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does the baby benefit from BF past 6 months?

(28 Posts)
shouldIbecrossaboutthis Sun 13-Jan-13 23:46:02

I can't find any info on this from google? I can see benefits for me but not for DS, other than comfort.

I BF DS now but don't really like it TBH. But if it's best to do it to one year as WHO advises then I will.

Any advice? Thanks

amazingmumof6 Mon 14-Jan-13 00:11:58

good question!

I think 6 months is a good run, the biggest benefit is the first few weeks/months anyway!

I love BF, but more for the silly noises she makes and the lovely closeness, so yes, I agree that as DD's almost 9 months I do it for comfort (both of us )rather than nutrition!

she gets several bottles of formula and solids, the bf is mainly for the evening/night/early morning quick feeds or at lunch time if I want a nap!

I love it, but would have stopped at 5-6 months - my main problem is that as she's probably our last one I dread the thought of never bf again so I'm dragging it out, even if it means broken nights and general chaos and a lack of routine, regarding to what concerns her.

but back to you, if you want to stop, then do that - even if it would benefit her till 12 moths, it's important that you are happy to!

I always say this - I'd rather see a mum happily formula feed a baby then a miserable mum guilted into bf! surely baby's happiness depends on your happiness, so carry on only if that's what YOU really want!

she will have all the nutrients from food and formula too and stopping bf doesn't mean you abandon her!smile

izzyishappilybusy Mon 14-Jan-13 00:15:01

Who guidline's a're 2 years.

It continues to boost immune systems.

Its amazing at calming a toddler who is hurt/tantrumming.

There are loads of links out there I'm too tired to look now.

izzyishappilybusy Mon 14-Jan-13 00:16:20

Sorry missed bit about you not liking it.

Its up to you - my first dc had dreadful eczema so I ebf room try to avoid that for other dcs.

Fishandjam Mon 14-Jan-13 00:20:39

Apparently breastmilk beyond 6 months starts to contain antibacterial/antifungal chemicals, as well as still containing antibodies to bugs the mother picks up. So as the baby starts to get mobile and eat solids/put all manner of grubby things in its gob, it gains a measure of protection against getting ill.

But if BFing is not your thing, no harm will be done by stopping. Your DS (6 months?) has had loads of the good stuff to set him up for a healthy life.

CaseyShraeger Mon 14-Jan-13 00:37:20

Children weaned before two years of age are at increased risk of illness according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (although I can't find a specific reference to their research on that).

Nursing toddlers between the ages of 16 and 30 months have been found to have fewer illnesses and illnesses of shorter duration than their non-nursing peers.
(see Gulick EE. The effects of breastfeeding on toddler health. Pediatr Nurs. 1986 Jan-Feb;12(1):51-4.)

Some of the immune factors in breastmilk increase in concentration during the second year.
(see Goldman AS, Goldblum RM, Garza C. Immunologic components in human milk during the second year of lactation. Acta Paediatr Scand. 1983 May;72(3):461-2.)

But just breastfeeding for 6 months does a whole lot of good.

amazingmumof6 Mon 14-Jan-13 00:46:11

Izzy that really is surprising, I never knew that! I don't know anyone who bf for 2 years, do you?

what and odd thing to have a guideline of 2 years when the majority stop way before that!
or does that include statistics of women in developing countries, where they either can't have access to formula or other milk or it's too costly?

in Biblical times women would bf for about 4 years, but of course I'd do that if no alternatives are available....

If I was advised to bf for 2 years I'd tell them to shove that where the sun don't shine - shows how arrogant I'm coz I can afford to choose....must ponder my attitude and count my blessings![embarrassed]

izzyishappilybusy Mon 14-Jan-13 00:52:15

Yes I do - me. I am currently BF a 3 year old and month old.

I don't think anyone plans to BF for long - I certainly didn't - it just hAppened.

Breast feeding isn't for poor countries or places where they don't have access to clean water. Are you my mum in disguise she thinks that.

There are lots of studies showing health benefits to extended breast feeding, I'll defence link some in morning.

izzyishappilybusy Mon 14-Jan-13 00:53:10

And BF in this country are dreadfully low - that doesn't mean WHO should disregard the benefits.

Startail Mon 14-Jan-13 00:56:08


It remained DD2's only drink to around 8 months and her main one way into toddlerdom.

Yes she would drink a cup of juice if I was out, but she won't touch formula or cows milk.

Clearly, also comfort and security, for DD2 being allowed to BF long long after most DCs give up was what gave her the confidence to face the world.

No one meeting my academic, socially adept, confident and grown up DD2 would have ever guessed that she often still BF to sleep like a tiny baby. She certainly would never have told them.

BrittaPerry Mon 14-Jan-13 01:00:23

There are loads of benefits. The first few months are the hardest, because you and your baby are just getting used to it.

But, to me, it is like the five a day thing. Yes, it is much healthier, but plenty of people manage on less and it isn't the most important thing ever.

I do wish I fed mine for longer though, just because I miss that closeness. My youngest was bf for 13 months and is now just turned three, and there have been so many times when I have been up and down with her in the night and miss just being ale to latch her on and go to sleep. Sigh.

I know plenty of people who have fed to three or four, but I hang around with hippies :-)

pinkyp Mon 14-Jan-13 01:02:31

I bf till my boy was just under 2, but I enjoyed doing when he was older as he was quicker and would only have it a couple of feeds during the day as he was on solids. smile Benefits for baby are it helps build antibodies, if you get I'll you pass your antibodies on to your baby to help grow their immune system

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 14-Jan-13 01:07:56

Breast milk is more easily digested than cow's milk - a lot of young children are mildly intolerant to cow's milk. It builds antibodies. It provides a more complete nutrition than formula milk.

The fact that most women in the UK, a country with notoriously low breastfeeding rates, don't breastfeed until two doesn't make the recommendation either odd or invalid, what a strange thing to say. The WHO is concerned with best practice, not societal mores. And the clue is in the "W".

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 14-Jan-13 01:09:03

In my circle of friends, I was considered an early weaner; I weaned my eldest at fifteen months.

amazingmumof6 Mon 14-Jan-13 01:18:32

izzy yes dear, mummy here grin

you are absolutely right, I'm sure there are benefits beyond 6 months, but no, I don't think bf is for poor countries, I was just wondering about statistics!

DD is our 6th, so I thought I'd stop after 3 months due to being very busy, but somehow carried on - probably for not having any reasons to stop, rather wanting to carry on, IYSWIM. (although I'm getting quite emotional about stopping this time so I'm delaying it...)

with the boys I stopped at different times for different reasons (longest 9 months, shortest 3 months), but I probably would have carried on for longer if it wasn't for them getting bored, biting, pulling, undiagnosed tongue-tie (and weight loss issues, therefore bullied into ff, when they should have looked in his mouth first, just ridiculous!) and being just so busy & stressed it didn't work etc.

I love bf, but have no regrets for stopping with each child when I did (apart from the tongue-tie one, still fuming about incompetence of HV, DS8 is now 8)

amazingmumof6 Mon 14-Jan-13 01:20:08

sorry, I meant DS3 is 8, not DS8!!smile

amazingmumof6 Mon 14-Jan-13 01:26:46

tortoise it was odd to me as I never heard it before, I'm like that and don't know everything, oops...

never said it was invalid, please don't put words in my mouth....

TeaandHobnobs Mon 14-Jan-13 01:30:48

A friend's 1 year old has just been extremely ill over the past month, and breast milk was all he could tolerate, and helped keep him hydrated. She was very thankful they had continued bf (down to 2 feeds/day at that point, but her supply has responded to the increased demand).

I hope to continue bfing 8mo DS for as long as is feasible, for reasons just like this.

izzyishappilybusy Mon 14-Jan-13 01:31:44

Ah the stick I used to get - thankfully theyhave given up now.

I just feed til they dont want to.

Personally I don't care if people want to feed their babies green alien goo - but it is difficult that it is almost unpc to promote breast feeding

weegiemum Mon 14-Jan-13 01:35:01

I bf dd1 for 13 months (not sure why I stopped), ds to 15 months (only stopped as I genuinely lost supply when I got pg again) and dd2 to 2 years (when the articulate little madam demanded a cup and said "no mo mummy mok!")

They are pretty much never ill except with minor colds, never had bad d&v except once, the only real illness they had was swine flu, and they were over it a lot quicker than me.

I'm sure that at 12.11, 10.11 and 9.2 the benefits must have worn off ... But they're all still very healthy!

weegiemum Mon 14-Jan-13 01:38:03

In fact, we backpacked round central America with them at 5.3, 3.3 and 16 months and the only one who didn't get mild d&v (apart from dh who had the galloping shits) was bf dd2. She was practically drinking out of puddles and didn't get as much as one runny nappy!

shouldIbecrossaboutthis Mon 14-Jan-13 07:25:50

Thanks everyone, I think the problem we have is that I'm breast feeding but I'm a routine/strict type mum. Luckily DS seems to like this approach!

So I never feed him to sleep & I don't really offer the boob if he is upset. If use a dummy or rock/cuddle/sing which usually works.

I'm also being rather selfish in saying I don't really like it :/ I don't find it hard as such, DS doesn't feed for long as goes 3/4 hours between feeds.

I just find it uncomfortable I guess. I have a broken coycx so holding him hurts and pillows are too high. He is 98th for weight and height so a big boy. My boobs are also massive (32j) which also puts strain on my back and none of my clothes fit my top half.

DS is only 3.5 months but I'm thinking ahead. Even though he is BF he's had 3 bouts of snot/snuffles & d&v!

Fishandjam Mon 14-Jan-13 20:24:16

shouldi, can you lie down to feed instead? Not viable out and about I know, but might help a bit when you're at home. (A good excuse for a snooze too!)

Fishandjam Mon 14-Jan-13 20:24:36

shouldi, can you lie down to feed instead? Not viable out and about I know, but might help a bit when you're at home. (A good excuse for a snooze too!)

Fishandjam Mon 14-Jan-13 20:25:24

Arrghh fuck, double post - bloody phone!

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