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how long did you breastfed?

(52 Posts)
ladymelo Tue 28-Jun-16 22:22:45

Newborn is 3 days old and breastfeeding really well, I'm not 100% sure how long I want to feed this way (thought about expressing and bottle too). I'm just wondering how long everyone fed this way?

Iwillorderthefood Tue 28-Jun-16 22:51:09

Hi, congratulations on the birth of your baby. You do what feels best and works best for you. Establishing breastfeeding is very hard work. Out of the two options you mention I have experience both.

DD1: expressed and bottle fed exclusively for six months. This had the advantage that I had more freedom to go out if I want, but I was tied to at least 8 lots of sterilising bottles every day. It's very time consuming. Not an easy option at all.

DD2: bf for 9.5 months. Great as on tap, however all the night wakings were my responsibility as I was the only one to be able to feed her. I should have got her to be able to take a bottle, maybe should have done one bottle of expressed milk a day. Unfortunately I did it too late (I've heard to start when they are a few weeks old, but no more).

DD3 still feeding her she turned 2 a couple of weeks ago. Did not manage to get her to take a bottle either, this was a mistake.

If you carry on breastfeeding, it is hard, by no means an easy option. However, there is never a stress about having enough milk, or having to clean bottles. Do what you need to get through the first few weeks, lansinoh is your friend. I gave many bottles at the start to all of my children and not just breast milk. This was to give my nipples a rest (I always expressed for every feed given like this though, to mimic demand)., and also to survive thrush.

Good luck, as I said before its up to you how you feed, do what is best for you and your family.

Icklepickle101 Tue 28-Jun-16 22:55:40

Congratulations and well done for making it this far flowers

I fed until 4.5 months and now at 5 months are down to 1 breastfeed a day (we protests greatly!!) I lived breastfeeding and it was so much easier but I love love love the freedom of bottle feeding and not having a baby attached to my bob for hours!

Don't set deadlines just take it a week at a time and see how you get on,

<<keep going through the the cluster feeding though, it only lasts a few day and you don't want to give up just as you are coming out the other side --because it can be soul destroying-->>

Primaryteach87 Tue 28-Jun-16 23:00:02

I bf for about 5 weeks then expressed for another 4 months (so 5 months ish). I found it awful but wanted to give the benefits hence the exclusive expressing.
To be honest I wouldn't do that again. It very nearly sent me into pnd.

But if you can get breastfeeding to work, I think it's a lot easier that formula which is expensive and time consuming.

daydreamnation Tue 28-Jun-16 23:00:45

I breastfed both of mine until they were 2! Found it incredibly hard, painful and time consuming in the early days but once established I never looked back! It really is easy once your past those first few weeks and months, I'm no earth mother at all, I just kept feeding until they lost interest!
They are now 11 & 15 and I'm so glad I breastfed them both, I look back on those days very fondly (although in fairness maybe with slightly rose tinted glasses!)

Pigwitch Tue 28-Jun-16 23:02:29

Breastfeed for 17 months and 14 months - never gave bottles.

PacificDogwod Tue 28-Jun-16 23:03:29

Congratulations! thanks

I only cracked BFing with DS3.
I only ever decided to 'give one more feed'. And then another one. And another one.
Somehow we got to 1 year or just over. grin
Same with DS4.

The trick IME was to simply offer a breast every single time they opened their beaks and made a noise. And just doing 'one more feed' without looking too far in the future.
I found BFing very hard up to about 3 months, then it was a breeze and I was so glad I had persevered.

For the record, mix-fed DS1 and DS2 appear to have survived unscathed too wink

VioletBam Tue 28-Jun-16 23:03:59

I didn't. I had low milk production. I had an emergency section and. Boobs seemed to stay the same as they were before pregnancy. I read now that there WOULD have been SOME milk....just not much. I asked the nurses about BF and they said I'd need a lot of support and have to stay in hospital a lot longer.

To be honest I was happy to bottle feed. I was very unwell and just glad that DD had arrived safely.

thrillhouse Tue 28-Jun-16 23:05:21

Congrats on your baby. Take it a day at a time. I know plenty of people have set a goal of 6 months or a year and just carried on through.

DD is 13 months, I'm pregnant with #2 and we're still going strong (though it is getting more difficult!).

Pinkheart5915 Tue 28-Jun-16 23:06:15

DS feed from breast for 3 months then I expressed and ds had milk from a bottle which helped with night feeds as DH could do them. DS is now 9 months and still has expressed milk.

Congratulations on your baby 👣🎈

sonlypuppyfat Tue 28-Jun-16 23:06:58

First child 18m I was pregnant with my second and I was getting too big to feed him comfortably, second baby over two years and third baby three years. I found it really easy and fuss free. I hope it goes well for you, my top tip is just relax

Runningbutnotscared Tue 28-Jun-16 23:12:12

Like others have written I said to myself 'just one more day' for around three months. Then I changed it to 'just till next week', then at about six months changed it to 'just till next month'.

As PP says, it just gets easier and easier. Their mouths get bigger, they take more food and need less, your supply adjusts.

Stopped at thirteen months when I was pretty sure he was waking in the night for comfort.

I tried expressing (and have a lovely expensive pump to show for it), but tbh found it to be more trouble than it's worth.

Best of luck to you

timelytess Tue 28-Jun-16 23:28:00

4yrs 3mo

AnnaMarlowe Tue 28-Jun-16 23:29:46

Exclusive breastfed twins for just short of 18 months.

SnuffleBadger Wed 29-Jun-16 00:07:14

Congratulations on your new baby

My experience is as follows:

DS (4 weeks prem and growth restricted inutero) exclusively breastfed for 6 months. Occasional bottle of expressed given but as I struggle to express a meaningful amount it would take approx 4 sessions of expressing to achieve 1 feed. I found feeding DS relentless, he was jaundiced and slow to gain weight, he fed every 1-2 hours day and night for the whole 6 months. He was also slow to feed (feeds lasted 30-45 minutes) and a comfort sucker/fed to sleep, he was pretty much attached to one boob or another constantly for 6 months. I look back and have no idea how I managed it.

DD (2 days overdue, straightforward pregnancy) exclusively breastfed for 6 months. She latched herself on immediately after birth and she never looked back. She would go 3-4 hours between feeds from the beginning, but would cluster feed in the evenings. She was very efficient with feeds lasting 5-10 minutes. In fact she was so good that we didn't try and introduce a bottle until 8 weeks which was a mistake because it took hours of heartache, tears (mine and hers) and lots of wasted breastmilk to eventually get her to consistently take a bottle at 5 months 3 weeks.

With both of them they transitioned over to formula from 6 months as I was returning to work and couldn't express enough to meet their needs.

The main things I learnt:
1) breastfeeding is far more convenient and cheaper than bottle feeding.
2) don't assume you will be able to express, I couldn't and I think this made things more difficult for me.
3) if breastfeeding you will do every single night feed and some days the sleep deprivation is a killer!
3) Bottle feeding does give you more freedom to go out but you need to ensure you have enough bottles, milk etc.
4) don't leave it too late to introduce a bottle if you want that as an option, babies are fussy and if they like being BF then that will be their preferred option and they may refuse a bottle.
5) take it one feed at a time and before you know it another week has gone and you are still going strong!
6) you should feed your baby the way that suits you best, be that breast or bottle. / breastmilk or formula. Everyone around you will have an opinion and you need to learn very quickly to nod politely then carry on the way you want to.

Kiwiinkits Wed 29-Jun-16 03:43:27

Mix fed. Weaned (my choice) at 9 months for first, 8 months for my second and still going strong for my third who is almost 9 months. Mix feeding is key, in my opinion, for keeping a good balance between sanity and health. All mine have had one bottle of formula a day from 4 weeks old.

Kiwiinkits Wed 29-Jun-16 03:43:52

I'm in awe of people who feed twins! My mum did, and she's amazing.

dinodiva Wed 29-Jun-16 07:25:05

I'm still going at 9 months.
It wasn't easy at the beginning and I would have quit happily 4-6 months if DD had taken a bottle because the 4 month sleep regression hit us hard.

Now I love it. I probably BF twice a day and once in the night (DD has a bottle of formula at bedtime now, mainly so I can regain having a social life). I'm going to have to cut the day feeds out over the next couple of months as I go back to work full time in September and I really want to wear a proper nice bra again. I do intend to keep feeding at night for as long as I need to. I'm not fussed with night weaning just yet - 9 months is a big developmental stage and it's a hell of a lot easier to plug her in for 10 minutes rather than battle with patting her back to sleep.

I'll be really sorry to stop when it happens. I love those sleepy snuggles. BF is about so much more than feeding though - when DD has been upset or sick or going through a rough patch I can help settle her.

If I did it all again I'd get DD onto a bottle sooner though. I did 8.5 months of sitting in the dark putting her to bed and that was more than enough!

MyBreadIsEggy Wed 29-Jun-16 07:29:39

I fed solely from the breast only for about 2 weeks (various issues, including a crappy latch, which I asked for help resolving and never got any support from mw or Hv).
I then started expressing and feeding ebm from bottles for another few months.
Dd was formula fed completely by 3/4 months old

JustHavinABreak Wed 29-Jun-16 07:36:17

DS1 was 20 mths when he self weaned. DS2 is 2 next month and as I am pregnant and exhausted I am trying to wean him the last couple of months and he is having none of it.

LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 29-Jun-16 07:41:56

Similar to a lot of others on here, I mostly took one day day at a time. I had a vague idea that I'd like to get to 6 months, but having seen a good friend nearly destroy herself battling to breastfeed I was always aware it might not happen. We had a really rocky start and mix fed for a while but eventually got back to just breast feeding. I never got the hang of expressing.

When DS was 6 months we were in a good routine and I was happy so we kept going. I had the idea that I'd wean at 1, and we did start, but it turned out he had CMPI so we went back to BF and I cut out dairy.

In the end I fed him until he was 2.8. No regrets, but not sure I'll do it again (DC2 due in September)! We'll see how it goes.

Congratulations on your new baby!

orangebird69 Wed 29-Jun-16 07:53:09

Nearly 9 months here. Still doing 3/4 bfs a day as well as 3 solid meals, and a couple of feeds in the night. I was unable to express enough though - 2 or 3 oz in a day if I really went at it shockconfused. I have found bfing itself quite easy. The convenience of it is incomparable and you know no matter where you are you can always feed your baby. However the sole responsibility of it is exhausting. Night feeds (and putting to sleep as I feed my ds to sleep) can only be done by me. So no evenings free until I crack that difficult nut... but it's the most rewarding thing I've done and I'll continue to bf until at least 1 year (but try to figure out how to not have to feed to sleep/settle night waking to sleep.

Daytona79 Wed 29-Jun-16 07:53:51

Till he was 12 months then I switched to cows milk

Daisyandbabies Wed 29-Jun-16 07:57:49

18 months. It was very easy with her, very quick 5 minute feeds, great weight, no mastitis and just weaned herself at 18 months naturally.

I found it a lot harder to bottle feed, bottle fed my eldest after he just wouldn't bfeed no matter what I did. He had colic and reflux and bottle refusal from 6 months, then would only take ready made milk (imagine taking a suitcase of ready made milk on holiday with us, cost a fortune!)

Different kids, different circumstances...perhaps it was nothing to do with the method of feeding and just the child, who knows!

OutsiderInTheGarden Wed 29-Jun-16 08:05:09

Congratulations OP! I loved breastfeeding, apart from when I got mastitis land couldn't shift it. Sadly I only managed 5 months though, as my DS had bad reflux and his weight gain stalled so we ended up putting him on gaviscon. We found it much easier to give gaviscon with a bottle so ended up switching to formula, and he improved considerably. I found that expressing was helpful in getting over mastitis, but I only had success with an electric pump. We had the medela swing, which is expensive, but really effective. Now pregnant again with DS2 and hoping that I'll be able to breastfeed much, much longer this time.

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