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Breastfeeding my 12 month old, about to start the switch to cows milk, now wondering if I should carry on because of Swine Flu?

(27 Posts)
sleepsforwimps Fri 17-Jul-09 10:38:29

Is this a really crappy time to stop breastfeeding? Or am I just tired and feeling unnecessarily guilty about stopping... I would really like to start the change over to cows milk and a cup, but the latest scaremongering news has now made me panic rethink should I carry on?

Anyone else in the same boat?

corblimeymadam Fri 17-Jul-09 10:41:43

Message withdrawn

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 17-Jul-09 10:49:57

DS is 12 months old next week (where did that year go!!). I am planning to swap to cows milk during the day but keep bedtime and morning feeds BF. If DS is poorly or upset then I will still BF him during the day if he wants it.

Swine flu is in the back of my mind, and also his MMR coming up. But I love feeding him, we have such lovely calm cuddles while he feeds that I don't feel any need to stop.

Sarraburd Fri 17-Jul-09 11:17:56

Just been looking into this for similar reason - was planning only to feed for 6 months as I get soooo tired...but now with today's scaremongering wondering if should do longer...(DS three and a half months)

It seems that breastfeeding does help protect - if you/baby get exposed, you will start creating antibodies and can pass antibodies to baby through the milk (and the baby also has antibodies from forms of flu you've already had ie lots more flu than the baby has had which I guess could help the baby if they get exposed before you do as a bigger armoury as it were for fighting it...)

http://www.healthnewsdigest.com/news/FamilyHealth_210/Breastfeeding_Recommended_to_ProtectInfa ntsDuring_Swine_FluOutbreak.shtml

hoppybird Fri 17-Jul-09 12:23:12

My dd (nearly 3) loves cows milk, but is still also bf - can't remember when she started drinking from a cup, but it didn't curb her enthusiasm for bf! I was grateful for this when she had a bad cold with a fever before christmas - she was very hot and restless, and only bf helped her to sleep.

She has recently been reducing bf but I'm thinking it would be a really useful tool to still have in case she gets ill, as it's also a great way for giving additional fluids (or replacing lost fluids in the case of d and v) and very comforting. (I was also thankful for bf during teething, as nothing else would comfort, particularly for the back molars, which caused the most distress).

I can understand wanting to give up bf an older baby though, despite the usefulness - it can be really tiring and annoying at times!

idontbelieveit Fri 17-Jul-09 12:38:55

One reason to keep going would be that breastmilk is much more easily digested so if your LO does get it and has stomach problems you will be sure that they are getting something to eat/fluids and absorbing something even if they are vommiting/have diarrhea. I have 2 dds nad dd1 is 3 and has pretty much given up breastfeeding but i've started to offer her the odd bf this week as i don't want her to give up entirely in case she does get it.

dan39 Fri 17-Jul-09 13:27:01

I am going from bf to formula at the mo but don't want to swop totally, anyone got any advice on which times to bottle/cup feed and which to keep to keep supply? She eats 2 hourly (nearly 6 months) so its not really a straighforward case of 'replacing' feds one by one as she won't need that many bottles...

Sorry to hijack thread but for the record I think you are right about the scaremongering and I would ignore it and make your decisions based on all the other factors you would normally consider.

MiniMarmite Fri 17-Jul-09 13:59:17

I'm in the same boat, planning to start dropping feeds over next 5 weeks. May keep 2 feeds per day over the winter as a precaution (i.e. not convinced it will make a huge difference but not a problem for me to continue so might as well).

newlark Fri 17-Jul-09 15:17:46

I was about to start a thread on the same topic - am still feeding 10 mth old and wondering whether continuing to bf will confer any immunity or if not potentially reduce severity. I was even wondering about expressing so my 2.5 yr old could have bm in a cup - anyone think there would be a benefit from doing this?

ButterbeerAndLemon Fri 17-Jul-09 15:26:40

BF is useful when your children are actually ill. 15mo DD had a flu-like thing with vomiting recently (which I suppose could even have been swine flu, although if so it was a pretty mild case) and couldn't keep down anything except breastmilk, so I was very glad she was still breastfeeding. Normally she only has a couple of feeds a day, but we cranked up the frequency for a while.

Sarraburd Fri 17-Jul-09 19:52:52

was also wondering about the expressing as I also have a nearly two year old DS...

Yes I think there is; as soon as you start making antibodies he will get them; but if he gets exposed before you/your baby does, you won't start making the antibodies until after he's been exposed and so he'll have to fight it alone to begin with (but will still have the armoury of the other flus so I guess will reduce severity)

On the one hand think the whole thing is massively hyped to sell papers, on the other hand I live in London where it's apparently mutated to a more virulent form that is more damaging to lungs and kids more succeptible...and there are so many people here with it that we are absolutely bound to get it at some point.

sleepsforwimps Fri 17-Jul-09 22:35:22

I'm glad i'm not alone in feeling anxiety about when to stop. This morning I felt so confused what to do, but after trawling the internet for information on the benefits of breastfeeding whilst Swine Flu is about, i'm now fully convinced I should carry on for the time being. DS is going to be thrilled, well he would if he knew what was going on, especially as his face was a picture when I gave him cows milk for the first time the other day. It was like 'what on earth are you giving me woman, are you mad'. That's my boy, he obviously knows what's good for him at the moment. grin

FairLadyRantALot Fri 17-Jul-09 22:40:42

what is the reason for switching over....is it because of work, because you had enough...what?
Because if continouing breastfeeding is difficult now, than I would say, don't worry, if it isn't an urgent milestone, why not continoue for now and once you feel more at ease wean off....
just because lil one is 12 month does not have to mean it's time to stop bf...iykwim

sleepsforwimps Fri 17-Jul-09 23:05:02

FairLadyRantALot I have various reasons for wanting to stop sooner rather than later. This being a big reason. I am also physically so exhausted, I also have a two year old DD who didn't sleep through until my DS was born and my DS is still yet to sleep through... Breastfeeding and being pregant overlapped and basically I would just like to give myself a rest. (I have never expressed for either of my DCs). But as I said in my last post I am going to carry on for the time being.

FairLadyRantALot Fri 17-Jul-09 23:13:05

sleep...it is difficult...my younger 2 are 21 month apart, and ms is a lifewire PITA lovely but lively boy and the longest I bf'ed was to 13 month, when ys self weaned....but I am to blame, he accidently bit me unexpectedly and I yelped, which for him, sensitive little soul he is, was enough to frighten him away

if you are fine to continoue a little longer and you are fine wiht it, than that is brill...but...in the end if it wouldn't be possible, really, even if your child does contract swine flu...don't think it is because of bf or not, iykwim...
sorry had some wine and my expressive skills may just well be down the drain

suppose what I want to say....is well done for bf to 12 month that is a brilliant achievement

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 18-Jul-09 01:08:31

Sleepsforwimps - I've also decided to carry on for now. I read something earlier about them not giving the vaccine to under 3s when it is ready, so I will take the vaccine and hopefully transfer immunity via BFing.
Think I will start to offer cow's milk during the day to replace the feed he usually has in the afternoon, but will continue to BF morning and bedtime (and 1am, and 4am....)

Carrie06 Sat 18-Jul-09 08:41:34

I was planning to stop breastfeeding at 6mths as have not enjoyed it (4 mthh old DS is very slow so each feed taking up to 1 hr)but given swine flu situation and living in london, I am considering continuing.

My question for those who are only going to BF morning and nights (which is what I might do), how much formula do you then give during the day? From reading sides of cartons in supermarket, it says to give 3 feeds a day but if you give a morning and evening BF, does that mean only one formula feed a day? Just a bit worried that if supply diminishes significantly, DS won't get enough.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 18-Jul-09 11:29:53

Carrie my DS is 12 months so has almost dropped all day feeds anyway. Because he's that much bigger, he has a huuuuge feed in the morning and at bedtime.

Seeing as your DS is just 4 months, I would continue as you are for the moment. Once you start to introduce solids at 6 months then you may well find that your DS reduces his milk feeds himself - he will also get quicker and more efficient at feeding so will take more at each feed. I remember 4 months as being a really hard time in terms of feeding so hang in there!

mariagoretti Sun 19-Jul-09 14:08:24

A breastfeeding mother who contracted swine flu, together with her husband and their eldest daughter, believes her youngest child was spared the virus because she was breast fed.

Rosemarie Azzopardi said that when she got sick and took antiviral drugs she decided to keep breastfeeding her two-and-a-half year old daughter and, that way, transmitted her immunity to the child.

"People sometimes pass comments because I still breastfeed but, this way, I helped my daughter who falls within the vulnerable group of potential swine flu victims," she said, taking the opportunity to advocate the importance of breastfeeding.

Times of Malta article by Claudia Calleja

Loopymumsy Sun 19-Jul-09 14:33:19

Message withdrawn

MrsOlf Sun 19-Jul-09 14:49:09

Thanks for starting this thread. I've been having the same discussion with DH and we've decided to keep with the BFing for youngest DD until SF subsides (she's only 8 months now and I BF DD1 until 13 months) and also start giving DD1 a cup of expressed milk a day too (although I'll have to disguise it as something else as she doesn't like the taste - any ideas?)

GreenMonkies Sun 19-Jul-09 14:55:32

There are a multitude of reasons to not stop breastfeeding, swine flu is just one of them!!

idontbelieveit Sun 19-Jul-09 16:13:00

Hear, hear Monkies.
MrsOlf- have you tried mixing it with cows milk and making hot chocolate? (heat the cows milk not the breastmilk)

MrsOlf Sun 19-Jul-09 16:26:44

Great idea IDon'tBelieveIt. Hadn't thought of mixing it with cows milk - must try to get more sleep... smile

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sun 19-Jul-09 16:36:25

MrsOlf - how about putting a food colouring in it to make it a coloured milk, or milkshake powder/Crusha?

I wasn't really planning to stop bf'ing ds (10mo), but the whole SF and cold and flu season coming up has reinforced in my mind that I should carry on.

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