How long did you/do you want to bf for?(82 Posts)
DD (2) recently had a bit of a strike and I panicked because I hadn't expected it. Up until then I didn't really think I would be that bothered when she stopped as we've reached my (WHO recommended) goal of 2 and beyond, but I was absolutely gutted.
Luckily, she's stopped striking now and we're back to normal, but it's got me thinking about how long I would like to feed for. It is obviously down to DD when she wants to stop, I'm not going to try and influence her either way but I think I will be really emotional when the time comes. Especially as I am unlikely to have any more babies.
My mum remembers the last time she fed me (self weaned), she said it was if we both knew it was the last time so it was bittersweet and when I thought DD had stopped, I was so sad I hadn't had that final feed for closure.
I suppose I'm just wondering what it was like when your DC weaned and how I'm going to feel when it does happen. At the moment I'm thinking that I wouldn't mind another year or so, but I might want another year after that, and another, and another........
Stopped feeding DS1 at 9 months because I had been anxious about him getting enough and topped up each feed with formula until my milk supply dropped to almost nothing and he preferred the bottle. I was so sad and regretted not working harder to keep breastfeeding. Now DS2 is 5 months EBF and I hope to go to at least a year. Giving my 2 year old expressed milk in a cup now and then too which makes me feel better about him stopping bf before I wanted to.
With DS1, until at least 6 months when I was going back to work. Ended up being 2 years when I accidentally caused him to self wean, by cutting a feed when I was impatient to get pregnant.
DS2 its coming up for 1 and aiming for at least as long as DS1, bf is useful and I missed it for comforting DS1 when he stopped!
Wanted to just do it as allegedly my mum 'couldn't' do it with me (bad advice back in the 70s but that is a different story). So then I wanted 6 months, and then a year and here I am still feeding at 14 months... I will stop when my daughter wants (I think)
Wow, i was planning for 6 months but from all the posts on here, i think i will go on till 12 months to avoid formula and all the hassle that brings.
I have a year off on mat leave so can do that. 10 weeks in, its going fab. (fed DS1 till he was 7 months)
Interestingly, i am not sure WHY i decided on 6 months, but it appears that loads and loads of other folk on here also say 6 months! Why is 6 months the magic number i wonder?
nananaps I guess most people think 6 months because that's when most people start weaning? Also the formula companies push follow on milk from 6 months.
Personally my boy didn't really eat much in the way of solids until he was 1, so was a relief he was still breastfeeding.
When I started breastfeeding I was clueless about babies. I knew you were supposed to breastfeed till 6 months then start solid food. I didn't realise that you had to keep giving milk at the same time. I thought weaning meant weaning off milk and you did it at 6 months.
I think it's partly because the correct advice to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months then begin to add food but continue bf gets confused as breastfeed till 6 months.
Also, ff companies aren't allowed to advertise formula as a replacement for breastmilk in the UK so all formula adverts you see are aimed at babies aged 6 months + and all talk about 'moving on from breast milk'and so you make the link with stopping bf then.
AND let's not forget the bizarre squeamishness about feeding an older baby/child that seems to affect so much of the western world.
Nananaps I can't believe your little one is 10 weeks already! It's amazing! You won't even recognise me now because I've namechanged but you helped me a lot around about this time last year.
I fed dd1 for 14 months. I'd just assumed that I would bf, didn't think about how long for, then once she arrived I wanted to get past the first week, then the next week, then before I knew it we'd gone past a year. She stopped when i went to uni full time. I recognise it now as a strike, but at the time I thought it was her self weaning.
Dd2 I fed til 2y8m. Again I just assumed I'd bf, and decided to aim for a year so we could avoid formula altogether. Then I never found a good enough reason to stop until she self weaned just before Christmas.
Schooldidi hi! Yes 10 weeks old and im still a nervous wreck!
Pinch myself daily to remind myself that he is here and that he is mine and that FINALLY we did it, we actually got our baby.
so happy to hear that i helped someone from my miserable journey, thats lovely xx
Didn't want to BF at all. Didn't BF at all. 2 DCs.
Fed ds1 till he was 18 months, still feel a bit sad I stopped when I did bu it was the right decision at the time.
Ds2 is 9 1/2 months now and I plan to feed as long as he wants really.
Not really sure what the pint of bonzo's comment was...
Point was I chose not to BF. not everyone wants to. It's a valid response to the OP's question.
chroniclackofimagination - that is a fab idea. I stopped BF at 8 months but really wish that I'd carried on going. I'd never of thought to offer a toddler EBM in a cup before. Once I'm pregnant again, and BF the next one, I'll remember to do that.
(I read once that in Mongolia, it's not uncommon for a mum to express some milk for her husband as a treat or for someone who is ill in the family!)
Yes i read something about bf in Mongolia too visualise The general attitude over there is completely different to here IIRC the author mentioned that when she worked in an office there and left expressed milk in the fridge, colleagues kept nicking it to drink for themselves!
Yes you're right bonzo your response was valid. It's interesting on this thread some of us never wanted to bf at all, some didn't ever see bf as an emotional thing and some (including me) feel that it's very meaningful and emotional. I wonder what it is that makes us feel differently about it? I always assumed that all bf mothers felt like this and that it must be an innate biological response that resulted from the endorphins you get when you bf, but it obviously isn't if not everyone feels that way.
Badguider, my 18wo dd is bf all the time - except for the one bottle of formula she gets in the evening so daddy can put her to bed and I have some time to myself. It works fantastically for us and I can't imagine that it wouldn't work with ebm - we use formula because frankly I can't be faffed with expressing.
My aim is to get to at least 6mo but I can't think of a reason I would stop then - it's easy and works well for us. I suspect that I'll bf most of the time until I go back to work when she's 12mo, then do a morning and or evening feed until it stops working for us.
DD1, aiming for 6 months but only managed eight weeks. Very little help available to someone with a BF baby with colic :-(
DD2, hoped for 3 months but was able to do a bit more research in advance, knowing what I was likely to be challenged with. Avoiding expressing did help but also meant DD2 refused a bottle. EBF for 12 months until she was happy to drink from a cup.
Was aiming for 6 months, reached 6 months and am now aiming for a year!
With dd1 (who is now 13!) I fed her for a year, when I gave up in order to ttc again - I now know I didn't have to but it was way back pre-mumsnet!
With ds (now 11, he was supposed to be my last baby) I thought I'd go to 2 years, but at 15 months he started head banging against me, screeching, biting. After a couple of days I realised I'd totally dried up - and that I was 13 weeks pregnant! So that xplained it.
Dd2 is now 9. She fed for almost exactly 2 years. By the end we were down to mornings only. Then one morning she bounced into bed and said "no no more mummy mok!" I asked what she wanted, she said "cup!" (her big sister and brother had a cup of milk in the morning). So we got her a cup. A few days later she said "more mummy mok?" and I had decided it wasn't starting again, so I said "sorry all gone" and she was happy enough, just asked for "more cup".
I was emotional stopping. I'm not sorry ill never be pg or give birth again, but I am a bit sorry ill never bf again.
I never really felt good about BF until the end. I had D-MER (Dysmorphic Milk Ejection Reflex), which meant that during the first 4 months, every time I fed the baby, I felt hollow and empty. And sometime nauseous too. I never got that feeling of bonding, in fact, even towards the end, I never felt bonded with the baby during feeding - I was doing it because I knew it was best for him.
I did begin to enjoy it towards the end, but still never felt great about it.
I think there is too much of 'BF is the best way to bond with your baby, and snuggling up with your baby is lovely' etc - there is not enough about how many mothers really struggle in the early days, and that it's normal to feel like your body has been taken over by this tiny being and your boobs are huge and you just feel so unlike your old self.
(But I also suffered PND and psychosis, and intitally tried very hard to BF - it's long and complicated, but the short story is that I believed that he was someone else's baby and his 'real mum' would be really mad at me if I didn't BF.)
It is so nice to hear people saying they are bf past 2 years! I was beginning to feel like a social pariah because DS is 2.3 years, still bf regularly and nearly everybody including HV and GP think I am an oddity!! I am planning to let DS decide when he wants to stop. I never had a particular bf goal when I started - just a wait and see. Thank you all for reminding me I am not weird!!
visualise that sounds horrid.
I think that because breast milk is technically the best nourishment for babies yet the bf rates are so low, cases where bf is not necessarily the best choice or is difficult are swept under the carpet to prevent them from putting people off trying or giving up.
But then people who do struggle feel marginalised and don't receive the support they need which creates resentment.
I thought the recommended time was 12 months when I had DS, but I don't know where that came from because I don't think it was the official advice. I think my step mum breastfed until about 9 months when her DC got teeth. I remember assuming you stopped when they got teeth anyway.
Bertie if you had to stop when they got teeth than I would have stopped at 6 weeks with dd1 because that's when she got her first 2 teeth! Even my ex-sil realised that was stupid, and that was the woman who told me it was perverted to bf because boobs are for sex .
I have been very lucky being able to breast feed both of my children. With my first DD we went to 12 months (literally - the day before she turned one, all felt very symbolic!). I was very sad to stop and whilst she'd largely lost interest (before bed only feed by this time) and it did feel like a natural time to stop, with retrospect I was also responding to pressure, an assumption, that you don't go beyond a year (my mum and sister had and continue to have strong views about this, we were all bottle fed). So with my second, a boy, it has been a totally different story, he is devoted to the breast and is showing no signs of wanting to stop anytime soon! I had assumed I would go to 12 months, then 18 months, he's almost 26 months and I've stopped guessing when we'll stop! It works for both of us and I love the bonding / emotional element not to mention the sheer convenience! I still have to contend with disapproval / lack of understanding amongst some of those closest to me and when I'm tired I find I start to believe they are right and it is time to stop. Thankfully the desire to keep going outweighs that most of the time. More and more I think if I am lucky enough to be able to continue then I shall let him self wean.
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