benefits of bfing after 6 months...(23 Posts)
My dd is currently 3 mo and i have been bfing totally and was planning on doing so until 6 months then weaining her onto solids and still bfing for milk feeds...
However are actually any benefits of bfing after 6 months when baby is on solids??
Lots of more knowledgeable people will be along to tell you about nutritional benefits. But on a practical note, why would you want to introduce the faff of bottles etc with manufactured formula when you have obviously cracked the Bfeeding?
mum2b09 - the benefits of bf are the same, whatever the age of the baby.
Why would the milk's nutritional and health-giving qualities change at 6 mths or at any other time
You have to give a 6 mth old milk of some sort. Human milk has got to be better than the milk of any other species - why wouldn't it be?
i absolutely love bfing and its going really well shes over 13lb now and is obviously thriving but iv had a really bad time with mastitis a few times and once i ended up with a really high temperature really sick in bed and found it really hard to look after her when i was so ill
I know what you mean about mastitis, I've had it a few times too and I know it's draining.
But you sound like you are doing a really great job and I didn't get mastitis with either of my too once they were past 6 months. Stick with it for now and see how you go - especially if you are loving it!
Personally I would have found it pointless to switch from a practical point of view. Once BF was established, it was easy, and to switch to bottle before 12mo means formula and all that sterilising and making up feeds and faffing around.
Unless you're going back to work or really struggling with BF I can't see why you would switch before 12mo as it would be loads of extra work!
the annoying bits get easier and the good bits get better.
i only started to enjoy feeding dd after 6 months.
feeds stretch out so you're only doing 4/5 in 24 hours, they feed more quickly, it's the ultimate cuddle in the evenings when everyone needs to destress, blocked ducts and mastitis rarely happen past 6 months, you're boobs almost go back to normal (no more of the uber full or achingly empty sensations) and it's so much more of a bonding experiance instead of just feeding like with a young baby.
and like others have said... the nutritional and health benefits all stay the same *or increase as the child gets older... both for you and baby.
AND - you can still eat loads of cake, because you are breastfeeding. .
sorry about bthe spelling and grammer btw, ds2 can kick the keyboard while feeding now and relishes in preventing me from typing
basically, breastfeeding has benefits for as long as it lasts...(well...and longterm, beyond that...)...what I mean is, breastmilk does not lose it's benefits weather the child is a newborn or is 4 years old (which seems to be a common age for breastfed children to self wean , although some feed longer than that....)
Aside from the health benefits I find it just makes things easier for practical reasons a lot of the time. My DC3 is 11 months and still exclusively BF (and on solids obviously). We have been on holiday recently and it was easier at the airport as I didn't have to pack the milk/get it through customs etc, or worry about buying formula on holiday.
I will carry on past a year and see how long she wants to BF after that, but in a month she will be able to have cows milk so if I have to go out and she wants a drink she can just have a beaker of that and a BF when I get back.
I am a SAHM so obviously it is easier for me to exc bf than if I was back at work, but if I was working I think I would have just carried on bf when around her and given her formula or EBM when away (depending on if it had been practical to express at work or not).
Like others have said it is nice just to have the excuse for a cuddle and I quite like that fact that no one else can do this - so when family are around no one has been able to persuade me to let them give her a bottle.
I sympathise with the mastitis thing though. I have had that a couple of times with DC3 (though never with DCs 1 and 2 who I also fed for over a year each). Haven't had it for a while now though and I think these problems do usually go away after a few months.
I would advise to get a couple of very supportive and nice feeding bras (if you haven't already). I have friends who can't wait to get out of their unflattering feeding bras and back into their normal ones, but because I don't have a bra that makes me feel frumpy then that doesn't bother me. I justify the extra expense by thinking of the money I have saved on formula and feeding equipment!
PT has a good point on the bras front. hot milk bras are lovely, and the anita underwired feeding bra is ncredibly sexy but still very gentle on bf boobs. can't recommend a nice feeding bra enough
It definitely gets easier after 6 mths. Bf should hopefully be established so any problems overcome. The baby is on solids so not feeding so much so it is not so draining and you could go out for longer leaving the baby with someone else so you have more freedom. Why switch to formula (unless going back to work) which involves added cost and hassle. I have also found (from myself and friends) that to lose weight, if that's what you want to do, it is worth continuing longer than 6 mths to see a real difference.
Agree with the bra comments. I like my hotmilk bras and get lots of compliments! (Rather odd getting compliments on your bra from folk you don't know that well, but very nice!)
Really for me bf only got properly enjoyable at around the 6 month mark. It's so much better now, boobs comfier, DS less faffy, no thrush <dances merry thrush-free jig>, DS smiling up at me when he's feeding, and it feels less about food and more about closeness and love. <mushy emoticon>
The World Health Organization actually recommends breastfeeding for at least 2 years, alongside solid food! There are definitely benefits, for baby and for you (and it is soo much easier at this stage)
Health benefits of bf at different ages
I think it's always best to see how you go with bf. Remember every breastfeed makes a difference and think about now rather than some date in the future to aim for. Having said that, if you feed until age 1 you don't ever have to buy formula, which is good because it's expensive. And if you choose to carry on beyond that, most babies will stop by themselves at some point between 1 and 4 years. After 10 or 11 months it's generally one feed at bedtime and maybe one in the morning as well, so it's not like you're going to be breastfeeding a toddler several times a day in the supermarket or something, if you don't want to.
I do that too starlight - if we are out and I have not packed a lunch and there is nothing suitable available then she just has a quick bf, and then food later when moreconvenient.
Can I tag on to this thread... I have a 19-week-old DS and am thinking ahead to the whole weaning stage. I'm sure the answer's probably 'on demand', but approximately how often do you BF once solid foods are going well? I am hoping to carry on breastfeeding to 1 year but do not enjoy feeding in public. Thanks!
Becca you can either follow a weaning schedule and start dropping feeds at 8-9 months, by 10 months your LO should be going much of the day without milk. Or you can continue feeding on demand and let him lead you. Some babies love solids and cut down on milk fairly quickly, and others are not keen (my DS doesn't eat many solids and still has loads of milk feeds at 8 months)
I've just had this conversation with my DH. I'm exc. bf my 16-week old dd still, and after a difficult start, feel I've finally cracked it, and love it now.
However, with weaning coming up, we've been chatting about that, and I was dismayed to find out my DH thought that at six months babies stop having milk entirely. No bf, no ff, no cows milk. Well, he hadn't really thought about it in depth, but that was his vague assumption. He's intelligent, been very supportive of me bf (I couldn't have got through first weeks without him), attending all the antenatal classes etc etc, but I couldn't believe that's what he thought. So he was quite surprised to learn I want to continue bf until 12 months, although still supportive (and happy not to have faff of bottles too).
Sorry, not sure what my point is, but just wanted to share that, as I really did feel a bit at his initial reaction. Maybe there's just not much info out there on milk feeds post six months?
I meant to add that DH doesn't drink milk (not since he was a baby, I presume), so that probably gives him a bias.
fwf... some men really do have their heads in the clouds don't they?! dp was much the same with odd notions and daft assumptions... i dread to think what he'd have done if something happened to me and he'd had to raise dd (or ds1 or ds2 for that matter as he doesn't seem to remember much from one time to the next!)
Join the discussion
Please login first.