We've spent weeks researching and testing breast pumps and bottles in real homes with real families. Read our baby feeding bottle and breast pump reviews to find out which ones were awarded Mumsnet Best.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Benefits of breastfeeding past 6 months?(7 Posts)
I have a 5 and a half month old DD who is currently BF with one or 2 small bottles of formula a day. Normally just a bedtime bottle and maybe one during the day if we are out and about for convenience. We had a real struggle with BF to start with and I absolutely hated it for most of the time in the first few weeks/months. I always wanted to BF for 6 months and never thought we would manage it with all the issues we had so the fact we have pretty much made it is such a relief and one that I am really proud of. Part of me thinks we've made it this far why stop now but then on the other hand I have days where I am so ready to stop.
DD still won't latch without shields and won't feed off one side very often so I am stuck expressing one side and feeding her off the other which is a massive ball ache. She's still feeding every 2 hours overnight unless I give her an extra bottle of formula in which case she sleeps for 4-5 hours so the sleep deprivation is starting to wear me down and I could do with DH being able to help with feeds more. I'm pretty torn really in some ways I love it and in some ways I hate it.
I guess what I'm asking is what are the benefits of breastfeeding past 6 months? If it's something that's going to benefit her further then I'll have to suck it up and get on with it but I have very limited knowledge on it other than the follow on milk adverts on tv which say breastfeeding is best for 6 months... I appreciate this isn't much to base my decision on I read on here recently that BF can help prevent things like ear infections, but DD has had recurrent ear infections for several months now so I'm a bit dubious anyway.
The antibodies will still continue to benefit her after 6 months. It's obviously harder to quantify whether this benefit weighs out the inconviences for you
All the same benefits of breastfeeding (for your own health and baby’s) carry on past 6months. The material advantage to you would be you’d save 6months of formula costs as that will still be her main food until she’s 1 and she can drink cows milk. But it’s completely up to you. She will be fine on formula. You will probably have to cut down gradually anyway.
Fighting off bugs etc. I recently had a horrible couple of days with D&V. DD (17 months) caught it after I had recovered and it lasted less than 12 hours. I'm sure it's because she had already got the antibodies from me! Was so much better than we expected. Also I find when she is off food for whatever reason she will still always want mumma milk so it's less worrying. I believe the WHO recommends bf up to 2 years.
That said, do what's right for you and your little one. Plenty do fine without it.
Similar dilemma to you, we’re continuing both for baby’s health benefit and it can help me settle baby for sleep. But as I’m back to work, if expressing becomes too much for me I’ll probably end up transitioning fully to formula for next few months.
Well done so far! I hope you get sleep and don’t feel pressured either way, it’s your choice for you both.
When we both catch something, DS doesn’t get anywhere near as sick as I do. He’s getting antibodies from breast milk which helps him to fight it off. I’ve noticed that bottle fed babies and toddlers always seem to have runny noses and DS virtually never does, imo because he’s getting antibodies from me all the time.
Health benefits as although weaning starts at 6 months they don't eat loads at first.
Definitely as well keeps them in better health if there is illnesses around. My sister has a 6 month old who's just started weaning, unfortunately the whole family including baby were ill with sickness bug, however baby was only sick once. Still had sensitive stomach so can't manage solids yet, however is great on breastmilk. It really is a cure all.
Please login first.