How long did you breastfeed??

Soleil - posted on 06/11/2010 ( 722 moms have responded )

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I'm just wondering what is a good amount of time to breastfeed. My first son only did for a month, and my mild dried up. My milk is not an issue with my second son, and he loves it... so what is best?

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Tara - posted on 06/12/2010

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The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months and then continued breastfeeding up to and beyond the 2nd year of life with the addition of regular food and the reduction of feedings at the breast (thank god)
I have 6 children all of them nursed until they were 2.5 years. Now to a lot of people that sounds insane. However my kids did not nurse as if they were new babies right until till that age. By then it was bed time, nap time and morning.
But it eliminated a need to introduce cows milk until their tummies were very ready, it cut down on the number of colds they got, it helped me get and keep my pre-preg weight back. And it is healthier than formula or cows milk for a baby or toddler.
Hope this helps a bit!
:)Tara

Halli - posted on 06/12/2010

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I breastfed for two 1/2 years. She was never sick until two weeks after I stopped. I think it was the best thing I could have done.

Gloria - posted on 06/12/2010

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I nursed my daughter (7yrs now) for 15 months and my son (16mo now) for 13 months. I pretty much let them self-ween. I did the math a while back and you can save almost $3.5k-$4k by nursing for 1year vs. using formula.

If you find your milk production slowing brewers yeast will help it increase. You can get it at GNC or by drinking a beer in the evening. My doc said 1 beer in a day will not do anything to the baby.

[deleted account]

I have four children (including a set of twins) and breastfed them all for approximately two years each. Those of you who are supplementing with formula are sabotaging yourselves! Doctors are not terribly well informed on this subject. I would seek the advice of a credible organization like LaLeche League if you have issues. It has been my experience that children stop nursing when they are ready. Breast is best!

Aphrodite - posted on 06/16/2010

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the longer the better. I nursed for 3 yrs total with 2 children. The first one got 3 yrs while the second one came along 19 months after the first & nursed for 17 months. So I nursed # 1 all through pregnancy 2. I sometimes feel guilty for weening her as she wasn't exactly ready to stop, but after 3 yrs, I felt I was.

As long as your son is loving it...Rock on...It is the very best thing that you can do for him!

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Lori - posted on 10/25/2012

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I breastfeed my son from birth til he was 3years old. It is what your child tells you. That is how I did it. Breast milk is the beast for them so as long as possible if you are able.

Carol - posted on 10/25/2012

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As long as he drinks and you are willing and able! For my first, I did 13 months before my milk started to dry out and she was demanding too much to eat. For my second I lasted until 15 months when my milk was being squeezed dry from a very voracious little girl who wanted to nurse all the time. Switched them both to more solid food and water and they were happy campers! I have a friend who stopped at three years old with her son and that was just fine for them. Breastmilk is healthy and nutritious, filled with good fats for brain development [all our kids are advanced, not that this should necessarily be a goal although good to know]. So just as you would feed yourself and your kids healthy food to grow healthy bodies, breastmilk is the same for this time of development. The bonding and comfort from nursing is good for the spiritual/psychological/emotional development. I've read correlations between breastfeeding and metabolism regulation - so that when kids are older they have healthier eating schedules and appetites - continue the trend with solid foods by feeding nutritious colorful food as organic as possible at regular intervals of the day and your child should have a healthy enjoyment of food. My girls LOVE to eat and love to sleep and love to play. I am glad that breastfeeding is encouraged more now in our society [although still not as much as other countries] because natural is how we are made to be. All the best to you!

Amy - posted on 10/25/2012

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I nursed my oldest for 12 months, my second started having weight problems at 10 months (when I started pumping), and I plan on nursing my newborn for a year.

Shannon - posted on 03/19/2011

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My daughter is almost 13 months and I am still breastfeeding her. Just this week she started only nursing in the morning and that's it.

Terry - posted on 03/19/2011

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I have 4 kids I nursed my son for 3 months till he had some medical issues. My 1st daughter i nursed till 12 weeks then pumped and breast milk along with formula till 12 months. My 2nd daughter I nursed till 14 months. And my last baby is 16 months and nurses 2 x a day. and we will keep at it till she is ready to stop. Hope that helps.

Michelle - posted on 03/18/2011

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My first did for about a year before he quit. My second went for 15 months before she quit. We'll see about the third. I let them decide themselves.

Genia - posted on 03/18/2011

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First child - weaned abruptly at 10 months (nursing strike, we had done a lot of things - like CIO and early solids - that I think led to him stopping too early)
Second child - child led weaning, he is almost 6 and a half (yes years old) and still nurses occasionally
Third child - again, child led weaning, she's 19 months old and still nursing.

Angela - posted on 03/17/2011

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I still get requests from my 4-year-old, I currently nurse my 2-year-old 1-3 times a day. I fed my first all through my pregnancy and tandem nursed.

It's important to avoid bottles and pacifiers during the first weeks so that milk supply can become established. Your milk generally doesn't dry up without a reason, and in most cases it's due to lack of stimulation. The more proper stimulation, the more milk will be produced. Get baby to the breast as soon as he is willing after birth and don't feed him in any other way unless absolutely necessary. See a lactation consultant if any problems develop or you have questions.

Why give formula when you have perfectly good milk? Do what you can to keep your supply and you'll be fine.

Melanie - posted on 08/03/2010

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I nursed my first until 11 1/2 months, my second 6 months (she was a biter that wouldn't stop, and my third 11 months. I was always told that at least 6 months was good, but I went by how it was going. I also didn't want my child to be old enough to come over and lift up my shirt so that is why I stopped by 1 year. Each child is different. I hope it continues to go well for you.

Amie - posted on 08/02/2010

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i nursed my oldest until he was 2 after he sarted eating food he only did it for comfort and to sleep i wouldn't gave changed anything for the world, we now have the closest bond i could ask for and he was the healthiest baby i knew my 4 year old was allergic to my milk so i only nursed him for 2 weeks then he went on special formula same with my soon to be 2 year old

[deleted account]

I am just now weaning my 11 1/2 month old son. In the begining I knew I wanted to as long as possible so I tried making it to 6 wks, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, 1 yr+. I wanted to continue after his birthday but I am 13 weeks pregnant with baby #2 so I figured now was a good time to stop lol.

Emma - posted on 07/17/2010

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I have given birth to 3 children and breastfed each of them for one year. About a month before their first birthdays I started the weaning process, since a child's digestive system can handle cow's milk at that point. My mother, on the other hand breastfed me until I was nearly 4 years old. This I do not recommend, only because it seems socially unacceptable to most and I do retain memories of being at my mother's breast. She said she decided it was time to wean me when I tried to unbutton her blouse in the supermarket, LOL! But there are lots of people who will encourage breastfeeding for as long as you and your child are comfortable with. It's really a personal decision and up to you. I wish you all the best.

Rebecca - posted on 07/15/2010

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with my first unfortuneately i could breast feed cause she had reflux disorder but my second i had the same problem as you.i fed her till she was 19.5months, she was eating normal but had to have her breastmilk before nap time and night time. it might sound funny but i stuck a couple of plasters over my nipples and just kept showing her its a booboo and yes there was screaming and alot of it and i cried a few times because i felt bad for her and wanted to give her but 3 days she started to learn she couldnt have and 2weeks later she was off it. good luck and i hope this helps.

Whitney - posted on 07/11/2010

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My son is almost 10 months and I am still nursing, and I will continue until he is 1 and then slowly stop.

Sarah - posted on 07/11/2010

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I think it depends on alot of different factors like your health etc, i breastfed till 1yr but i think if i could do it again i would shorten it because i was very worn out by that time.

Ginny - posted on 07/07/2010

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My first wouldn't breastfeed despite my efforts, and I pumped for 3 months. My second loved it and nursed for 10 1/2 months before he just started refusing the breast. My third is 9 months old and still going strong on the breast. The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first 6 months but babies benefit from it for as long as you're willing to continue. Keep it up and revel in how much money you're saving by not buying formula!

Jessica - posted on 07/06/2010

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I breastfed for 2 years...his second birthday was his last day..it worked for us! i think 6 mos to a year is what is recommended!

Lori - posted on 07/03/2010

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I think its good to do it as long as you can! God gave us the ability for a reason, it is the BEST thing for our babies! I nursed my first for 15months and now have a 7month old and plan to nurse him until he about a year. My first never even contracted a cold until he stopped nursing. My second was born 3months premature and I pumped for him while he was in the NICU and he latched right on as soon as he was big enough! Its the best bonding experience and I'm glad I decided to give it a shot!

Olivia - posted on 07/03/2010

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A really awesome breast feeding class I went to before my daughter was born said you breast feed for 2-3 years if you can. I probably won't go that long, but I would like to aim for a year to 18 months. It's said to be that breast milk is the best for babies and has a lot of long term benefits in the long run

Jaime - posted on 07/02/2010

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All 3 of mine were different. My first was breastfed for almost 4 months, I stopped at 3 butI had enough frozen that she got another month of milk in a bottle. My second had GERD and collic she was breastfed for only 3 weeks. My third just turned one in Aril and I stopped just 2 weeks shy of his first birthday!! He LOVED it and I loved the bonding with him. It was pretty easy though for him ): I cried, but he was too active and it was time!!

Christi - posted on 07/01/2010

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My first son was in the NICU and got too attached to the bottle. He only nursed for about 6 weeks. My second son nursed for 19 months. I never planned to nurse that long, but it worked out perfectly for us.

Amanda - posted on 07/01/2010

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When my son was born in 2006 I was determined to breastfeed...But he lost so much weight in the hospital they forced me to supplement him with formula in order to take him home when I was discharged. Once he got that bottle in his mouth he wanted nothing to do with me. So after a couple of weeks of struggling to nurse I gave up and rented an electric pump. I pumped everyday for 5 months until I was diagnosed with Lymphoma. I had my second child in December 09 (a girl) and she's been nursing beautifully since day one. We're at 6 months and going strong. She also had to be supplemented in the hospital but they allowed me to feed her using a liqued syringe instead of a bottle. I feel like it made all the difference in the world. She loves to nurse and I intend to continue until she's atleast 1.

Becky - posted on 07/01/2010

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With my first child, I had no support for nursing at all, so when he wanted to nurse constantly at first, I thought I couldn't nurse him because I was not producing enough milk. I learned differently when my second and third children came along. My second child nursed for 22 1/2 months and was only weaned because I wanted to get pregnant again. My last child nursed for 20 1/2 months and was weaned when I decided I wanted my body back! I will tell you the same thing I told my daughter. When you or the baby is ready to quit, it's time. If you aren't comfortable or just don't want to nurse any longer, the baby will pick up on your stress and not be happy. On the other hand, if the baby would like to stop nursing, and is showing signs of wanting to quit (refusal to nurse, not wanting to stop to feed, etc.) then even if you love nursing, it's time to stop. No two children are alike and you have to just go with your gut. Do not let outside forces influence your decision. This is between you and your child, not your mom, not your husband, not your siblings..just you and baby..even if that baby is about to turn two. I do believe if I hadn't decided to stop my second child, he would have nursed for another year! He loved it! Good luck!

Gigi - posted on 06/30/2010

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Wow, eveyone has an opinion and I say whatever you decide is best for you and your baby!

Fiona - posted on 06/30/2010

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with amber i nursed till she was 12 months and decided it was time to give it up because she new where to get it and would try to help her self lol was cute for the first few times then when she would tug at my top when we were out and about i decided that id given her a great start and formula or milk would be ok from that point on.

Gretchen - posted on 06/30/2010

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I phased it out at 14 months, although my daughter would have gone longer.

Liza - posted on 06/30/2010

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I say go until the baby decides. My first child nursed for 9 months then quit(found out I was pregnant with #2), 2nd child only nursed for 5 months (found out I was pregnant with #3), 3rd child nursed for almost 18 months, and 4th child nursed for almost 15 months.

All of my children weened themselves and were happy, healthy children. If your baby is healthy, happy and thriving, go as long as both of you enjoy it. It was easy for me because around 9 months or so, they would go down to only nursing 2-3 times a day and after a year or so, they would only nurse 1-2 times a day(unless they were sick or in a growth spurt then more) so, it was easy to do.
If your milk starts drying up or you feel your child isn't getting enough, try drinking ONE malt beverage a day..ie Beer or Mike's there is something in them that gets your milk going again temorarily and you can also take Fenugreek (it is a supplement) daily and that will help too.
Good luck!

Donna - posted on 06/30/2010

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I breastfed both of my baby girls until 1yr and 2mos. and plan to do the same with my baby boy!!!

Nurah - posted on 06/30/2010

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Hi i breastfeed for just over two years. Only ceased a few weeks ago. The little one still cries for it though. Breast is best, they say.

Debra - posted on 06/29/2010

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Well i guess am the only one breastfeed until my kids r five yes five. And am a proud mother four HEALTHY boys ages 25,20,16and 6.They wanted I had the milk and I gave just had to eat right and it is a marvelous thing cause we r bonded so thick. But they ween their selves at the age of 5 guess they thought the were not babies again.. good luck...

Kris - posted on 06/29/2010

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Well for your first question (post title) I breastfed my oldest for 26 months. My youngest is still nursing, he's only 2 months old now lol. We're hoping to make it to the 2 year mark with him too.

Last question... It really depends on what you are comfortable with and what works for your child. The AAP says at least a year, WHO says at least 2 years...

Jane - posted on 06/29/2010

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I breast fed 4 children. Most of them for one year but one of them for 23 months, who's name I won't mention because I wouldn't want to embarras her. I kind of left it up to them. When they could eat on their own, bananas, yogurt, mashed potatoes ect. I slowed down. Then only at night or before a nap. I had friends that nursed untill the child was 3yrs. old. That was interesting, but that's the way it was then. We were getting back to the natural way of doing things. I'm so glad it's the thing to do today.

Annette - posted on 06/29/2010

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Oh, when switching to whole milk during the weening process, my daughter didn't like it either. Someone suggested that I mix a little cow's milk with breastmilk adding a little more cow's milk each day to less breastmilk. It took only about a week to switch her to whole milk this way.

Annette - posted on 06/29/2010

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I breastfed my daughter for 14 months. I always said I would breastfeed until the first tooth, but then she didn't get her first tooth until she was 10 months old and she never bit me. I think it is a personnal choice how long you nurse and sometimes the baby will help in making that decision.

Leanna - posted on 06/29/2010

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My little guy nursed until he was 13 months old even though I went back to work when he was 9 months old. He got really sick at 13 months and gave it up cold turkey. My little gal is still nursing and she is 12 months. Eventually I will wean her, but if she wants to continue nursing a few times a day (especially with her entering daycare in the fall), I will b/c it's great for helping to keep them healthy.

Celia - posted on 06/29/2010

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Breastfeeding is very important as it helps build up the babys immune system.I breastfeed my 1 for 21 months and my 2 for 38 months and they both only got sick when they stopped breastfeeding.It worked for me but every child is diferent and what is best for the baby is right, be it breastfeeding or formula.
Enjoy your special moment with your son and when the time comes to wean you will know what is right.:)

Sara - posted on 06/28/2010

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I don't know what being young has to do with breastfeeding. I had my first at 18 and nursed her for 20 months then my second at 20 and nursed him until he was 2 and my third child at 27 and nursed him for 18 months. I think that it was and is the best thing you can do for your child! You will know when it's time for you and him to stop.

Kayla - posted on 06/28/2010

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as long as you can! i did for 13 months with my first daughter and plan to again with destiny

Mel - posted on 06/28/2010

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I am mum to 3, my first two were bottle fed and my youngest is now 19 months and will not leave the breast!!! I gave him a cup with cows milk in he took a sip and spat it everywhere!!! I will continue to do it for a while yet as I guess there is more interesting things for him to do... like emptying my cupboards and posting the contents of my purse through the letter box!!!
He still has my milk around 3/4 times per day and I love it, the closeness we both share is priceless and I wish I breasfed all my children.

Danielle - posted on 06/27/2010

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I am still nursing my 2 years 6months old daughter til now! She loves it and most importantly is the bonding bewteen us.

Bahar - posted on 06/27/2010

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Do it as long as possible!! I just stopped and my daughter is 8 months!! The only reason I stopped is because she didnt want it anymore, she started to bite me and I dont have much left anyway so decided to stop!! she self weaned herself!!!

Laura - posted on 06/27/2010

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It's different for every mother. I prefer to breastfeed for a year and then wean over 1-2 months. Whatever works for you and baby. I know the recommendation is to breastfeed them for 2 years but I really couldn't take it that long! The minimum recommendation is 6 months because that's when baby's own immune system kicks in. But each case is unique and you just have to decide what you feel is best for you and baby.

Eva May - posted on 06/27/2010

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on my first child i was nursed him til he is 2 years old,then for my second baby i nursed him for 4 months only

Ida - posted on 06/27/2010

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with my first 2 months I ended up with a double breast infection that wouldn't stop bleeding and with my son 3 months because I couldn't produce enough and got a breast infection in 1 breast but I think if I could have done it more I would have gone till 6 months after that they get teeth and all not my cup of tea after that! good luck!

Emz Lou - posted on 06/27/2010

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My first 2 month then he rufused (might have to do with falling pregs) my second 2 days of extreme agony it just wasn't for happening and had very not understanding hospital staff thinking i wasn't doing it right LOL, my 3rd for 8 month but I had to introduce 2 ounce top ups with bottle as he was a hungry baby, but figured top ups and lasting 8 month better than getting run down n exhausted trying to keep up with feeds then risking stress drying me up :)
Its all down to what you feel is right, and never feel bad about your descisions, each child and mother is different x

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