Carry on BF?(8 Posts)
I have been exclusively BF for 7 months. My baby has taken to weaning really well, eating everything I give her, huge variety of fruit & veg, cereals, eggs, beef, pork, chicken, fish. Does she still need as much BF? I'm beginning to feel like I may want to stop, have loved it but it's been so demanding, haven't expressed so she's been completely dependent on me, but a voice in my head saying I should carry on, it's best for her, I will miss it etc etc. how easy is it to stop, I can't see how it would be very easy to stop as she loves my boobs!!! Wakes a lot at night for them. Also if I did stop would I have to go to formula or is cows milk ok? She has it on cereals and loves it and I know they sayitdoesnt have enough iron for it to replace either breast milk or formula but she's getting so much iron in her foods now? Think I either need some dedicated BF mums to tell me to stick with it or others to tell me it is ok to stop (also tell me how!!??) and by stopping I'm not being a bad mummy! I just don't really know what to do, I love doing it and such a lovely bond with my baby but I wouldn't mind a small bit of my life back? At a crossroads not knowing which way to go!?
I'm not going to tell you what to do wrt continuing to breastfeed, thats entirely your own personal decision. Wanting to stop is fine, as is wanting to continue. Do want suits you and your family best.
At 7 months, you shouldn't give cows milk as the main/only milk. It's not just about iron, the balance of proteins, fats, salts etc is all wrong for a young baby. So from now till 12 months she will need either breast milk or formula milk.
PP is right about no cows milk until 12 months. I did a weening course, the mantra is: food until 1 is fun. After 6 months (once you've started weening), babies get 90% of their nutrition from milk (formula or breast).
You should speak to your health visitor for advice.
Have you found she's reducing feeds at all? Once food became established with my DS (around 8mo) he dropped to only needing to bf for naps and before bed and I was able to drop night feeds unless he's teething or whatever.
How about calling a helpline, gg? Can't see anything in your post that suggests life would be easier to stop bf. One option would be to introduce a bottle of formula either occasionally or at a regular time. That would give you a bit of time off from bf without changing very much.
Any bf helpline would give you the chance to discuss it and work out what would suit you and your baby best
I breast feed and my dh gives a bottle of formula once a day (at the same time) after dinner - gives me a bit of "freedom".
When I return to work I will feed night/morning and give pumped or formula until she can have cows milk.
For me mixed feeding has worked well after solids. I ebf before that.
An intermediate option would be to continue breastfeeding at specified times (i.e. enough for nutrition rather than on demand) and then find other solutions at other times.
Mine also took to solids really well, I can't remember exactly what I was doing at 7 months but I know that by 10 months or so I was breastfeeding first thing, last thing and once in the afternoon. I didn't feed if he woke in the night or at any other time during the day. At 7 months you would probably need a few more feeds than that.
I find the 90% nutrition from milk figure between 6 months and a year quite hard to understand for babies like yours and mine that do take to solids really well: mine would have been pretty unimpressed by about 8 months if he hadn't had quite significant quantities of solids. But a lot of babies take to solids a bit more gradually so maybe the key point is not to worry if they're not eating much solids as they don't need it, rather than that they should be having mostly milk.
But if you want to stop or mixed feed, then do that, whatever is going to work best for you - baby will be fine either way!
Just a word of caution - the calories/nutrition from milk has things like calcium taken into account. So if a baby starts to reject milk and want more solids they need to be given as much dairy food as possible (personally I would also check with the GP to ensure there are no other shortages that need a suppliment too).
The vast majority of babies are designed to take mostly milk till one. My GP said she is more worried by a very fast weaning/milk-hating child (as they might have a milk allergy or reflux) than a milk - lover who nibbles till 10 or 11 months (as they are more average biologically speaking), though consumer culture has worried in the other direction. Probably because unlike formula or breast milk, they can advertise baby food and recipe books.
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