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Talk to me about long term breastfeeding

(16 Posts)
squidkid Tue 30-Apr-13 10:45:33

My daughter is 7 months old today and was exclusively bf till 6 months when I started her on solids which she likes a lot. I've mostly had an easy time of bf and I feel lucky and grateful. I always wanted to get to 4 months, then 6 months, now I am thinking about long term bf, hopefully till she's 2 years old.

Some days I am so tired and fed up of it though. She feeds about 10x a day at the moment, but only one night feed (sleeps 7-7, feeds at 4 - I am pretty lucky with that!)

These are my main worries/queries (some more superficial than others!)

- I go back to work (part time, shift work, probably 20-40hours a week, days and nights) when she is 10 months old. I know I am legally entitled to express at work but shifts can be manic and I'm not sure how possible it's going to be. What is she likely to be doing at 10 months? Would it be possible at this age to bf her on my days off and evenings and mornings, and give her food at other times? Would I have to either express or start formula? I will be working both 8 hour or 13 hour days/nights. Are these shifts going to be really uncomfortable if I don't express...?

- If you're feeding a 2 year old it's presumably not that regularly - do you still have to wear nursing bras or are people wearing nice normal underwear again at this point?? (I said some of them were superficial!)

- People keep telling me you can't lose weight until you stop bf and then it all falls off effortlessly... this is depressing me. What if I bf her till she was 3?? I've done a lot of exercise and eaten carefully since she was born and lost almost all my preg weight, but I do still have a little tummy... is it really true that if you stop bf you lose loads of weight? Some days I find this very tempting, which probably makes me a bad person. sad

I have loads more questions but I'll start with those... experiences, tips, good things, bad things, would be very much appreciated!

rubyslippers Tue 30-Apr-13 10:51:13

i fed my DD until she was 3 years old

i worked full time from when she was 8 months - I never pumped and would feed her before work, when i came home, before bed and a dream feed until she was 11 months

She never took a bottle and her 2 pm breastfeed was replaced with a snack

Couldn't be bothered with formula so she never had it or bottles - beakers and water and cows milk as a drink from 1 year

I switched to underwired nursing bras when she was 1 year old and then regular bras which i would lift up and feed

i never shifted the weight but that's coz i don't eat right!! I deffo held onto a few pounds which shifted when i stopped feeding - felt different but i like cheese too much to be thin!!

i didn't love feeding her but she loved it - i am not sorry I did it for so long but i don't miss it at all. I am proud i did it for her!

good luck with whatever you decide and kudos for feeding exclusively for this long - every drop you give is brilliant

SirBoobAlot Tue 30-Apr-13 10:54:04

Hi Squid smile I fed DS till he was nearly three, and I'm a peer supporter as well.

The loosing weight thing is bollocks. Every individual's body works differently. And it's worth remembering that very few people ever look exactly the same as they did pre-baby, just because of the amount your body changes. No relation to breastfeeding.

No you don't have to wear nursing bras for the entire time. As long as you are wearing a well fitting bra, then you should be fine. You can make your own nursing bras, or you can just lift your breast out of the cup, which is what a lot of mums do past a certain age.

Work is a bit more of a tricky one to answer. She will likely just feed when you are around, and your body will adjust. But for that length of time between feeds at first, you may find it rather uncomfortable. How is she will taking expressed milk from a cup or bottle? How is she with night feeds?

squidkid Tue 30-Apr-13 11:05:07

Thank you for your thoughts guys!

Sirboobalot -Well, when she was about 6 weeks old she took expressed milk fine and I did express a bit because I wanted some time to myself to go out, sleep, etc! Then I stopped using bottles with her entirely. Recently (when she was nearly 6 months old) I expressed a day's worth of milk for a wedding I had to go to without her and she had NONE OF IT! She wasn't upset, she just waited till I came home and we spent the entire next day in bed feeding.

I am trying to get her used to a sippy cup and a normal cup now, but I've only tried with water. She enjoys it but she doesn't drink much yet, it just goes everywhere. I haven't tried with milk. To be honest the whole wedding fiasco has put me right off expressing! (I ended up throwing away 25oz of milk. Sob.)

We have one (sometimes two) night feeds - about 4am and sometimes at 5.30am too. Other than that she goes 7-7 with no milk fine.

Tailtwister Tue 30-Apr-13 11:18:23

I fed DS1 until just over 3 and currently feeding DS2 who will be 3 in June.

I went back to work part-time with DS1 when he was around 15 months. He wasn't eating massive amounts even then, so I was concerned he wouldn't get enough nutrition. He never took to bottles, but was drinking cow's milk from a cup.

My experience was that they generally adjust to feed when you're around. I co-sleep, so DS1 did do more night feeding when I was at work. I never weaned as such, but he just eventually stopped buy himself.

I'm still wearing nursing bras, but I don't see why you couldn't go back to normal bras if you want.

Weight wise, I've been bf for over 5 years now without a break. I would love to think it would all fall off once I stop bf, but suspect I just eat too much cake.

MoreSnowPlease Tue 30-Apr-13 20:23:07

DS is only 10 months but maybe I can help with that question. He is a constant feeder when I'm around, every hour at night, whenever he feels like it during the day, usually doesn't go longer than 1.5 hours. BUT if he goes to my mums or anywhere without me, he will happily go without until I get him but I've only left him about 5 hours at most. In terms of his feeding pattern this is a very long time though. Like others have said, just seem to adjust.

DS did the same as your LO with water when he started having it from a beaker and now walks around picking up his water and drinking it himself when he wants some so I wouldn't think you need to bother with formula.

Also, your milk adjusts so it is usually more concentrated with fat, antibodies the feeds space out, so with food and water on top she should get all the nutrition and liquids she needs.

I am still wearing nursing bras, but if I was working I would wear normal ones and work around it somehow.

MoreSnowPlease Tue 30-Apr-13 20:24:27

Oh and I weigh less now than before I got pregnant because DS keeps me so active so that weight thing is rubbish.

DuelingFanjo Tue 30-Apr-13 20:28:40

I still breastfeed my son who is two and 4months and went ack t work full time when he was ten months. I find the feeding in the night quite hard but am hardened to it now.

I am
Retry sure that if I stopped breastfeeding I would pile weight on, unless cut down on what I eat.

I wear normal bras as I am at work all day so am not being pestered, I just pull my bra down to feed.

TiredyCustards Tue 30-Apr-13 20:33:19

Hello, i'm feeding Dd 2.8 and ds 8mo.

Regarding regularity of feeds, I cut Dd down to just morning + bedtime when she was about 14mo because I was pg with ds, then down to just bedtime. It was very easy, I just distracted her, gave her food or drinks in a special bottle/cup.

My point is, natural term or extended breastfeeding doesn't need to be on demand if you don't want it to be.

feekerry Tue 30-Apr-13 20:41:21

i am feeding dd who is 13m now. i went back to work full time when she was 9months.
she only feeds now just before bed, maybe once thru the night and maybe first thing. i have never pumped. she has never had ebm or formula or a bottle. just a sippy cup of water then cows milk in the last month or so
i have a corporate type job so need to wear good bras etc so wear normal bras all the time now.
at weekend dd sometimes feeds in day but it doesn't last more than 10 seconds.
re weight..... that's one of the reasons i am still feeding lol!!! i eat like an absolute horse and since about 11m the weight has been falling off me!! its amazing!!! and i think that's down to me feeding so i ain't stopping now lol!!

WouldBeHarrietVane Tue 30-Apr-13 20:56:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badgerwife Tue 30-Apr-13 22:02:41

I'm still bfing DD 21 months and it's nowhere near as time consuming as it used to be.

- At 7 months your little one is still in the process of weaning so it's entirely possible (though not guaranteed) that by the time you go back to work, she will be taking less milk and more solids. Re your first question, if you can feed her mornings and evenings and you're able to express even just once a day at work so that she can take that with lunch, that will be better than nothing.
It is likely to be a bit uncomfortable at first if you reduce her milk intake and don't express, until your milk production has reduced, but from what I've heard I don't think that it takes long to happen.
I think the WHO recommendation is that until your baby is 1, their main food intake/nutrition source should be milk, not solids so she would have to have formula during the day as a top up if you decide not to express.

- Nursing bras: I'm still wearing nursing bras but that's for practicality (the unhooking bit) and because DD2 is due in a couple of months anyway. I haven't needed nursing pads in at least 6 months and if DD wasn't asking for milk, I wouldn't even know I had any to give.

- No idea re weight, I lost all of it after birth and didn't put it back despite stuffing my face with carbs like they were running out of fashion. I suspect it depends on the person.

PseudoBadger Tue 30-Apr-13 22:17:33

I stopped feeding DS last week, he's 27 months. I'm 16 weeks pregnant and it had just got too painful, which it hadn't been for about 2 years sad He's still asking for it every day and it's making me very sad sad

I haven't worn a nursing bra since I went back to work when he was 12 months; if I've been out and have a bra on then I unclipped it and pushed it up, or if I'm lazing around I just have a vest top underneath my clothes and push it down.

Losing weight - I lost what I needed too and then stopped. Didn't start losing until he was about 10 months.

He was feeding morning, night and at naps, and if he needed comfort.

HalfBakedCleverCookie Tue 30-Apr-13 22:27:19

I am bfing ds, he is only 9 minus but I have just returned to work so might be able to help.

We feed in the morning, after work, before bed and during the night. He has no other milk during the day and is fine.

I don't express at work and two weeks in my supply is starting to settle. I was pretty uncomfy at first but am ok now.

We still feed on demand on the days I am around. (3 days a week)

I wear normal underwear and just life my boob out of the cup.

I have lost over 2 stone since birth and I eat like a horse. Honestly if I weren't bfing I would be enormous. I weigh less than pre-pregnancy.

AttentionToDetail Tue 30-Apr-13 22:36:27

Hi. I am feeding DS 2.4 and DD 6 months.
With DS I returned to work when he was 12 months and did long shifts and nights as you will be - around 30-40 hours a week. On work days I might not get to feed him at all as he was in bed when I left for/returned from work. If he woke in the night then I would feed him then and it was actually nice to have this time (and I was so used to broken night sleep anyway). On days off hecwould generally feed 3tines a day. I never expressed and never had any problems with engorgement. He drank cows milk otherwise. I also went back to wearing a normal bra which was a welcome relief. All in all I enjoyed going back to work and I was glad that I was still feeding DS for this transition as it was a comfort for both of us. I plan to do the same for my DS too.
As for weight loss due to second pregnancy and not having stopped feeding yet I have no idea!!

CautionaryWhale Tue 30-Apr-13 23:34:25

Hello OP

Breastfed DD1 until 2 years 3 months - I had gone back to work when she was one - fed her in the morning then she had water juice and cow's milk at nursery - then fed her when I picked her up and one at night and cosleeping so dream feeding while I slept.

I never expressed pumped or had supply problems - neither drying up nor leaking - just lucky I guess. Wore jackets for work in case but no need for pads and all was fine. Continued to wear nursing bras out of habit.
Lost loads of weight during bf - size 20 22 down to 14 16.

Only gave up bf DD1 due to family pressure tbh albeit it was tiring and mainly a comfort/habit by that age.

Breastfed DD2 until 2 years 3 months as a SAHM - different ballgame - constantly on me, cosleeping, fed entirely on demand. Lost no weight whatsover.

Have had no choice but to give up as pregnant and my milk dried up in second trimester but it was excruciating in the first 1 1/2 trimesters.
DD2 waiting in anticipation for milk to come back so she can steal DC3s...
She 'checks' daily and tries to stealth dry nurse at the same time which I dislike but she has water juice tea cow's milk etc so it is primarily a comfort thing. Distress, pain, nightmares, wanting to drop off, poorly - all my kids' worldly woes have been cured by my magic boobs.

On a more me me me topic My boobs are now in dire need of an uplift but my DH couldn't care less and thinks I am still a MILF the deluded man so it's a first world problem.

Good luck thanks

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