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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Tina - posted on 06/27/2010

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I nursed my 1st child for 23 months. My 2nd child is 6 months and I plan to nurse him for about the same time. It is best for the baby to nurse as long as possible. They should be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 mos. and then after that solids and breastmilk for at least 12 mos. If you are not giving any other fluids and do not have them on a strict schedule your milk should not dry up. Breastmilk is produced by supply and demand. If you are also using formula, you are telling your body that it doesn't need to produce more milk. I heard an analogy that formula is like fast food. You don't eat fast food everyday so you certainly don't want your baby to be either! La Leche League offers great support and education.

Eliza - posted on 06/27/2010

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I breastfed my daughter for 3 months. I only stopped because I went to work and had a crazy schedule. I tried to start again when she was 4 months but just didn't feel comfortable doing so. With my next baby I plan on Breastfeeding for at least 6 to 9 months I'm shooting for a year but we'll see what happens : )

Tracy - posted on 06/27/2010

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I've had 3 children and each one has been different with nursing. My first son nursed for 6 months and stopped abruptly I thought it was that he was getting older, However it was because I was pregnant with baby #2. Our second son stopped nursing very shortly after home from the hospital he was in the N.I.C.U. for a week because of a collapsed lung and our third child our daughter nursed til she was 9 months old.

Alba - posted on 06/26/2010

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I have never heard of breast milk not having much nutritional value after a year...I would like to know where she found that information.

Alba - posted on 06/26/2010

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My son is 14 months old and still nurses often. I have friends with 2 year old children that still nurse some. I feel that you should give the child the lead as to when to quit and as long as you feel comfortable. Don't let other people pressure you about what is best for you and your child. Our country is kind of backwards about these issues and want to ween to early.

Dina - posted on 06/26/2010

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I stopped my 1st at 15 months, My 2nd at about 14 months, and my 3rd at a little over 2 years. I miss it terribly. I love being able to hold them close to me.

Shannon - posted on 06/26/2010

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My son is 4 months and doing good. I plan to go at least 6 months...but maybe even a year. Definitely no more than a year...1-kids are just too big after that and 2-there is no extra nutritional value at that point. Im just trying to avoid the bottle. He won't take to it so if I can make it to a year he can just go to milk...but go with whatever is comfortable for you :)

Christy - posted on 06/26/2010

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My first child I only breastfed for 2 months. I was really saddened & disappointed to have to stop but my nipples weren't toughened up enough & they kept cracking & bleeding which would end in scabbing! Yuck I know...so I had to stop! But my 2nd child, I breastfed her until she stopped on her own will at 13 months! Now pregnant, I am definitely going to breastfeed again :) Do it as long as it's good for you & baby! You'll know when it's time! Godd luck!!

Jessi - posted on 06/26/2010

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My first child was only about one month due to my nipples being inverted. The second nursed for 6 months and the third was 7 months. I nursed the last two until their teeth came in. OUCH!! I have always heard the longer the better. I know people that have nursed until their children were 1 yr old. I am planning on nursing our fourth baby as well.

Michelle - posted on 06/26/2010

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i had to start supplementingwith formula at about 10 months. she started on rice ceral at 4 months and ate fruit and veggies by 6 months. still mostly breastfed though. i think that you should trust your instincts as far as how long and if u think baby needs more to eat, etc. if you pay attention to the baby and her changes in temperament and sleep pattern, you will know what you need to do. ... good advice april. :)

April - posted on 06/26/2010

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Do whatever you feel comfortable with! Cause in the end your the one that has to live with it. I have a one and a half month old and i just recently started suplementing with formula I didnt make enough milk for him the older he got so I had to. So do what you feel is right cause thats the best thing to do.

Michelle - posted on 06/26/2010

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i breastfed my little girl just under a year. that's the length of time most of the research was done on was babies fed for 1 year. her pediatrician, who was also one of my pediatricians, says as long as you can because every feeding is beneficial to baby.

Dona - posted on 06/26/2010

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I breastfed 4 children, and each for very different lengths of time. My first son breastfed until about 18 months, at which point he was too interested in the outside world to face me for long periods of time. My daughter fed for 8 months, until she started teething on me, not stopping. One of the few times in life you might consider doing harm to your child will be when she bites that very sensitive part of your person. My second son nursed for about 6 months, and off and on till 12 months. My last child was premature and had to have bottles of very special formula. I tried to both nurse and bottle feed for 3 months. It was so confusing to him, as my milk has a hard time letting down, that I gave up and bottle fed. I shared all of this to show that even a determined mom ( I know and teach ALL the research that shows how incredibly important breastfeeding is to your child) can have children with different ideas. Breastfeed as long as you and your child can manage - it was designed for him! In our culture I think that you can breastfeed until the child is about 3, 3 1/2. After that you will find a great deal of prejudice, and you are the only one who can decide how much "acculturation" you can fight through. Good luck!

Tracey - posted on 06/26/2010

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I believe that natural self-weaning is best. If things are going well with your second son, why stop? You're doing great! My son is 2 1/2 years old and in the process of slowly weaning. I am 26 weeks pregnant and plan to let my toddler nurse as long as he needs to, even if it means tandem nursing, which I am OK with. The La Leche League (breastfeeding organization) is a wealth of information. You can find a LLL leader to talk to in your area by just getting on their website. Best wishes!

Donna - posted on 06/26/2010

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for my children it took not quit long because im a cesarian and cant help my back pain ...but my doctors said as long as you can , as long as there is milk then you should. for my second child alliah it took 9 months ....as a good result ...she grew as a sweet child, and intelligent too...and then just to find out that on the 10th month of breastfeed here comes another child so ive got to stop her . for you good luck .

Sarah - posted on 06/26/2010

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I Breastfed my first child til she was 3 mths old and i went back to work... my 2nd child was 6 mths old and my 3rd was just 1 mth old and my milk dried up.

Lorraine - posted on 06/26/2010

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with my first stop breastfeeding when my son started to bight me that was about 9 or 10 months

Jane - posted on 06/26/2010

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as long as you can is best is the theory. i bf'd our 1st for 6 months (til i had to go back to work, pumping was fruitless for me) and i bf'd our 2nd for 3 weeks, just a lot to do w/an 18month old and a newborn. they are both very happy kids and very healthy kids.
do what works for you.

Chelle - posted on 06/25/2010

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My first, I only breastfed 6 mo. because that's what the pediatricians recommended then; my 2nd & 3rd were born 8 & 9 years later & between them, I breastfed about 5 years (about 2-1/2 yrs. apiece). That's because the doctor's said they found it takes at least 2 years of breastfeeding to impart all the immunities & benefits to their fullest. Last I heard, that's still the recommendation.

Julie - posted on 06/25/2010

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I breastfed my first until she was 14 months, my second till 18 months and my third till she was 2 years. I must say that I think nursing them for as long as I did has made my kids extremely healthy children. They are now 10, 8 and 6 and none of them have ever been on an antibiotic.

Jennifer - posted on 06/25/2010

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My first until he turned three, my second until ~2.5 years. I wanted them to initiate weaning, but in both cases it ended up being me. We didn't get any weird social pressure one way or the other. It was what worked for all of us, until I decided I just needed to be done. Neither one used any formula. I pumped and froze breastmilk for the second knowing I'd be going back to work. We made it on that until he turned one, then supplemented with whole organic cow's milk. Happy nursing! It's a wonderful relationship.

Ellen - posted on 06/25/2010

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My longest to breast feed was 17 months. It's entirely up to you and what your comfy with. But anything longer than 2 yrs. is too old in my opinion. I know of some moms who go till like 5 yrs. old. Eeeek.

Heidi - posted on 06/25/2010

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I nursed my oldest for 1 year, my middle child for 16 months and my youngest for 2 years. I think it depends upon the mother, child and work/social situations at the time. Each child is different and even within the same family.

Audrey - posted on 06/25/2010

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I nursed my daughter who is now 3 and a half years old until she was 21 mnths and she pretty much weaned herself. The last couple of months were mainly at nap and night time. It was wonderful and I miss it but I would not go past two years old personally. Although my daughter was so healthy until after she was weaned.

Nicole - posted on 06/25/2010

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my son is 18 months and I am still breastfeeding him. I had to stop breastfeeding my daughter at 13 months because I had to take antibiotics.

Megan - posted on 06/25/2010

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a year with my daughter....but at 10 months is was only in the morning and at night....and we started cows milk during the day when we were outl.

Kim - posted on 06/25/2010

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We wanted to try for another child so I planned to wean my son at 18 months but the day I was going to stop so did he. My daughter it was going to be 18 months again to try again and she weaned herself at 16 months. I never thought she would wean since she never took a bottle or really ate. My last child weaned herself at 22 months. Personally i have no problem with someone nursing until around 2 yr old but there really is no need to nurse a child in public after they start drinking milk from a cup. Its just so much easier to hand them a cup of regular milk. Good luck with your nursing this time around.

Katie - posted on 06/25/2010

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I breastfed my son for only 1.5 months because he basically self-weaned himself because he spent some time in the hospital and didn't want to breastfed, so I pumped and he took to the bottle right away. With my 2nd I want to be able to nurse as long as we both can.

Brook - posted on 06/25/2010

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The first one for 6 weeks the second for 8 weeks.I had complications with both after they were born and had to be put on water pills and high blood pressure meds for a couple of weeks.I tried to pump and dump to keep my milk up until I could come off the medication the second time knowing that if it was like the first it would only take 2 weeks but I couldn't keep up the supply.I say whatever is best for you and your baby whatever makes the two of you happy.My first child was breast feed 6 weeks and never got sick until she was a little over 2.So although I believe breast milk is great for a baby I don't think it is the only factor in a child not getting sick.

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The World Health Organization says a minimum of 2 years. I personally just allow my children to self-wean. That means they can nurse for way more than just 2 years.

Leslie - posted on 06/25/2010

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I'm still nursing now, she's coming up on 9 months...but, it's whatever you're both comfortable with. My lil' one has teeth now and sometimes gets a thrill out of biting my nipple just to hear me scream! I don't nurse full time either, just at night usually. It's best to nurse as long as possible of course, there are great health benefits but...you're kids will grow best simply with love.

Sandra - posted on 06/25/2010

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I breastfeed my daughter until she was 16 months. It was worth it. She is a very healthy girl. I stopped because she used to bite me, and I needed her to eat more solids otherwise only milk at that age is no longer the best. My daughter was low on iron that can lead to anemia. The longer you can, because it is hard on you too. Although it is good between 9 months and 1 year.

Dawn - posted on 06/25/2010

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My daughter nursed until around 11 months. My son is 19 months and still nursing! If I had known with my daughter what I know know I would have tried to nurse her longer. It has many many benefits to both you and your child. I plan on nursing him until at least 2 years. That is the reccommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Sue - posted on 06/25/2010

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i actually find bottles inconvenient - with breast feeding i didn't need any "baby gear" for 6 months i just needed to be present to feed the baby. i hate doing dishes and baby bottles and nipples are the worst

Danielle - posted on 06/25/2010

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My daughter is 5 months old and I am stil nursing her I plan on doing it until she is 1 maybe even longer.Some pediatricians say until they are able to drink regular milk. I do know people who have done it for as long as 3 years. It is personally up to when you feel comfortable weaning.

Carol - posted on 06/25/2010

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until he's full =) my second daughter is slow to wean, 13 months now and still gets 4-5 nursings a day. she loves breastmilk and will even empty me before she will even drink whole milk or water sometimes. my first daughter weaned naturally as my milk started to dry up, she preferred to get more from a cup faster. so she was totally off nursing at 13 months. children are all different and even just the fact of having a different family dynamic changes things. so let your child inform you, within reason =) nothing wrong with nursing longer, i'm learning this right now as well.

Kimya - posted on 06/25/2010

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Try to go as long as you can! But atleast try to go 6 month so they can get the health benefits of it! my first I breast fed till she was 18 months but thats because we got a late start.She would have gone longer but I was pregnant with the second child My second till she was 16 months and my third for 16 months also!! But do what is best for you!

Erika - posted on 06/25/2010

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I breastfed my son until he was 18 months old. I did not breastfeed my daughter, and I am now regretting it. I was told that breast milk builds up their immunities. My little girl is always sick, and my son is rarely sick. You breastfeed until you feel you need to stop. It is your choice.

Sophia - posted on 06/25/2010

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AAP recommends exclusive breast feeding for 6 months and continued breast feeding for 1 year or longer. The World Health Organization recommends 2 years and longer if mother and child want. I nursed my 1st until he was 2 1/12 years old. Now by that point it was mostly just to help him calm down before naps or if he got hurt, not as a means of nutrition. He is a well adjusted, independent 3 1/2 year old boy now. My 2nd is 14 months now and due to several food allergies still mostly nursing with limited solids. Nursing your child is a very personal thing. Nursing is not just about nutrition, it is mostly about nurturing & building a great bond between mother and child.

Hannah - posted on 06/25/2010

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i'd say nurse as long as you can...w/in reason. i don't really want my kids remembering nursing for the rest of their lives. haha. right now i'm nursing a 13 month old and a 1 month old and loving it!

Brandy - posted on 06/25/2010

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My son nursed until he was a little over a year old. But, near the end, he was only doing it at night. It is very good for them, so the longer the better...just wouldn't do it until 3 or anything, because they will start noticing gender differences and talking about it! ;) My son weaned himself on his own and I've heard that most babies do. He just started wanting less and would start to release earlier or after hardly any time at all. It was this that made me realize he was not interested anymore. Hope this helps! :)

Alisha - posted on 06/25/2010

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My first child nursed until he was 14 months and this was only because I was pregnant with our second child and I needed a break between babies, My second child nursed until she was two and then just decided pretty much on her own she was done. She was only nursing in the evening and morning at that point. Good luck! We saved a lot of money on formula and bottles and time!

Kat - posted on 06/25/2010

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As long as the child wants to breastfeed you allow it, after all the breast is best. My son breastfed for 4 months and stopped, my daughter is 6 months and she still takes the breast. In the long run it is up to you

Lety - posted on 06/25/2010

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the longer the better, My son is 4 months and still breastfeeding, we will continue until we can, is not the most convinient for me but is the best for babies, they were born to be breastfeed

Sue - posted on 06/25/2010

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my 3 older kids all self weaned at about 36 months - give or take a month or 2. my 2 little ones are both under 3 so we are still nursing. yea nursing 2 toddlers is a nuisance some days but one day it will be over so i will savor it while the cuddles and closeness last.

Stacey - posted on 06/25/2010

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My first was 9 mo. and my second was 6 mo. They both weaned themselves and I was very ok with it.

Michelle - posted on 06/25/2010

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BF is very good for both Mom & baby as most have already posted. For every so many months (every 8 months I think) you bf your chances of ever having breast cancer are decreased by like 10%. Benefits for baby are amazing. I certainly wouldn't put down any mother who had problems and just couldn't bf, but if you are able and willing, I say go for it as long as you can. I certainly want what's best for my children and breast is best until at least the age of 2. My 1st stopped at about 9 months, my 2nd I weaned at 20 months because I was pregnant again, and my 3rd is almost 17 months and he's still loving it. Of course it's not an all day thing any more. I'm a nursing student now and he is at sitter's all day, but usually as soon as I get home from class (which I don't mind because I get to sit and hold him for a few minutes after a long day), at bed time, then sometime toward morning before I get up to get ready for the day. I enjoy the few minutes it takes now that he's so busy to just sit and bond. (let alone the benefits) If you're feeling uneasy about bf when they're older you can always pump and give it to them in numerous ways. You can actually make foods for them with breast milk including icecream and other snacks. You can find recipes online. You can feed these to all your children so they're getting the benefits as well. Best of luck in whatever you decide. It's so nice to see so many other mom's that have bf their children for extended periods of time.

Michelle - posted on 06/25/2010

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My twins had mama's milk for 14 months. I say it like that because my boys were 10 weeks early and in the NICU for 5 1/2 weeks. They could not eat right away so I pumped to bring my milk in. I pumped every three hours around the clock just like I would had the boys been able to nurse right away. By the time I was allowed to nurse my boys they had already been introduced to my breast milk through a bottle. They never would latch on to the breast after having the bottle so I did the next best thing. I was determind to give them my breast milk so I pumped and gave them my milk through a bottle till they were 14 months. I slowly introduced them to whole milk at 13 months and as they drank more whole milk I reduced how often I pumped. Eventually they switched to whole milk completely and I was able to quite pumping. It took me a year to completely dry up. I was upset that I could not nurse my boys directly from the breast. Pumping was a lot of extra work, but I wanted the best for my boys so I did what I had to do.

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