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whats the OPTIMUM length of time to breastfeed for?

(31 Posts)
NotAnOtter Mon 15-May-06 22:22:50

I am currently b/f ing my newborn..well 12 week old. Its fine we are all doing well at times i like it but i just dont LOVE it.
How long should i give it before introducing something else ( not food i know all that) . Anyone in the know looked at any studies or anything as i would lke to make an informed choice and continue on that basis. thankyou i just want whats best for him but i am not loving it!

singyswife Mon 15-May-06 22:24:52

They recommend 6 months but to be honest anything you give him is better than not doing it at all. I wouldnt feel bad about giving him bottles too. I bf my dd1 for 14 weeks then gave her bo ttles and dd2 it was 6 weeks exclusive then she got bottles on all but 2 feeds. I really enjoyed giving her the 2 feeds, I hadnt enjoyed the exclusive feeding. Hope it works for you.

Pruni Mon 15-May-06 22:26:21

Message withdrawn

NotAnOtter Mon 15-May-06 22:26:55

i just know that my supply will dwindle if i introduce any other milk and then i will feel he is not getting enough..do they say to exclusively b/f for 6 monnths? I am out of touch!

moondog Mon 15-May-06 22:27:42

I think 6 mths is brilliant.
You are nearly there now!

You must do what works for you though.
Still,hats off to you for doing this for your baby.

There is a great list of the benefits of b/feeding for a day/week/month/6 months and so on that is sometimes brought up.
Someone may have a link????

Jasnem Mon 15-May-06 22:28:56

Yes, it's six months.
I'm just doing it one day at a time, though.

stitch Mon 15-May-06 22:29:55

till you are happy to stop
you may not LOve it, but you may hate doing bottles even more.
if you are doing fine, then just continue until there appears to be a reason to stop or introduce a bottle.

NotAnOtter Mon 15-May-06 22:40:21

Thanks - i just feel so edgy - last night he slept from 9 pm till 11 am this morning...straight through ...lovely but all day today i have fe and fed on what felt like empty boobs at 8 tonight because i panic he will not get enough

moondog Mon 15-May-06 22:41:41

Why the panic NOA?
You've done the hardest part!
It does get easier now-promise!

tiktok Mon 15-May-06 23:14:40

They may feel empty, NOA, but they are not. Cluster feeds or feeds with short gaps only and/or very well established bf (as yours is, after 12 weeks) mean, for many mothers, soft breasts.
Reasons for this: milk production responsive to baby's needs without over-supply; fat which gives non-pg breasts their shape being replaced by milk producing and storing tissue.

It really gets so much easier once you stop being concerned about whether he is getting enough.....

amber5 Mon 15-May-06 23:22:42

can i ask the same question but from the other end? (if that makes sense) I'm loving bfing my 16 week old and can see myself wanting to continue indefinately. I stopped bfing ds at one year as he then went straight on to cows milk and never had any formula (in hindsight my dh was ready at this point too)

is there any additional benefit to bfing after one year, or is a balanced diet with cows milk just as good for a toddler?

moondog Tue 16-May-06 10:33:27

Cow's milk can never be as good as mother's own amber.
Carry on as long as you want to!
Plenty of extended b/feeders on MN to keep you company and answer any questions.
Chck out the archives too. e

MissChief Tue 16-May-06 10:40:17

NAO - you're halfway thro the WHO recommended exlusive bfing period, so you're doing really well! Like you, I took it a day at a time, literally during the 1st few weeks. I never thought I'd make it to 9 months but am so glad I did as it's now easy, convenient,relaxing & pain-free..

emkana Tue 16-May-06 10:42:49

I quite like this text:

how long should I breastfeed for?

expatinscotland Tue 16-May-06 10:43:59

Keep up the good work, otter!

We're nearly at 6 months and NEVER thought it'd be possible.

DD2 is now very wriggly and is showing signs of wanting to try food in the next few weeks, but it's been a great run!

moondog Tue 16-May-06 10:44:39

oh bravo expat\!!!

expatinscotland Tue 16-May-06 10:46:17

Can't believe it!

She's soooo wriggly, though. And pinchy. At first, swaddling was very effective, but now she's older she just wants to squirm.

She is chomping her chops, however.

I think I might do her a breastmilk slushy and see how she likes that.

moondog Tue 16-May-06 10:48:47


they get really nosy about now,breaking off for a good ole look around which can be a liitle mortifying in public,with big wet nipples on display!

harpsichordcarrier Tue 16-May-06 11:16:09

btw the WHO says AT LEAST two years
no maximum time

VeniVidiVickiQV Tue 16-May-06 11:20:12

I concur with harpsi.

I dont know if i'll do two years but Im at 13 months with DS so far so im over halfway there lol!

Belo Tue 16-May-06 11:20:31

You've definitely done the hardest part. I hated it with dd1 for the first 3 months. At the time teh advice was for between 4-6 months. I decided I would give it up at 5 months. By the time I got to 5 months I didn't want to. dd1 ended up self weaning at 16 months! (had cut down to just morning and night feeds by then as I had been back at work since she was 6 months).

sweetkitty Tue 16-May-06 15:32:48

I BF DD1 for a year and that was long enough for me she practically self weaned herself which was fine as I was 3 months pregnant with DD2.

With DD2 we are at 16 weeks now I am hoping for a year of BFing with her too, I want to have my body back for 6 months before ttc no3 hence I want to stop at a year.

It totally depends on you I guess.

mcnoodle Tue 16-May-06 15:41:30

Agree with Belo - I really found bf hard for ages. Was still thinking about stopping at 5 months. Weird how I just kept going one day at a time and started to love it. Still bf at a year. Is much much easier when they're on solids and you can have a bit more routine with feeds. I now find it so relaxing, calms ds down whatever the problem, not planning on stopping. Have turned into lentil-weaver. Hurrah!

kiskidee Tue 16-May-06 15:57:42

and there was expat insisting that her 'dd' had tgo go on formula at 4 mos because she was going back to work. heh, heh.

i would never have imagined that I would be expressing at work for dd at 13 months but here I am. yesterday she got on my lap and giggled and kicked with sheer delight when i put her on my lap to feed. it made my month.

NotAnOtter Tue 16-May-06 18:22:07

lovely stories - he does seem to love it and so easy to feed etc sleeps well but i find it soo draining and more than that - time consuming when i am rushing around after the others.
Thanks for all your comments

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