Benefits of continuing minority breastfeeding(6 Posts)
Re-posted from parenting, as couldn't see the feeding section before: Can anyone point me to some info on health benefits of continuing breastfeeding, when baby is majority formula fed?
After a very difficult first few weeks of life DD has always been combination fed, and majority formula fed since ten weeks. She's now 6 months.
Breastfeeding can be difficult. We've never been the best at it (tongue tie, seen all the specialists etc). On average she'll have seven to ten minutes each side twice a day now, but a feed from both sides is usually forty five to sixty minutes duration, including fussing, on and off etc. she also gets reflux.
I'm trying to decide how long it's worth continuing breastfeeding. It's primarily for health benefits rather than any other reason. She happily drinks from a bottle, and presumably more efficiently, although you never know how much breast milk she actually gets (lots of supply problems early on, took thre courses of drugs to help supply). Sometimes she seems to enjoy breastfeeding, sometimes not. I'm wondering if she would be happier just formula fed than spending time trying to get her to breastfeed. The only health guidance I can find is on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. Any pointers on the benefits of minority breastfeeding after 6 months?
There are lots of papers which look at exclusive breastfeeding and partial breastfeeding - try Googling Millennium Cohort study breastfeeding.
However, what you won't find is anything that looks at babies six months plus, because by then, babies have solid foods, and it's difficult to compare bf plus solids versus bf plus solids plus formula.
But think about it - is breastmilk a healthy food and drink? Answer: yes. Does it stop being a healthy food and drink at any time? Answer: no. Does it continue to have antibodies which help fight infection? Answer: yes. Is it a source of enjoyment and closeness? Answer: (in your case) sometimes.
So it's really up to you to weigh everything and decide
Thanks tiktok. We're carrying on for now, and seeing how it goes
I have never known any other combination feeding mums, everyone either got on well with breastfeeding or went to 100% formula after a week, so it can feel like being the only ones doing it!
I will have a look at the Millenium Cohort study.
The majority of my bf peers, after 6/9 month or so, moved on to a pattern of formula/milk (milk after 1 year) by day, bf before bed/1st thing. This is usually down to returning to work. At least 2 weaned off the breast at age 2+, so it's clearly do - able.
I'm in the middle of trying to establish this new to us way of feeding (plus getting milk monster but tiny dd to eat more solids).
To me it makes sense that 100% bf is optimal till solids, but if then baby is eating cheese, yoghurt etc formula is another form of cows milk and their gut will be ready at 6 month+ for calories. For antibodies and comfort bf is important too, plus calories.
It also makes long term bf possible if you work.
There's a nice bit in The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding where they talk about a mother who gives her baby a tiny bit of breastmilk a day like medicine.
For me the immunity benefits of BF was the one thing that I thought was really incontravertible (sp?!) i.e. was scientifically proven & couldn't be put down to corelation.
DS was EBF til 12 weeks, from that point mostly BF with 7pm formula bottle, then I went back to work part-time at 6 months and swapped out his mid morning BF for a formula bottle (couldn't be arsed pumping).
So now our pattern is 6.45am BF, 10.30am FF, 3pm BF, 6pm FF, 10pm BF. (I've only just now noticed that they alternate!) I don't know how long we'll go for
hopefully long enough for these mraculous weight loss properties to kick in probably til he's a year if he wants to. I suspect once I start offering food before milk he'll totally lose interest. But so farI think it's been worth it, especially giving him an immunity boost while he settles into the germ fest of nursery.
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