have to wean? (hardwork me thinks but maybe a cows milk free option...and you'd need a lot of freezer room....hmm)
As others have said your dd is very lucky to have bm till age one. There are benefits to bf after this. There are also benefits to having a happy mum and siblings, so it's understandable that you are in a quandry.
Maybe sorting out your options for cmp free "milk" would help?
It varies I think. For amny kds I don't think it matters huge;ly, there are benefits but nothing worth getting upset about if it can't be helped; by managing to BF even with a need of domperidone you ahve done an immense amount of good.
DS4 however is intolerant of dairy, and refuses soya / alternative milks plus ahs a limited diet due to suspected ASD. For us then the continuation of BF was an pbvious choice.
Because it's great, and so easy to settle them when they fall over and hurt themselves or if they get completely ratty and unable to settle
Example, my friend was round our house with a similar age baby to mine (15 mths) She stopped breastfeeding at about 11 mths. They were both really tired and ratty and horrible due to neither of them having a=had a proper nap. I put my baby to the breat and he fell asleep within about 5 mins. She stood up, rocking, shushing, swinging, baby was whinging, whining, throwing herself around. Eventually they has to go because she needed a ride in the buggy to get to sleep. Which is better?
Thank you all for taking the time to reply and help me out. Especially for the information about soy and oat milk trixymalixy I didn't know that. For an alternative to BM I am told I can get cow's-milk-protein-free formula on prescription now we have a formal allergy diagnosis.
My mum BF me until I was 3, so I am inclined to BF as long as possible, until we have to stop for whatever reason. However, I am worried about TTC as my husband is being sent abroad next year and in order to accompany him I will need to be on maternity leave from my job. If I don't get pregnant by February, I won't be going - and it will be very difficult to TTC too with him away after that. But I don't want to wean DD early if I can help it.
I will be 38 when TTC, which also counts against me getting preggers straight away. I had a period last month even though still feeding every 2 hours through the night (seems to have triggered the plummeting milk levels).
I think I will try to find out if I can test my 'fertility' around October, see if I'm ovulating. If not, maybe I will have to wean then to boost my chances of conceiving. Thanks for the reassurance that weaning won't be the end of the world; I just want to try to do what's best for the whole family.
Wow, talk about putting pressure on yourself!! I was in a similar situation in that I was being made redundant and it would work out much better for me financially if I could start my mat leave before I was made redundant. We were lucky first time despite me still bfing, but it still felt like the right time to stop anyway.
My plan with DS was to ebf to 6 months and then mix feed, but he wouldn't touch any of the hypo formula as it is so vile tasting.
So just to warn you that it can be difficult to get an ebf baby to drink the hypo formula. There are plenty of threads on here giving advice on mixing it with nesquick etc.
Good luck, I hope it all works out for you!
You know, I honestly hadn't even considered that dd might refuse the formula! Thanks for the warning!
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