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Why is bf/ff recommended until 12 months?

(21 Posts)
CobOnTheCorn Wed 05-Mar-14 13:38:06

I'm bf at the moment and trying hard to get to 12 months but it's a daily struggle.

Baby DS is 9 months old so he's had the best bit (I think).

So, why do I have in my head that I need to continue until 12 months?

Christelle2207 Wed 05-Mar-14 13:44:09

Last time I looked the recommendation was 6 months. But baby will benefit from it as long as it lasts.

LadyAlysVorpatril Wed 05-Mar-14 13:44:48

Milk, either bf or formula, is your baby's main source of nutrition until 1 year. But if you're not enjoying breastfeed ing you don't HAVE to keep going. You can switch to formula and you don't have to feel guilty you've done really well.

MigGril Wed 05-Mar-14 13:45:25

Well the main part of their diet should be milk until 12months, if I remember rightly something like 80%. Their gut is still maturing and learning to digest solid food, if you want to stop breastfeeding sooner then you would need to add formula.

However as formula doesn't contain any of the live elements of breast milk then you can give more solid food and less formula milk. Cows milk is to high in salt for under one's which is why you shouldn't give it until 12 months.

TheScience Wed 05-Mar-14 13:47:35

Unmodified cow's milk isn't a good enough substitute for breastmilk until the baby is at least 12 months and their bodies are better able to cope with it. Too much salt, not enough iron, hard to digest and hard on their kidneys.

Formula (first milk) is perfectly adequate if you want to stop breastfeeding though.

MigGril Wed 05-Mar-14 13:50:56

Christelle everyone seems to get that wrong it's actually excursive breastfeeding until 6 months then breastfeeding along side solids until a year. Which is the NHS recommendation the WHO recommends breastfeeding until at lest 2 years of age and for as long after as is mutually beneficial.

tiktok Wed 05-Mar-14 13:53:43

NHS/DoH has no upper limit for breastfeeding - yes, exclusive to 6 mths, therafter alongside other foods for no stated time smile

WHO states two years and beyond.

ilovepowerhoop Wed 05-Mar-14 13:53:56

if you wanted to give up bf then formula would be the correct substitute until the age of 1 at which point you would move to full fat cows milk. Cows milk does not have enough iron and other nutrients for babies under 1 year which is why it is advised to give breastmilk/formula milk as the main drink up to 1 year

CobOnTheCorn Wed 05-Mar-14 14:29:14

Thanks everyone for your advice. So, my situation is that I don't really want to give up bf but I'm struggling with it so much that it may give me a break. I suppose what I really want is for it to be easier.

The real difficulty is that I don't want to go down the formula route. Baby DS is CMPI and I hear that the alternative is disgusting.

So at 12 months I wouldn't be able to give him cow's milk and instead I'll try one of the alternatives.

Because baby DS isn't having any dairy, he already has a vitamin supplement and fortified breakfast cereal.

Baby DS has a mammoth appetite for solids so perhaps I can just reduce the amount of milk he has and go from there.

I'd like to fully understand the risks, if any, of stopping breastfeeding before 12 months and going straight to a milk alternative rather than formula.

Presumably 12 months is a guide to some extent as all babies are different.

tiktok Wed 05-Mar-14 14:33:25

What is that makes bf a struggle, OP?

ilovepowerhoop Wed 05-Mar-14 14:36:39

CMPI children are often prescribed formula up to the age of 2 as the dairy free alternatives are not a good source of nutrients. Can he have soya products? There is a fortified soya milk suitable from age 1 (alpro soya 1+ I think).

12 months is normally quoted as the minimum age not an average age to start on other milks.

Cakeismymaster Wed 05-Mar-14 14:39:08

Watching with interest as I have exact same situation but am only at 6 mths currently.
OP could you tell me which vitamin supp you use and how you give it, and which cereals you are giving your ds? Many thanks!

CobOnTheCorn Wed 05-Mar-14 14:49:48

Breastfeeding is a struggle because DS always pulls away from the breast every few minutes or so. He seems reluctant to feed during the day, loves his before bed feed and wakes up several times in the night for milk.

I am beyond tired and I'm spending so much time trying to feed DS that other things are being neglected so I feel frustrated and stressed much of the time.

I have been expressing milk twice during the day but I'm not sure the additional hassle is worth it. Baby does drink from the cup/beaker/bottle but still in a stop start fashion.

It's interesting to know that 12 months is a minimum. Apparently lots of children who are CMPI are also intolerant to soy so the paediatric dietician recommended us not to use any soy products.

tiktok Wed 05-Mar-14 15:26:16

sad sad

This sounds like something that would benefit from some RL discussion....breastfeeding support group, Baby Cafe, breastfeeding counsellor.....?

Older babies do sometimes cut their daytime feeds right down to hardly any time - struggling and trying to get them to 'stay on' leads to even more struggles. This is a behaviuoural thing and 100 per cent normal. They want to learn and be involved and observe and be active - all the stuff you can't do when you are snuggle in smile

They then make up for the lack of bf and sucking time at night. There is no easy answer to that sad

One way of making your daytimes easier is just to accept when he doesn't want to feed. No messing about. No fighting. He doesn't want it, or he wants to stop for a bit....ok, he stops and you do something else.

This does not resolve the night time thing. But I don't see how formula bottles would make life any better. He's not suddenly going to down 200 mls of formula each time in the day, and stop waking at night as a result........sad

But not being frustrated and stressed as much might help you. Working out ways of making the night time feeding easier, too, is a good strategy.

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 05-Mar-14 15:43:06

Milk is the optimum food for all baby mammals and needs to be given until at least 12 months. a baby's digestive system matures slowly and the transition between all milk to all solids takes time.

It is very important that a baby has breastmilk or formula until 12 months. Cows milk is not a suitable alternative.

If you want to stop breastfeeding before 12 months then you need to switch to formula.

CobOnTheCorn Wed 05-Mar-14 16:00:57

Thanks tiktok - yes I do need to see a breastfeeding counsellor. And I will, so far life has just got in the way.

Your point about acceptance is also helpful and one that I should apply to some other aspects smile

Frankly night times couldn't be much worse so I don't have anything to lose and possibly something to gain in feeling less frustrated and stressed during the daytime.

Sleep problems will be addressed separately (hopefully).

You are absolutely right about formula - he isn't suddenly going to drink more, as has been proven by expressing and trying a bottle.

So - do you think I should continue to express at all. Obviously this is a time thief too. Baby DS probably does drink more than direct from the breast but only when encouraged.

tiktok Wed 05-Mar-14 16:10:31

I can't see why expressing helps you - it takes time, it's a chore, and why are you doing it?? smile

CobOnTheCorn Wed 05-Mar-14 16:13:34

Ha ha - the idea was it would help me as DS would drink more and sleep more. Guess what? Still no sleepy. Like I said he probably does take more in but is that worth the effort? Er no.

froubylou Wed 05-Mar-14 20:47:42

Might be a daft idea but have you tried a bfing apron cover thing to keep him focused on you and feeding in the day? I have noticed that when I use it for nosey parker ds he fidgits less and pulls off the nipple a lot less too.

I use it when we are out and about mainly. But will use it at home occasionally when there is a lot going on around us.

And I know what you mean about expressing. It's a time consuming faff and seems to me a complete waste of time if you are going to give him the ebm.

Will he do lots of small feeds during the day rather than a few long sessions?

KippyVonKipperson Wed 05-Mar-14 20:56:34

I think you might find it will get easier from now to 12 months, they really change a lot and as he's got cmpi you really would be helping with that to continue bfing, so that may be a motivating factor for you.

What I found helpful was to accept night times would be rubbish and save all my mumsnet thing/facebooking up for the night feeds to give me something to look forward to.

I know it's not for everyone but at about 12 /13 months I managed to night wean my DS quite easily by just offering cuddles rather than milk for a few nights till he slept through (mostly!) but I know if I'd tried doing it at 9/10 months it would have been a painful struggle. Just saying, as the exhausting night times may come to an end soon, and then feeding him won't feel like such a chore.

WantAnOrange Thu 06-Mar-14 13:04:08

It's really common for babies this age to go through a phase of being really distractible so they feed on and off and on and off because there are so many other exciting things going on around the room! Could you try feeding in a dimly lit room with no TV or other distractions around, a couple times a day?

I remember DD being a right pain for a while but then she outgrew it. BF does tend to come in 'waves' of easy periods and difficult periods and it can help to tell yourself 'this too shall pass' and go with it.

The NHS advice is exclusive BF for 6 months. It is advised that milk makes up the largest part of their diet for 12 months and you can choose to move onto cows milk after that if it is right (BF is easier and cheaper than cows milk so if it's well at this stage there's no reason to change!) and the WHO recommend BF for at least 2 years, with weaning beginning around 6 months. I hope that helps.

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