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HOW good is breastfeeding?

(12 Posts)
KikiShack Wed 02-Apr-14 08:54:05

Just idle pondering, I was wondering what some of you MN experts think.
On a scale of 1 to 10, if feeding colostrum is 10/10 important and feeding past 2 years (feel free to change this) is 1/10 good/important, where do the other numbers fall?

For the record my DD is almost at 6 months and I'm feeling pretty chuffed with myself, she has been very demanding and has only in the last few weeks stopped feeding every hour or two. I'm aiming to feed until 1 year as I'm far too lazy to start formula and buy everything now (the number of people who've asked if I'll switch now!! why would I when I've got this far and done all the hard work?!) and no idea yet if I'll feed her beyond that, I guess I'll see what she thinks nearer the time...

Not trying to be controversial btw, just interested what people think.

TanteRose Wed 02-Apr-14 09:05:47

well, BFing was very important to me, just because it was central to the way I parented my DCs when they were little (fed DD until 17 months, DS until he was 3).

I used BF as a comforter as well as a source of food, so it was great to stop tantrums, soothe any bumps and bruises, a great way to get them to sleep.

obviously not for everyone - I am so not a hippy dippy earth mother type, but for breastfeeding, I kind of was! we co-slept too.

not sure if that is the kind of info you want...

atthestrokeoftwelve Wed 02-Apr-14 09:07:44

I think that's a very personal decision.
I felt it was very important to initiate and allow my children to self wean, but if it couldn't happen then I wouldn't beat myself up about it.

I did intend to breastfeed to 6 months with my first, but things were going so well, it was easy as pie, my DS loved it, I found it convenient and trouble free that switching to formula seemed silly.
I didn't have any bottles are sterilizing equipment, not a clue about formula feeding, my baby was thriving on breastfeeding- we both were- that we decided just to carry on to 12 months.

What happened after 12 month is another story....

KikiShack Wed 02-Apr-14 09:12:15

Hi tante I agree about the comforting- it's amazing how quickly it works, on the odd occasion I've accidentally hurt DD (eg jabbed her with an errant long fingernail, nothing sinister) I stick a boob in her mouth and the tears stop instantly, brilliant!
I'm a bit of a numbers geek and I'm hoping some people will be nerdy enough to give me their view on the relative importance of feeding to diff ages, so eg 10/10 first few days, 9/10 to 3 weeks, 8/10 to 2 months, etc. I've guessed that feeding past 2 yrs is only 1/10 important, but in your case perhaps you'd think it is more since you fed to 3 yrs?
Sorry to people who don't like assigning a numerical value to everything!

cakeymccakington Wed 02-Apr-14 09:12:37

for me it didn't work on a scale like that. obv the colostrum and early weeks were the most important, so 10/10 but I don't think that it then dropped down gradually to a 1.

I wanted my children to wean when they were ready to, so feeding past 2 years was probably a highish number for me.
1/10 would be when the child is ready to wean

Zara8 Wed 02-Apr-14 09:15:57

I think it's very hard to gauge this, and you'll only get subjective responses really. You can't really marry up the guidelines/research with what people's practical, real-world responses.

For many feeding until 2 (WHO guidelines) would be perceived as 10/10, for others getting to 6 weeks/3 months as 10/10 (ie and after that 1/10 or less).

I would say as long as you are able (taking into account mum's physical and mental state) to do is worth 10/10. But it it is throwing other parts of the parenting dynamic out of sync, then its value rapidly vanishes. That might be at 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years - or when the child wants to stop!

Very difficult thing to quantify in my (very much non-expert!) opinion

Zara8 Wed 02-Apr-14 09:20:07

IF it is throwing other parts of parenting dynamic out I mean.

You'd have to add in to the calculation that factor. So even though breastmilk is always best for baby, if the mum is not wanting to look at or pick up the baby because she's terrified of the next feed - that changes things, surely?

I think you would really struggle to work this out!!

RaRaTheNoisyLion Wed 02-Apr-14 09:21:54

After 6 months feeding is a doddle tbh. If you don't fancy it, you can give em a bit of cheese after all. If you want a 30 min peaceful phone chat with a friend, you just latch em on to keep em quiet.

TheScience Wed 02-Apr-14 09:30:31

I don't know really about health benefits, as that wasn't so important to me. It's always going to be better than cow milk though whether your baby is 2 weeks or 2 years.

10/10 bits for me - first feed after birth, sleepy night feeds when you don't have to get out of bed, instant comfort/getting to sleep tool, your baby looking up at you, after jabs, going on holiday or to a festival, spontaneously staying out later or staying over somewhere, ears on a plane. Most of those aren't age related.

Sunflower1985 Wed 02-Apr-14 11:26:50

8mo ds has a nasty cold and I wouldn't be without it right now. Near instant sleeping potion. So this week 10/10.

Happydaze247 Wed 02-Apr-14 14:23:50

I've had a nasty flu type bug for over a week now and my 17 mo dd hasn't so much as coughed or sneezed. In fact she's the only baby among my friends who has yet to visit the doctor. So, I would say @ 17 months: 10/10!

KikiShack Wed 02-Apr-14 17:26:12

Wow, how lovely that everyone regardless of DC's age thinks that for them right now it's a 10/10, that's amazing. Not what I was after at all but so brilliant a response that my original question was clearly thewrong one grin

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