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Talk to me about whether to keep breastfeeding?

(6 Posts)
Weebeastiebaby Thu 11-Feb-16 20:57:13

Ds is 7.5 months old and was ebf until 6 months when I introduced a bedtime bottle with the intention to wean onto ff before my return to work next month. He currently has 2-3 bf a day and 2x 7oz formula bottles. My Supply has obviously depleted to meet his demand.
However the last week or so I have found myself changing my mind and considering continuing bf until ds is 1 year old. I'm unclear on what the benefits would be at this stage? My initial reasons for bf were to avoid wind/colic/constipation but I know these are not such big issues in older babies. He eats a varied diet and has a great appetite for food. He will drink small amounts of water from a sippy cup but I have been advised that he now needs vitamin supplements as I am still breastfeeding and it won't contain the nutrients he needs. Does this mean bf is not enough and I should carry on with the formula?
Does the immunity benefits of bf continue as they get older?
Will I be able to continue bf if I go back to work (2x13 hour shifts per week.. May struggle to fit in more than one bf on these days due to shift times)
If I continue will be become more clingy as he becomes more aware of where his milk comes from? Will he start refusing a bottle? Will it be harder to wean him when he he's older?

Sorry lots of questions!! Looking for other people's experiences of when they weaned from the breast.

Mrscog Thu 11-Feb-16 21:25:53

Hi - I've done my best with your questions -

I have been advised that he now needs vitamin supplements as I am still breastfeeding and it won't contain the nutrients he needs. Does this mean bf is not enough and I should carry on with the formula?

BF is enough but supplements are recommended to boost iron and vitamin D - iron because the stores they are born with with have gone now and vitamin D becuase we're pretty much all deficient. Whether you give supplements or not is up to you - I didn't with DS1 as he was having a whole bowl of fortified ready brek for breakfast made up with formula. I worked out that there was tons of extra stuff in that. DS2 (currently 9 months) is being very difficult to wean so I have bought vitamin drops although I only remember to give him them about once a week

Does the immunity benefits of bf continue as they get older? Yes - in my experience. I fed DS1 until 20 months and I found that any illness I got first he only ever had mildly. He was ill with all sorts for the first 8 weeks of nursery when he was 12 months but since then he has barely had anything. DS2 also has only had mild versions of any illness that I've had first (colds).

Will I be able to continue bf if I go back to work (2x13 hour shifts per week.. May struggle to fit in more than one bf on these days due to shift times) Yes - shouldn't be a problem.

If I continue will be become more clingy as he becomes more aware of where his milk comes from? Will he start refusing a bottle? Will it be harder to wean him when he he's older? I don't know, but my DS1 just weaned naturally around 18-20 months, he just cut down to 1 feed a day then these became very short and I just stopped one day. It didn't seem to make him any clingyer, and actually having a BF was really nice when I first went back to work - we went home and reconnected, I think it was quite a nice reassuring experience for him.

Coconut0il Thu 11-Feb-16 21:32:04

I'm by no means an expert but my personal opinion would be to do whatever makes you happy and work from there. I've been lucky and bf DS1 till 18 months and currently bf DS2 who is 6 months. For me the benefits have been the comfort it can offer, the easier night feeds and the cost!

Have just started weaning and HV hasn't mentioned them but I did read that a vitamin d supplement is recommended. I haven't given any yet but think it is just a drop a day.

Could you express at work just to relieve any discomfort? When I went back to work with DS1 my breasts would feel very full.

I don't think it would make him any more clingy, DS1 would happily take a bottle from anyone else but he did like to bf if it was me. He naturally dropped feeds without much input from me. Daytime were the first to go, then the morning feed and the last feed before bed was dropped about 18 months.

Weebeastiebaby Fri 12-Feb-16 08:53:53

Thanks all. I don't know a lot of people who have bf beyond 6 months irl but from what I have seen one found it incredibly difficult to wean and is still feeding at 16mo 2 to 3 times overnight. The other stopped around 9mo at which time her baby started picking up every bug and illness going. Baby was so sick for so long her development was affected. I'm so torn!

rageagainsttheBIL Fri 12-Feb-16 09:27:27

I had no probs weaning DS at 17 months but by that time I was typically only feeding once in morning and once before bed.

There are also additional benefits to your health if you carry on, in terms of cancer prevention.

Re: bugs, at 9 months babies are often crawling and touching all kinds of stuff they didn't before and that could be why your friends DD caught so many bugs, rather than because she stopped feeding. I've personally not noticed a massive disparity in how many bugs toddlers get depending on how they are fed, but having said that DS tended to recover fairly quickly.

Weebeastiebaby Fri 12-Feb-16 09:44:15

Would ds and I both still get these benefits from only 1 or 2 feeds per day?

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