How long did you Exclusively breastfeed?

Chelsea - posted on 07/28/2011 ( 88 moms have responded )

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I know that WHO says ebf till 6 months but at what age did you mommys introduce cereal, juice and baby food?

With my first daughter who had chronic constipation starting at 3 weeks old we introduced juice at 3 months, cereal at 4 and fruits and veggies by 5 months, this time around my daughter is already 2 months and im trying to figure out if im going to follow WHO recommendation, play it by year or introduce when my ped. recomends, what did you do and why

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[deleted account]

We did baby-led weaning with my first and will do the same with my second. It's when you wait until they show all the signs of readiness (around 6 months old, lost tongue thrust reflex, developed pincer grasp, can sit unassisted). This way you know their tummies are ready. Baby-led weaning is super easy. You just give them cooked, soft pieces of what you're eating and they feed themselves. I waited because I wanted to be sure she was ready. Did your daughter have hard poops or did she just go a long time in between poops? It's pretty rare for an EBF baby to be constipated. We don't do juice because I'd rather just give them fruit (even at 2 my daughter has only had a few sips of juice) and I was pressured into trying cereal with my first and it constipated her badly which is what made me realize baby led weaning was the way to go. I won't be doing rice cereal again with any children. My daughter was almost 8 months before trying any solids.

Tania - posted on 08/15/2011

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Megan, a mother does not have to keep a "nutritious" diet to have healthy, nutritional milk. That is very false information. Unfortunately, many OB/GYNs are not capable of giving reliable breastfeeding information - they are not specialists in breastfeeding, after all. Think of it this way - there are women in African tribes that breastfeed. These are known to be "malnourished" peoples and yet, their babies thrive on breastmilk. That's the beauty of breastmilk - no matter what the mother's diet, milk will be nutritionally sound. What we eat, or do not eat, does not affect the quality of milk.

Tania - posted on 08/15/2011

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Kimrose is absolutely correct. And there is totally a difference between when your child is showing interest (which can be 3-4 months - when they want *everything* in their mouth) and when they are actually ready for foods developmentally. It is best to go minimum 6 months, although 8 is ideal, EBFing.

Kimrose - posted on 08/15/2011

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I am not giving anyone *advice* - just saying for those who start early - speaking of knowing "in your gut" - "the gut" of your child is actually the issue - and more important even than your gut-feeling. You might not *see* any problem at all and be creating problems further on - just please do your research. As I said in a previous post - my first son was exclusively BF & we started rice cereal at 6 months - then homemade purees - later than anyone we knew/had heard of . After doing my research this time, we won't be doing any cereals, no purees (soft chunks/finger food instead) and are not even sure how-late we'll start. Food is certainly not non-nutritive under a year, but breastmilk is still the absolute-best nutrition and exclusively BF babies absolutely do not need anything else during the first year (24 months according to some sources). My only *issue* is thinking that people will just follow babies interest or ped. recommendations w/out doing their own research. There are literally correlations between early-fed infants and later digestive issues and allergies - you might not see the harm it's doing. And the baby-is-interested thing just really doesn't hold water in my opinion. They are interested in just about *everything* we do....the food is just so noticeable b/c we're "looking for it" and "expecting it" as parents. Everyone needs to make their own decisions - here's hoping they're all informed ones...I KNOW it's hard to keep up w/research - but our babies deserve it.

Tania - posted on 08/01/2011

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Kimrose hit the nail on the head - Simply because a baby is showing interest in something, doesn't mean they are ready for it. When 4 month old is showing interest in food, it's because they are interested in everything! It's not because they are starving or "need" that food. It's our job as parents to introduce foods when they are developmentally ready for them. My doc told me children do not need anything but breastmilk nutritionally for 24 months. He fully supported our decision to "delay" solids and completely skip cereals.

The best thing to do is talk to your doc and do your own research. Sometimes you might need to find a new doc. ;)

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Heather - posted on 09/16/2011

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we did rice at 4 months and fruit a few weeks later but still bf regularly and are prolly going to do the same this time around to

Corinne - posted on 09/12/2011

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I exclusively breast fed till my daughter was 2 after one year it was mainly comfort feeding for a couple mins here and there. We started her on rice cereal at one and half months. And watered down juice at 2 months. She was a snacker and was feeding more often, so keeping her full was difficult on me. With cereal and juice it was easier. I would really water down the cereal and give her a small spoonful then put her on the breast (it was helpful in swallowing and kept her breast feeding as well, by the time she started solids she was a pro at swallowing using a spoon) Yes she had some gas, gas X helped a lot. A lot of the gas was from what I was consuming. When you breastfeed sometimes you have to try changing your diet and see if that helps first. I had to lay off the gassy foods. I did what I felt was best for me and baby girl.

Lady - posted on 09/09/2011

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I bf up til 5mths exclusively and slowly introduce cereal and juices and bf without substitutions for 20mths. He weaned himself then cos I was 3 mths pregnant. I say uk your child best so follow ya heart and don't introduce so much at once so u'll know allergies if any. GL!!!

[deleted account]

I follow baby-led weaning and started offering solids at 6 months. I think I tried banana and avocado first. He would grab, play, lick, and taste, but I don't think he actually swallowed anything until 7.5 months. And he didn't start eating substantial amounts (like what I would consider a whole "meal") until around 11 months.

Nicole - posted on 09/09/2011

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Had to introduce juice around 2-3 months due to constipation, cereal, fruits, veggies at 6 months. Other than the couple of ounces of juice she got every other day or so (gave family members a chance to feed her, too, which was nice), she nursed exclusively til 6 months and continued to nurse until 23 months. :)

Rebecca - posted on 09/07/2011

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With my three kids, I was able to exclusively BF for 6 months each. Introducing foods early is a choking hazard and is shown to increase chances of obesity and food allergies!

Jay - posted on 09/06/2011

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6 months I introduced solids, 25.5 weeks! wanted to get to 26 weeks but he had been feeding EVERY HOUR for FIVE DAYS!. I finally went to see the health nurse who said take him home and give him cereal now!! haha :D he was 5 days late, so I guess he was really already 26 weeks...
He wont eat cereal though! He finished it the first day, but from day two he snubbed it! He loves meat and broccoli. He hates baby rice and carrots. I let him eat what he wants at the mo. He spends 25 mins on a soldier of toast and would eat cheese all day. and steak, lamb and chicken go down well for him.
Still breastfeeding at 6.5 months, and he refuses bottles of any kind of milk. and even turns away food with milk mixed in it.
I wont be giving juice at all, I see no need. x

Celeste - posted on 09/05/2011

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EBF my twin boys to about 8 months. I tried cereal at 6 months but they weren't ready. I decided to forgo cereal and did purees. They didn't like the purees too much so I just started giving them regular foods (like pasta, mashed potatoes, etc).

Raechil - posted on 09/04/2011

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i had to start givin my son cereal in his bottlles at 2 months because he wasnt getting full but i dont plan on adding foods until 4 months at the earliest. hes 3 months right now and the cereal is more than necesary. i believe that mommy knows best though... you know your children.. the people who decide whats right for all babies dont. they say all kids are different but then expect them to grow the same way... just my opinion tho. good luck :)

Jennifer - posted on 09/01/2011

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My son is 7 months and we are just now starting to give him cereal with a few teaspoons of baby food mixed in and a few oz. of water to drink with his dinner. He has allergies to formula so we have to be extra careful about foods. And I intend to continue nursing until at least a year. Im starting to have problems with producing enough for him so the food is a good thing.

Angela - posted on 09/01/2011

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I ebf untill my daughter was 5mn, gave her alittle cereal then started giving her smooched up betterbeans and really creamy mashed pot around 6mn but didnt completley quit breastfeeding untill she got teeth at 7mn. once she started eating food I quit giving her the baby ceral. she never did really eat baby food, she didnt like it, I fed her straight off the table!!!

[deleted account]

We exclusively breastfed until my wee one was 6 months old. We supplemented with cereals, fruits, veg, etc. I continued breastfeeding until she was 13 months old and I required some surgery.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/25/2011

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Erika, try apple or prune juice, the fibre in the juice will loosen his stool.

Erika - posted on 08/25/2011

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I breastfed for 14 months...he wouldnt take a bottle or babyfood. We did get him to start eating around 10 months (soft cooked vegetables) when I weaned him of me I weaned him onto Goat Milk (closest to human, easy to digest) still havent really given him dairy. still has never had constitpation or a hard turd...lol.

Lilliana - posted on 08/25/2011

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I EBF my son till 8 months. He is three and the only time he ever has juice is at birthday parties and I water it down. He still nurses. Do what feels right for you but remember that baby needs pure goodness. No crap and follow the rainbow when you introduce foods!

Jeramie - posted on 08/24/2011

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My girl ebf for almost 7 months. I tried feeding her some rice cereal at that point a few times, but she hated it so I just started mashing up veggies and fruits and feeding her bits of what we were eating. I never gave her juice until after a year old, but I would feed her water in a small glass with our meals. she never had a sippy cup until she could already drink from a glass, and she has never had any kind of bottle. she is 27 months old and still nursing a few times a day, but I am trying to wean her because I am tired of it and I just got pregnant again so my nips are sore.

[deleted account]

We tried cereal at 7 1/2 months and baby food at 8 months but he's just not into so he gets a few bites (literally a few) of fruit in the morning and few bites of veggie at night and the rest he is breastfed on demand. Some days he doesn't eat any baby food at all and even on his good days the most he eats is a half jar for the whole day! We don't even do cereal anymore cuz he hated it. He is a healthy 20 lb 9 month old too :)

Ania - posted on 08/19/2011

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I exclusively BF for 6 months before introducing cereal and then weeks after that veggies and fruit. at 18 moths we are still going with the breast and regular food

Jasmine - posted on 08/18/2011

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I had a hard time getting my first child to latch well so I pumped a lot and gave it to her in a bottle and used formula only 2 or 3 times. I introduced cereal when she was a little over 4 months and fruits and veggies around 5 months. Since I pumped so much and made a lot of milk she was able to drink breastmilk until she was 14 months old,( I stopped actually nursing her at 12 months and just used my stock of frozen milk until it ran out)

[deleted account]

I started mine on solids at 3 1/2 months (that was more getting her used to it, she started having meals at 4 1/2 months). She still hasn't had juice (at 21 months).

Tamara - posted on 08/18/2011

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I breastfed my son exclusively for 5 and a half months. Then he wanted more so I moved on to baby rice and breast feeding. I found that if my son ever got contipated, I could ease it for him if I drank orange juice. Or now that he is 19 months I give him oranges. My son decided when he wanted to drop a feed and when he wanted to stop. So in that respect I guess I was kinda lucky. Good luck.

Saskia - posted on 08/18/2011

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My son was 5 1/2 half months old when I 1st started on mashed fruit and veg (one at a time) back then I just did what everyone did. I weaned him at 9 months due to pnd, being pregnant again and husband being deployed to Iraq it was just too much at once to cope with. With my daughter I did a lot of research and decided bwl is the way for us again at 5 1/2 months she started eating what we did by herself she was very forward already crawling for a couple of months and sitting up for more than 1. We weaned her fully at 20 months she would have continued to bf a lot longer I think but it was time for me to stop she was feeding for 10 min every 30 min and after a month of that I was exhausted and decided giving up would be the best for us as I was getting angry and unhappy and an unhappy mummy can't be a good mummy. I am an european mummy (from Germany) and here also it's exclusive for 6 months before mums start to interduce solid and bf for about 2-3 years. Extended nursing is very commen over here :) We are planning on having more children and I will definitely do blw again and this time try to let my child wean him/herself of the breast.

Angelique - posted on 08/17/2011

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I started introducing solids @ 8months. Here we're encouraged to try & breastfeed for as long as you can & to ween babies when they're ready. My daughter stopped bf @ 20months. I introduced her to fruit & veggies from our garden @ 6months, so she can try different tastes.

Daria - posted on 08/16/2011

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Oh, well he ate his cereal and food with no problem he just wouldn't/ won't drink milk not from me directly....

Daria - posted on 08/16/2011

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Actually still EBF (before or after meals if I can't distract him to not want to) but so trying to stop.. I mean this child is almost two.....

Joni - posted on 08/16/2011

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I waited until 6 months to introduce any foods or cereals. And even then, it wasn't very often. And I pretty much just started table foods because my little man wouldn't let me spoon feed him and I didn't feel like cleaning up the mess of puree foods if he had full reign over it. I also technically exclusively breast fed til 1 year, meaning he didn't ever have formula but at a year, I introduced whole milk.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/15/2011

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My 5 month old is extremely alert and seems quite smart, my husband will ask: Lilli, do you want food? And she'll look right at me! The rice cereal seems like a give and take. She likes being fed and she'll eat it when you give it to her, but then she gets antsy and wants out of her chair, so who knows.

Amanda - posted on 08/15/2011

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Oh and my son breastfed for 22 months and is very healthy and very smart for his age!!

Amanda - posted on 08/15/2011

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I breastfed my son for 5 month before i intoduced rice cereal we tryed that for a could of days he was not ready yet, so i stoped giving it to him, at 6 months I tryed it again and he liked it so every evening he had a serving or rice cereal after a couple of weeks I tryed home made pureed green beans he loved them so every other day we tryed a new vegie but only at dinner then at 7 month we did a fruit for breakfast with a drink of water. and then a vegetable for dinner. at 8 month about the same with taist of what i was eating, 9 months he was taist testing almost everything + breakfast and dinner i think that was about the time he tryed white grape juice watered down to about 80% water and 20% juice By 12 month he was nursing though out the day and eating breakfast lunch and dinner.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/12/2011

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With Abby (my older daughter) I started cereals around 5 months and then went on to other types of foods with no issues. She's tried all kinds of foods since then including Puerto Rican which she had almost every day from the time she was 2 until she was almost 5 because of her babysitter.

My 5 month old, Lilli, has started cereal just to try it- it seems to give her more of an appetite for breastmilk. My husband's given her frozen juice bars for her teething, but we try to avoid doing too much beause she's a very colicky baby. Also in Canada because of the shortage of specialists and the difference in health care from the States most Canadians have a family care doctor and we're on a wait list for one up here.

Merry - posted on 08/12/2011

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I'm not going to do cereal, juice, or puree with her. I'll do fruits veggies and breads, cheese, yogurt, eggs, etc.
Eric didn't have juice til 1 year. I might wait longer this time :)

Merry - posted on 08/12/2011

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Hey Chelsea! Well with Eric I gave him nothing but breastmilk until 6 months. Then I tried cereal and baby food but he still had tongue thrust reflex. I didn't know what that was at the time so I sat there trying to get him to eat it. He never ate much of anything until about 10 months when I started giving him real foods to try. He's still nursing now at 28 months :)
I think early solids lead to premature weaning. So I'm going to wait as long as Fierna wants. Minimum of 6 months. If she wants to participate in meals I'll give her spoons to chew on, maybe a bowl of water or breastmilk to play with her spoon in.
Oh and by 6 months Eric was 23lbs on nothing but milk so I fantasy I agree with the myth that big babies need foods early. Sure he nursed alot. Every two hours or so. That's what he's supposed to do!
Fierna also nurses about every two hours. Sometimes more. That's just how little humans stomachs are designed to eat.

Lise - posted on 08/11/2011

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Nothing but breastmilk until 6 months, no baby cereal ever (she started eating cheerios at 9 months and Chex at 12 months), and juice was around 20 months. I believe in the WHO recommendations, don't personally see a point in baby cereal (which can be constipating and is basically empty calories), and would prefer to give my daughter fruit to fruit juice. They are just my preferences for my child.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/11/2011

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Jamie, when was I getting defensive? When I had my girls I had a lactation specialist come in to assist me with positions to breastfeed and I had their numbers. When I went to WIC back in the States (I live in Canada now) I had more assistance with breastfeeding. My OBGYN who was just back from maternity leave herself was supportive, even random strangers. The Pediatrician office where I took my girls was very supportive as well. I don't know, maybe it's just where I lived (of course here in BC I still get support and my neighbours don't care if I nurse without my cover or not) or I'm just lucky.

The only support I don't get is from my mom and that's because I'm adopted so she doesn't know exactly how to be supportive of breastfeeding because she never did it herself. She makes it feel kind of awkward when I want to feed my child and she's like go feed her in the bathroom- WFT do you eat in the bathroom?

Chelsea - posted on 08/11/2011

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I happen to agree that at least in my area most peds and family dr. seem to support formula not Bfing my first DDs ped told me when she was a week old that the only reason she was jaundice and needed a billy blanket is because i was breastfeeding and refusing to give formula to supplement and then on many other visits told me she wasn't growing enough so she needed to be on formula, he was an ass and we dont see him anymore....I dont take prenatal vitamins when im pregnant or bfing and i eat ok but not super healthy, i did everything the same with baby #2 and i did with baby #1 and there sizes are completly different. at 2 months my new daughter is almost 12 pounds and my first didnt reach that till 9 months....My girls have both been tested for vit d levels and iron level and have been fine even though i dont take vitamins. im slightly anemic but it is effecting me not her. i think im gonna go witht he flow but not introduce anything other then Bm before 6 months and after that ill follow her lead on what she wants

[deleted account]

I think the experience is different for everyone. I've heard some horrible information about breastfeeding coming from doctors and I've also heard some great stuff.



"The big issue is that the mom has to keep her diet beneficial to her child in order for breastmilk to provide correct nutrician to her child."



That is actually false. You could have a horrible diet and still provide the perfect food for your baby (this is how moms in 3rd world countries can still BF). A poor diet will affect mom though.

http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/mom/mo...

Jamie - posted on 08/11/2011

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Megan. Everyone's experience is different. You shouldn't get so defensive. I do not believe my child needed vitamin drops. Breast milk is the perfect food for babies, it provides everything needed. My child is a healthy 2 1/2 year old and I wouldn't change any of the choices I made. The healthcare professionals where I am are very anti-breastfeeding, including the hospital where I gave birth. Everyone has a right to choose what they think is right, even if you don't agree with it.

Jamie

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/11/2011

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Jamie. My healthcare providers in New York were very pro breastfeeding and my 5 month old daughter was still prescribed vitamin drops by her peditrician. I really don't know what you're refering to about healthcare not being pro breast feeding because I got more crap when I couldn't breastfeed my older daughter because of it. Besides when I asked about the vitamin drops I was told they're also given to non breastfeeding moms. The big issue is that the mom has to keep her diet beneficial to her child in order for breastmilk to provide correct nutrician to her child. That's why I still take my prenatal vitamins, because my pro breastfeeding OBGYN told me to do that.

Jamie - posted on 08/11/2011

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I exclusively breastfed for 6 months. I also continued after the introduction to solids. I did this because breast milk was the best nutrition I could give my child. I wish I had known before my child was born that most healthcare professionals are anti- breastfeeding. I'm glad I ignored all the advice about using supplements, vitamin drops, and all the other garbage that was suggested. We were built for this and I believe in it.

Jamie

Danielle - posted on 08/09/2011

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I think that there is a lot of information out there, but we go to our ped for this very reason...recommendations from the professionals. With the APA constantly changing with revised research, what we do with our first child can change significantly from our second. Plus, each child has their own issues and reasons for their needs. I think the best advise is to follow your ped recommendations.

For me, my 1st son I BF exclusively for 6 months, introduced solids at 6 months, but continued to BF until he was 11 (he stopped, not me). My 2nd son I did the same thing but stopped at 9 months (he stopped, not me). Do what you feel is best and rely on your dr for the best advise, isn't that why we pay to see them? :)

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 08/07/2011

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Thanks Nancy. That's what I did with my 1st one too :) Rice cereal to start off with then go to oatmeal then the mixed ones. She's almost 7 now and aside from one strange reaction to cashews she has no allergies at all.

Right now I have to deal with the differences in the Canadian health care system from the American one and I'm waiting for a family doctor (my husband's Canadian and he just goes to clinics, but I want a dr for the kids) to see how both girls are doing. They also do shots differently so I have to wait until my baby's almost 6 months!

Nancy - posted on 08/07/2011

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If she doesn't like the carrots, trust your instincts and hold off on them. It could be that she has a sensitivity to them and if you wait for a while before offering them again she may not develop an allergy to them. My ped. said that my daughter's refusal of solids is probably what protected her from having food allergies, as my hubby was allergic to just about everything as a baby and had to have tea bottles with vitamins in them and allergy shots for most of his childhood... Luckily none of my daughters do not show any signs of food allergies and I personally attribute it to exclusive breastfeeding until they were "ready" for solids.

Trust your instincts with your baby and all will be fine.

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