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Why should I continue to BF beyond 6 months?

(28 Posts)
cfc Mon 02-Nov-09 16:44:14

I need convincing!

I struggled A LOT in the early days to get bf established, but since then we've been ok.

Now that baby is weaning, I'm finding myself struggling again.

I think he's on some sort of nursing strike and I can't seem to get him to take 3 feeds a day from me. The most he seems to be taking is 2 good ones.

I am worried he's not getting what he needs and even though I've restricted his solids in an attempt to not wean him OFF milk or fill him up on them, nothing seems to be working. This is leaving me with a massive sore tit (one is teeny the other huge!) and super stressful times when I attempt to put him to the boob.

Will bottles now be easier? I don't know anything about ff so please, give me your arguments for sticking with bf....I need the boost. My husband thinks I've done enough now and to just put him on the bottle. But bf is so easy these days, or at least it I can't feed in public or anything as he's so distractible and often just has a screaming fit at the breast.

Help me please!

GhoulsAreLoud Mon 02-Nov-09 16:46:25

Two feeds a day sounds fine to me.

The benefits of breastfeeding him past 6 months are the same as the ones for feeding him before 6 months, eating solids doesn't diminish the effect.

FWIW, I was quite happy to stop breastfeeding at 6 months because I didn't want to do it any longer, but I know it would have been of benefit to DD to continue.

preggersplayspop Mon 02-Nov-09 16:51:24

Bf is wonderful for soothing teething or ill babies. I found it invaluable when I went back to work and needed a sure-fire way of getting my DS back to sleep (he was a rubbish sleeper).

cfc Mon 02-Nov-09 16:52:11

Oh and I forgot to add we are trying to have another baby, but I suppose that's my problem to think about - bf vs ttc....

PacificGuywood Mon 02-Nov-09 16:55:11

cfc, well done for getting this far! Like you, I have always struggled in the first few months, never mind weeks or days.

OK, reasons to keep going:
From now onwards it sooooo much the easier option than starting to faff with bottles and all their paraphanalia.

If he is on a temporary strike or just not that interested, just go with it. Offer him feeds, if he takes one, fine, if not, also find. He will soon find his own rhythm again.

As he is now a big boy you do not know how much he is getting per feed. He could be a very effective feeder who gets lots in a short period or time/just in 2 feeds.

My DS3 developled a v strong prefernce to my right breast and I ended up lopsided. It was uncomfortabel for a while and then settled down. I found he was more likely to feed from the left breast when really sleepy or if I held him in the rugby hold.

You could try feeding in public if you have to by using a shawl/muslin/Hermes scarfwink to cover you LO's head so he is less distracted. I found DS3 v quickly did not really want day time feeds anymore and had one on wakening, one before naps x2 and one before bedtime. He woke occasionally for one in the middle of the night.

Sorry this is a bit of a rambling post. I just did not want to leave you unanswered and hope some of this helps. FWIW, we kept going until he was 13 months old, then stopped without any problems. He is now 19 months old and not very keen on milk but will have 1 bottle at night.

Stay calm, keep offering, do not take refusal personal and if will be fine smile.


BonjourIvresse Mon 02-Nov-09 16:57:00

I'm breastfeeding DS at 7 months. We've all had swine flu this week and he seems to have had a very mild dose compared to us. I think this might be due to my antibodies in my breast milk.

PacificGuywood Mon 02-Nov-09 16:57:18

Jeez, took me so long to type my post blush: re TTC, my period returned at 8 months post natal this time round. Also DS2 was conceived when DS1 was 5 months old, about 1 week after I had stopped BFing blushshock...

preggersplayspop Mon 02-Nov-09 16:57:43

I am bf and 8 months pregnant with No2. I never intended to carry on this long but I keep coming back to the fact that for me, the positives still outweigh the negatives. When the balance tips the other way I would stop (if DS would let me!)

WoTmania Mon 02-Nov-09 17:06:33

I've conceived twice while BF.
Also, cost. Whay pay for formula when you can give them free milk.
Each time I have BF most enjoyable after 6 months

thisisyesterday Mon 02-Nov-09 17:09:48

every day you breastfeed benefits your baby

he is still getting all the antibodies, immune boosting stuff, and all the other good things in the milk

it's the best milk for him

the WHO recommend breastfeeding for at least 2 years for optimal health and growth

it's free!- check out the cost of formula, it's outrageous

you aren't supporting unethical formula manufacturers who profit from promoting unsafe feeding practices in third world countries

it's easier/less faff

it provides an amazing emotional bond

latestincarnation Mon 02-Nov-09 17:19:58

Well done for getting this far! You have already done the hard bit - it gets easier and easier now. My ds dropped feeds quite rapidly, but fed very efficiently. We were down to one feed a day by 10.5mths, and it was so straight forward and simple.

I returned to work when he was 10 months, and by then I didn't need to express for nursery etc.

LeonieBurningHeapy Mon 02-Nov-09 17:35:00

Message withdrawn

essexgirl31 Mon 02-Nov-09 18:40:53

This thread is just what I needed to read. DS2 is 5 months and have debated stopping BF.

The thing is I know it gets so much easier after 6 months. By 8/9 months he was down to a morning and night feed and I felt I had my life back a bit. It really became a pleasure. I breastfed DS1 till he was 11 months. I was very naughty at started him on cows milk then.

MrsMotMot Mon 02-Nov-09 20:25:49

For me too bf only became a pleasure after 6 months. It is so easy now and it is also easier to see how much he loves it, laughing at the breast, patting affectionately... ahhh!

The distractible phase will pass, I promise!

goldenpig Mon 02-Nov-09 23:37:07

You have done the hard bit, all that cluster feeding, etc, is behind you now. Well done! No mean feat.

Why throw away all that hard work? You will soon be down to about 4 small ten minute feeds a day, roughly. You don't have to carry bottles and powder around.

And if you haven't started bottles, you can go straight to cup, saving yourself another weaning stage. Good luck.

Builde Tue 03-Nov-09 09:18:10

Hey, if you can't get him to take 3 feeds a day, don't worry. He is interested in the wider world, and this is only natural.

If anything, it sounds like you've reached a nice stage; breastfeeding is now easy but you are not so tied to it.

I stopped BF my dds during the day at about 8/9 months because they weren't that interested in setting down; they just wanted to watch what everyone is up to.

I guess you are worrying because the books are saying that babies still need tons of milk. Well, babies will only take what they need. If mine had continued to drink the amount of milk they were meant to, they wouldn't have eaten any food.

Why not also try a beaker? At about 9months/one babies love a beaker. You shouldn't start bottle feeding now because you will then have to wean them off a bottle - which can be challenging. (And - I'm prejudiced - but there is nothing worse than seeing a toddler with a bottle.)

kathryn2804 Tue 03-Nov-09 09:43:50

2 good feeds a day is fine, keep going, it's the best thing for your baby

cfc Tue 03-Nov-09 09:55:26

Thanks so much. I think you are right Builde, I am reading the books and they say that baby still needs 600 - 1000 mls of milk a day and I know he's not getting that. Also, like I said, I am worried about weaning him OFF milk too quickly.

He has water from a sippy cup at the moment (messy!!), we never really bothered with a bottle as I donated all my EBM (I had loads and still have a good supply since starting domperidone) and I didn't want him to have formula.

I think the skill is just to go with the flow and give him what he wants when he wants it.

Thanks again for all your help.

Builde Tue 03-Nov-09 10:00:51

If you are BF, you don't know that your baby isn't getting 600ml to 100ml. A six month old will be a very efficient feeder and it is likely that in each of those feeds, you son is taking a whole 300ml. (I believe that is how big a bottle is, and I've seen babies drinking a whole bottle.)

Anyway, go with the flow, relax and enjoy!

Warwickmum Tue 03-Nov-09 10:19:17

Just wondering, is the 600-100ml of milk only milk, or is that the amount they should have to include things like yoghurt, fromage frais, cheese etc, because if he is eating all these things then less actual milk may not be a problem? My DS (now 9mo) has anything from 2 breastfeeds to 4 breastfeeds a day depending on if we are out (when it is impossible usually to BF him as ANYTHING else is more interesting!) or if we are home. He does eat plenty of other dairy though, so I'm hoping that makes up the difference to the amount they should have.Not sure if that helps but as everyone seems to be saying, I can't imagine going onto formula - there are just so many reasons for not.

Builde Tue 03-Nov-09 11:38:28

I think the NHS book 0-5 sets out in detail about how much milk you should have. I guess - but you'll have to check - that it includes yoghurt and cheese etc.

I am not the best advisor because I'm a bit of a go-with-the-flow type and have never spent much time thinking about what mine eat (as long as its healthy) and my two dds had such different appetites, sizes and likes that I have become very much to believe that what happens, happens.

Youngest daughter small and thin, oldest big and plump! Both exclusively breastfed for six months but must have taken in completely different amounts. The older never liked formula and so - once I stopped BF at fourteen months - never really had much milk again but could eat yoghurt until it came out her ears. The youngest loved formula and wouldn't give it up until over 18months. However, has probably only eaten one petit filous in her life. She loves cheese.

I guess if I'd bottle fed and actually known what had gone in, I would have worried about the plump one (too much!) and worried about the thin one (too little!). And the plump one has just turned into a tall one. She's not slight but neither is she plump aged 5. She's just tall.

These are the joys of breastfeeding; you can't get hung up on amounts and just do what seems right. And - if you think about it - why would all babies eat/drink exactly the same amount; adults don't!

latestincarnation Tue 03-Nov-09 12:26:48

I've been told that once you start weaning, "total milk" daily intake is more like "total dairy" intake. My ds dropped feeds rapidly, but ate so much yoghurt.

Just wean on full fat everything and chill (though it took me a while to do that wink)

cfc Wed 04-Nov-09 10:25:37

Thank you I will try!

mylovelymonster Wed 04-Nov-09 10:33:07

I found BF invaluable during the first winter with DD (8-12 months) as she picked up every illness going and sometimes BF/breastmilk was the only thing to help clear a blocked nose (suckling action)/ or she could keep down (D&V)

jellybeans Wed 04-Nov-09 10:37:58

I was in a simelar boat, bf was always a challenge. I stuck with it until 11 months when he simply refused to bf at all. He only took a bottle after a weeks coaxing. I am so glad I stuck it till 11 months though and don't feel guilty about giving up (I did with my others) as it wasn't really my choice he practically self weaned and wouldn't even feed half asleep etc. The HV said some babies do this.

Between 6-11 months he became abit funny about feeding (wanted to play etc) so I fed him when half asleep/falling asleep, and got 4-5 feeds a day down him that way. He had small bottles with his solids so accepted a bottle when needed. I also couldn't feed DS out and about as he screamed and i would have showed everything and people watching would make me feel worse.

I would continue as long as you can, even if you need to feed while asleep etc. From experience with my older kids, changing to ff doesn't help at all. Some babies are just fussy/difficult feeders whether ff or bf.

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