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Continuing past 6 months - am I kidding myself?

(15 Posts)
peedieworky Sun 21-Aug-11 22:31:45

Hi - my DS is now 3 months old & I'd always planned to BF for 6 months. I have no idea why I had this fixed notion - my sister BF till around then with both her kids (supplementing with formula) so it may have been that. Since having DS I have started to feel stronger about BF - to the extent I haven't given him formula except for 1 or 2 rare occasions when he was very little - and don't intend to do so again. Not that am against formula (I was formula fed!) - I just feel he's thriving on my milk and there's no need to supplement. Am aware that I should now be half way through my BF experience but more and more don't feel ready to end it and am not sure I want him to go from breast milk to formula for the period until he can take cow's milk. Again, no theoretical basis for these thoughts - just thoughts (should probably do some more reading on it actually..). Am due to return to work though after 6-9 months (depends on my husband's work) so it may be unrealistic anyway. I have a good supply and have always managed to get a lot from expressing but have no idea how much a 6-9 month old guzzles daily.

So - I'd love to hear any advice/experience.

StealthPolarBear Sun 21-Aug-11 22:33:46

My advice is don't plan to stop smile And read the Politics of Breastfeeding! Glad it is all working out for you

mawbroon Sun 21-Aug-11 22:45:45

Continue as long as you like.

Also recommend the Politics of Breastfeeding. Very interesting!

bonkers20 Sun 21-Aug-11 23:02:15

If you return to work you might find that you don't need to express and that your DS will feed only when you're around (and drink water during the day). This can mean more night wakings or needing to boost supply at the weekend, but IMO that's easier and nicer than expressing. You can then continue BF for as long as you both like. This model would work better for a child nearer to 9 months than 6 as he'll be having more solids and used to drinking other fluids, so if you return at 6 months you might need to leave a lunch time bottle.

I found it rather comforting to know that even though someone else was doing everything for my DSs while I was at work, only I could BF.

I am very lucky that my DS goes to an on-site nursery so I was able to go over at lunch time for months and months.

No reason why you 'should' be halfway through your BFing experience at all, just carry on and see how you get on smile

I planned to BF to 6 months with DS1, then a year, then 13 months past his MMR, and by the time I got to that point I just carried on. He had his final BF a couple of days before his 2nd birthday smile

DS2 is now 5 months and is EBF, and I plan to continue until he wants to stop.

And yes, read politics of breastfeeding!

GruffaloMama Sun 21-Aug-11 23:06:59

Prior to having DC1 I had similar views to you and also found myself feeling much more strongly about breastfeeding than I had expected after he arrived. I went back to work full-time when he was 8 months. I was crap at expressing so for a couple of months he did have formula during the day with his childminder. He had a breastfeed first thing, when I got in from work and before bed. At 10 months he dropped the formula feeds and we continued to feed until he self-weaned at 2.4. So no, you're not kidding yourself, it can work. And it is lovely. I asked DS two days ago if he remembered having bf and he told me it tasted of melted ice-cream. It was worth every night feed just for that...

DuchessofHaphazard Sun 21-Aug-11 23:14:10

I'd say just carry on and see how it goes. I ended up feeding DS until he was 2.7, having gone back to work full-time when he was 6mo. Stopped pumping once he turned one and didn't need BM during the day.

I won't lie - expressing was a huge faff (but largely because of my job - I spend 2-3 weeks at different client sites at a time, am rarely in my home office, so had to have constant awkward conversations about a room to pump in). I think the worst was when he was about 8mo - still not eating huge amounts but wanting loads of milk in the day. I remember there was about a month where I was having to pump 28 - 30oz a day to keep up (plus 1 bf in the morning and 2 in the evening).

However, although I was sick of pumping by the time i stopped (when DS was about 13 mo), am so glad I continued to BF as long as I did.

DangoDays Sun 21-Aug-11 23:22:37

Peedie....am in the same boat so keenly reading advice here as just started a thread on similar topic....DS is 9 months and about to go back to work. Really don't want to stop morning and night feeds but am thinking I need to swap 2 day feeds for formula. Worried my supply won't keep going.....eek!

Gruffalo how did you make the transition to formula feeds?

Bonkers what do you mean about boosting supply at weekends? I would love it if we could do as you suggest and not worry about introducing formula. DS is down to just a couple of daytime feeds now, one 10ish and one at 2ish.....so between meals.....do you think this could work for us?

GruffaloMama Mon 22-Aug-11 09:36:42

hiya - typing one-handed so sorry for typos... DD feeding

I dropped three feeds across three weeks - they were replaced with two formula feeds - he didn't want the third. we used bottles but i wish we'd gone straight to a cup, tbh, although he never really loved bottles. he dropped one of the day formula feeds within a month and had yhe remaining one for about another month after that.

btw i also found out that although i was full time at work, if i wanted to give him a day feed at the weekend i could and without any problems for my supply/ going back to work on mondays.

Nagoo Mon 22-Aug-11 09:40:58

My supply was fine, but 10MO DS preferred bottles to me. So we stopped.

My advice would be to go straight to a cup for formula feeds. I'm lucky enough to be around in the daytime for DD so I have no 'end date' in mind this time. I am a bit unnerved by the idea of BF a toddler, as DS didn't walk until 16 months so I had a clear separation between BF baby and 'toddling child' in my mind. Won't be so clear this time I don't think grin

Cosmosis Mon 22-Aug-11 12:03:41

I returned to work when DS was 7 months, I did a month at 3 days a week and then went ft. We are still happily bfing at 11.5m and have no plans to stop. I agree with the above, don’t set a date, just continue until you don’t want to any more.

I expressed twice a day at work until DS was 11m when I decided to stop. I started off leaving 2x 4 oz bottles for him, but then at about 9m dropped that to 1x 4 or 5oz bottle. How much your DS will need though will depend on how well established on to solids he is at the time.

Your supply should also be robust enough at that stage to not express at all if you want, and just feed when you’re with him (although you’ll probably need to express for comfort for a few days at work anyway)

organiccarrotcake Tue 23-Aug-11 12:13:07

If possible, it may be a good idea to aim for childcare near enough to work so you can feed him at lunchtime, and/or in your breaks. Saves expressing time and is a nice way to check in with your baby during work, too.

Pesephone Tue 23-Aug-11 16:26:37

www.acornpack.com/content/breastfeeding-working-can-it-be-done
this is quite good.

peedieworky Tue 23-Aug-11 21:52:20

Thanks guys. Unfortunately my home and office are 25 miles apart & I'd rather his nursery be close to home (relying on family to assist with some pick up/drop offs) so lunch feeds wont work. I think expressing at work will be fine though so that's reassuring. Guess I'll just have to wait and see. I know my sister said her son lost interest in BF once started on solids so maybe DS will make decision for me..

Tryharder Tue 23-Aug-11 23:12:26

I don't see the point of giving up bf at 6 months. I mean, you've done the hard work, sorted out the latch, sat through the cluster feeds, the nighttimes etc....BF a baby older than 6 months old is IME a doddle.

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