How long are you supposed to breastfeed for?


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Carol - posted on 12/18/2009




The WHO and AAFP (and other major medical organizations) recommend EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding (no water, juice, solids etc) for a MINIMUM of 6 months. After that time continued BF (with complimentary solids if desired) is recommended for a MINIMUM of 2 years and as long thereafter as mom and baby desire. There are MANY benefits for continuing to BF beyond the first year and around the world nursing toddlers and preschoolers are common.

You can read about some of the benefits here:

Carla - posted on 12/18/2009




Thanks a lot guys, you have been very helpful.My little one is a month and a half so she's gotta a ways to go

Minnie - posted on 12/17/2009




According to LLLI "ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need."

For me this means natural duration- I am allowing my daughter to self-wean.

According to the research of anthropologist and professor of nutrition Katherine Dettwyler, the biological age of natural weaning appears to be somewhere between 2.5 and 7 years of age.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months and then breastfeeding along with complementary foods for a minimum of two years.

Janet - posted on 12/17/2009




My 2 older children breastfeed for a year, then went straight onto sippy cups. (Neither of them ever had a bottle of formal, milk or breastmilk!) My youngest is 7 months and I am breastfeeding him, with hopefully the same outcome as my older two children. For me personally i think a complete year is the best, to possibly a little longer.

Lorraine - posted on 12/17/2009




I don't think there is a set time you should breast feed for, although I think it is recommended to breastfeed for at least 6 months. You can feed longer than that for as long as you are comfortable with it. I stopped feeding when they started biting too much. Hope this helps you :)

Rebecca - posted on 12/17/2009




Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection. Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child


Alina - posted on 12/17/2009




its a personal choice but they recommend at least 6 months. my babies doctor told me there is really no extra benefit after 1 year. (i was upset that he stopped right after his first birthday) he said the value of the milk goes down after i year but that he was glad i did it for a year. he said one year is the best time frame. hope this helped.

[deleted account]

It is recommended 6 months exclusively, I guess up to 2 years+

I breastfed my first exclusively 6 months and along with solids until he was 13 months. by then he was just bfing once just before bed.

My second is 6 months this weekend and I haven't introduced solids yet. I plan to go for the 1 year mark again.

It is really up to you and your baby. How you feel.

Shaina - posted on 12/17/2009




As long as you and your baby want. There is no set time limit. My son is 9 months and we're going strong. If your looking for support and questions answered you can join a local LLL. They're wonderful! (and here of course) Good luck!

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