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Nutrition question about (breast)milk. Sorry LONG.

(6 Posts)
naturelover Thu 04-Sep-08 08:06:31

I've reached a year of breastfeeding DD, and although I always just focussed on getting to one year, now that it's happened it feels entirely natural to continue <braces herself for negative comments from friends and family>.

I know that you are "allowed" to give cows' milk from one year, but frankly it's started to feel absurd to do so - DD is not a calf!

But how long would I have to breastfeed in order to avoid giving cows' milk? In other words, at what age can a toddler manage on solids + water alone, with no milk? I already give her plenty of fish, dairy, green veg etc for calcium.

She currently breastfeeds 4 times a day and has three square meals as well. To be honest I'd quite like to cut down her breastfeeds to morning and evening, to avoid having to feed her when we're out and about (am shy about feeding older baby in public - very cowardly I know!)

I think I'd be happy to breastfeed her indefinitely if it was just morning and night. We both enjoy it. And my periods have returned so I'm reassured about having another baby being possible at some point without having to wean DD off breastmilk.

If I cut down to two feeds a day and didn't give cows' or goats' milk instead, would DD be lacking nutrients? BTW she doesn't necessarily ask for milk mid-morning and mid-afternoon, I offer it.

Thanks in advance

msdemeanor Thu 04-Sep-08 08:24:08

You can breastfeed for as long as you like, and it's OK not to give milk as a drink, but to be honest it seems odd to to make a big thing out of not wanting to give milk, especially if you are happy to give 'dairy' - eg cheese, yoghurt etc as that IS milk! What's the difference between eating it and drinking it? People have been drinking milk for a very long time and it is an excellent source of calcium, much, much better than green vegetables. She might even really enjoy it. Some kids do, some don't. Have both in my family. And 4oz glass of milk (very small glass) contains 150mg of calcium, which is pretty useful.

Other foods that contain calcium
Food Amount of Calcium
Cheddar cheese - 20 gm 130 mg calcium
Cottage cheese - 20 gm only 14 mg calcium
Cream cheese spread - 24 gm 67 mg calcium
Fruit yoghurt - 1 X 200 gm tub 250 mg calcium
Natural yoghurt - 1 X 200 gm tub 390 mg calcium
Baked beans - ½ cup 40 mg calcium
Canned sardines (with bones) - 60g (½) tin 200mg calcium
Canned salmon (with bones) - 50g (¼ cup) 100 mg calcium
Broccoli and sesame seeds
Smaller but useful amounts of calcium.

tiktok Thu 04-Sep-08 08:36:35

I agree with msdimeanor - why make a big thing of cows milk unless you have ethical objections to eating or drinking animal products? It's a useful and pretty cheap source of nutrients, readily available everywhere, easy to store, and babies and toddlers all over the world drink animal milks and have done for thousands of generations (some ethnic groups develop an intolerance to lactose as they move into later childhood and adulthood, as we know, but this does not apply to the early years).

I think it would be possible to maintain a healthy toddler diet on two breastfeeds a day as long as you were very careful about making up the calcium and calorie deficit in other ways - but it sounds like hard work to me

It would be better, nutritionally, to maintain the four breastfeeds a day you are doing.

naturelover Thu 04-Sep-08 18:51:04

Many thanks.

I just wondered if there was an age from which children can easily get enough calcium from food not milk. DD hasn't tried cows' milk yet but presumably if she doesn't like the taste (as I don't) then I will have to work hard to find enough calcium in other foods.

I also wondered at what point I can introduce "don't offer, don't refuse" as a way of finding out if she "needs" as much breastmilk as she is having. Four feeds a day at one year old seem like a lot - but then in RL I don't really know anyone still bfing at a year to discuss this with.

Would appreciate any advice!

StealthPolarBear Thu 04-Sep-08 19:30:55

4 times a day! My 16 mo will feed every couple of hours if I am home!

mmelody Thu 04-Sep-08 19:38:03

Hi naturelover, I am BF a one year old and he doesnt have dairy as we have a mainly vegan diet. We put a lot of effort into calcium rich foods and he also has alpro soya milk with added cacium and vit D.

Up until recently he was BF absolutely loads during the day but over the past week or so he has been a busy little bee and has been very distracted and reduced the amount of feeds. Like you I plan on just keeping the morning and evening feed, though for now am adopting the dont offer dont refuse rule.

I believe that we in the western world rely on dairy for calcium way too much (just my opinion) and plenty of other cultures dont use it at all and are perfectly healthy. Try here for some ideas www.vegansociety.com/food/nutrition/calcium.php

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