How long did you exclusively breast feed?

Whitney - posted on 03/11/2009 ( 38 moms have responded )

35

8

3

I'm looking for support from other moms who exclusively breast fed for longer than "normal". Due to my daughters allergies already and our family history my Dr. wants me to EBF for as long as possible so we can limit our chances for food allergies. My goal is 9 months! Nothing but mommas milk! She is 4 1/2 mos old now... I'm already feeling like it will never end.



How long did you EBF? Why did you do it and how did you get through it?? People around me don't seem very excited or supportive.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Amy - posted on 03/14/2009

14

35

2

hi. i have 3 kids my eldest was mixed breast and bottle and i only lasted 3months with her which I feel quite sad about.  However, I EBF my 2nd (now 2yr 8mnth) for 6mnths and introduced solids whilst still nursing on demand all the way through until he was 19mnth old.  I only weaned him off me as I was 4mnth pregnant with my 3rd child and working shifts, it was a bit of a wrench but he we have a wonderful bond and he still loves to come for a cuddle before bed. He used to take a bottle (tommee tippee closer to nature) of expressed milk happily from my partner but preferred mummy in person if he could! My youngest is now 8mnth old and still exclusively BF, he began on solids at 6and half months as he was suffering badly with teething pains and like his brother, refuses a dummy and teething gel, so I gave carrot sticks, apple slices etc to gnaw on and these led to his interest in family food so he enjoys the same home cooked foods as the rest of us.  He refuses a bottle or cup of any kind at the minute but I am slowly introducing water in a doidy cup (ask your HV). 



Do what you feel is right for you and your family, they are the most important ppl and if others do not approve or understand then it's not for you to worry about, as you are being the best mother you can be and that's what counts :-)



I am also a Breast Feeding Peer Supporter volunteering through Surestart, we have a local BF cafe once a week for mums who are, have or are thinking about breast feeding to come along to chat, have coffee and cake and ask questions at without embarrasment.  If you have a local Surestart Children Centre in your area ask them if they have anything similar as this may give you that bit of extra support you need to keep going with confidence.



Take care and do whatever is best for you and baby

[deleted account]

My son starting eating solids at 5-6 months, but at almost a year still nurses at least 8-10 times a day in addition to whatever solids he eats.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

38 Comments

View replies by

PK - posted on 11/18/2012

1

0

0

My LO is 11.5 months and all he has breastmilk. I admit at some points it gets tough like when were at a family party and he wants to nurse, my family will bug me why I have to go and nurse, cant I just give him some cake? But I'll keep to it and nursing doesnt take him nearly as long now - its self-service!

But there are so many things that keep me going:

Knowing what a healthy start he is getting to life and how much junk he would most likely be consuming otherwise;

Ease! Have you tried to work with a fussy baby? there is no end to the food prep and throwing out food bc of baby's rapidly changing likes and dislikes;

the bonding of mom and baby, theres nothing like nursing a 'mature' baby.

Marie - posted on 03/14/2009

266

73

25

Here's a tip for EVERY breastfeeding mom. MEDELA has some fantastic products that are a great help! Medela makes the nipple shields (though I personally used mine only for the first 2 weeks to help with Alexander's latch). I ALSO bought their nipple shapers/shields. On me the shields actually help give me a "triangular" nipple making it easier for Alexander to latch. Here's the site: http://medgrid.medela.ch/CDN/breastfeedi...

Kristin - posted on 03/14/2009

34

39

1

I have been trying myself to EBF Ainsley, but it got to the point where there needed to be something else to help her get full I guess would be the best way to put it so I started her on rice cereal at 5 months which she loved. I just found that I felt like a milk cow and was getting really sore (especially with the sprout of her two teeth). I do however breast feed in between meals and throughout the night.

Have you thought about rice cereal just to help give you a break? I say good job at wanting to go that long but if your feeling drained and sore by EBF then take a break and try feeding really liquidy cereal at first. The doctor says its "normal" to start feeding solids at a certain time but it totally depends on your baby. Like I said, mine just needed a little extra.

Good Luck tho!

Marie - posted on 03/14/2009

266

73

25

Quoting Kathy:

I exclusively breastfed for 12 months. I have a cousin who went for 14 months. It's totally normal and your supply will match the demand. You should check into the idea of baby led weaning, which is where you skip the "normal" baby food plan and let her eat from your plate when she's ready. Good luck!



While I am not exclusively breastfeeding, I am following the baby led weaning concept. I introduced Alexander to rice cereal and gradually introduced other cereals. It's unfortunate that most stage 2 (8 Months +) cereals contain milk products.



 



In fact if my milk supply is low I return to exclusive breastfeeding.  I learned to put Alex on the breast first BEFORE feeding him his cereal or supper.  He's still only getting 2 meals of solids per day, with breast in the morning and twice before bed.

[deleted account]

We did until my daughter began to really show interest in our food (around 6 1/2 months) at meal times and then slowly introduced solids (we're still introducing and breastmilk is still her #1 and will be until she's at least a year!) She's 7 1/2 months now and still prefers me to food. Many family members and others criticized because they just don't understand - the medical advice from when they had their babies is much different than it is today - even my "old school" pediatrician suggested giving my daughter water and cereal around 2-3 months which I promptly ignored because my nurses at the health unit were much more up-to-date with their info. Go with your instinct and enjoy nursing as long as you'd like to - I believe it's as important for mommy's health as it is for baby's :)

Jane - posted on 03/14/2009

9

0

0

EBF both kids to 6 monhs.  Friend of mine went to 12 months.  RE: Allergies (and yes your going to think I'm crazy here) have you thought about acupuncture.  My good friends son was allergic to soy and dairy for the first three years (violent vomitting and cramping), within a few months of starting acupunture treatment he was "cured" of his allergies.  She underwent treatment herself during the pregnancy of her second and he is allergy free, and sleeps like a log.  I was skeptical but not anymore.  She went to an acupuncture therapist who specialised in allergies (huge waitlist and all).  By the way, my first was breastfed into the pregnancy of my second (2.25 years) and the second is still going strong (2.2 years), tonnes of looks, lots of comments but in the end its only between you and your baby.  Enjoy!

Minnie - posted on 03/14/2009

1

11

0

Go for as long as you can! It's so good for them. My daughters are sick less often compared to other children. Their sicknesses don't last too long either. It'll end before you know it. Then, you'll start to miss it like I did.

Whitney - posted on 03/14/2009

35

8

3

Thank you guys so much for all the advice and support! It has already really helped me and given me confidence to make it longer!

[deleted account]

Oh I wanted to add that you may want to look for a BF support group. Check with La Leche or your local hospital. I joined one when my daughter was 6 wks old and we are all still great friends. Now we have playdates. Many of us are still breastfeeding. I think the support of other moms really helps. 

[deleted account]

I BF'ed exclusively for 7 months and she is 19 months now. I'm still BF'ing 2x day. My pedi was supportive. My daughter was over 50% in everything, healthy and a good eater so I didn't really see the need to introduce solids. I was concerned about allergies and all of the various toxins etc in food today. There is nothing better then breastmilk! My daughter is a great eater now! I think that is because of all of the different tastes she experienced through my breat milk.  She eats pretty much anything I give her and she is in the 55% weight and 85% height. Oh and no allergies!



Go for it! 

Anne-Odile - posted on 03/12/2009

27

1

1

My daughter will be 1 in a couple weeks. I EBF her until 7.5 months, when I started introducing solids (she was showing interest in it). However, she didn't start liking solids until approx 9 months or so, so I didn't push it. She now likes solids, and feeds herself from the tray in front of her. I only give her fresh organic food that I cook myself. I also give her organic oatmeal for the extra iron and the fiber, but I don't think babies absorb as much of the iron from oatmeal as they do from your own breatmilk. However, this is in addition to me breastfeeding her. I still BF her as much as before. I have no idea when she'll start nursing less... We'll see. We'll play it by ear...



Whitney, you are doing wonderful! Keep on doing the great job you are doing. I also was intimidated at the prospect of nursing for longer than today's average statistics. What helped me was getting together with like-minded moms, so we have supported and encouraged each other along the way. If this isn't an option in your area, then following forums like this one will hopefully give you the encouragement you need to keep on providing the best for your baby.

Heather - posted on 03/11/2009

1

5

0

I exclusively breast-fed both of my daughters until age 6 months.  I completely weaned them of breast-feeding by age 1 and neither one of them minded at all.  I know it may feel like it'll never end but it will!  Don't worry about those around you, do what you feel is best for you and your baby.

Keela - posted on 03/11/2009

261

14

33

My exclusively breast fed me until I was one. She introduced solids at one but kept breast feeding me until I was two. I am currently expecting my first and hope to EBF her for as long as possible although a year does seem like an eternity! Good Luck to YOU!

Gillian - posted on 03/11/2009

143

2

13

Once solids start at 6 months it will get better enjoy it while you can cause it be gone before you know it

Carolyn - posted on 03/11/2009

7

9

0

I breast fed my son for 6 months exclusively and then breastfed while introducing foods.  It was worth it.  I am on now on baby 2 and have been breastfeeding for almost 7 weeks now.  I know 9 months seems like a long time but when it is over it won't seem that long really. 



You always have to do what you and your dr think are best and just let people say what they say.  People will always have an opinion but you are in charge of making the best decisions for your daughter. 



The thing that got me through was the bond it created with my son and I and how much I knew it was good for him.  Same with my 7 week old daughter.  YOU CAN DO IT!



 

User - posted on 03/11/2009

89

0

6

I did it for 7 mo and the only reason I stared solids was bc my boy seemed hungry.  I think it's INSANE what  kind of food people give to such young babies.  Their digestive systems are not ready for it.  I am in "July 2008" community and it is crazy to see that people give hot dogs, french fries, all kinds of meats to their 7-8 mo olds.



I think what you are doing is great and unless your dr tells you otherwise (bc your baby is not gaining weight or something), go for it!!!!



And don't pay attention to people, everyone thinks they are an expeert, but at the end of the day you have to feel good about what you are doing for your baby!



Good luck!!!!

Michal - posted on 03/11/2009

5

16

0

My daughter just turn 1 and I still do it!!!



Don't let PEOPLE to put you down it is normal and healty more then any food out there do it antil you will feel like!!!



You CAN DO IT!!  GO GIRL!!

Lisa - posted on 03/11/2009

8

51

1

My daughter didn't wean until after her 2nd birthday. I pumped at work until she was 10 months old.

Emily - posted on 03/11/2009

1,065

17

124

I started introducing solids to my kids around 6 months, but they didn't really start eating until 9 months, and didn't eat enough for nutrition until well after a year. My 14 month old just recently started showing a REAL interest in eating full meals with the family.

I say go for it! I have a good friend who EBF for more than 2 years with her oldest because of allergies and a texture sensitivity that her daughter had. Breastmilk is more than enough nutrition for the first year or two of life as long as you're eating healthy!

And definitely nurse as long as possible, or as long as you both want to (you and baby). There are so many extra benefits. The WHO recommends EBF for 6 months then continued nursing for until at least age 2. I gently weaned my second daughter at 2 years 8 months because I was done nursing two kids, and felt it was the right time for her. Just a few nights ago my oldest asked my second if she wanted "mommy milk". She kind of laughed and told her that she was a big girl now and didn't get mommy milk anymore. It actually kind of made me sad. We had a wonderful nursing relationship, and I'm glad it lasted as long as it did.

Þórey - posted on 03/11/2009

16

13

2

I think 9 months is a great goal and you will be just fine :) Boost your confidence with the fact that its THE best for your baby and a very special bond between the two of you. Just enjoy it and ignore people who want you to feed your baby their way instead of yours ;o)

Allison - posted on 03/11/2009

906

20

158

WRT completely delaying solids for a year - I'm not sure I'm for that. I really believe that having exposure to foods and textures is very important for oral motor development. Kids need to practice and develop the muscles in their mouths and tongue and learn how to work with foods. I've seen kids have texture aversions and have problems with eating. So I guess I would say that offering foods and allowing exploration is important to do in the second-half of the first year, but it's not really important that they actually ingest it. I'm not an SLP (speech-language pathologist) but have talked to some about this topic and they agree that some exposure and practice is probably better for many kids. Not really any research on this right now, though.

[deleted account]

Oh yeah...I don't plan on totally weaning her until she's good and ready.  If she wants to nurse at bedtimes and off and on until she's 2 that's alright with me.  I think our society is so silly about rushing babies to grow up.

[deleted account]

Way to go!!  I am planning on 6 mo. at least, maybe even 9 (Dr. thinks it's best) All my friends keep suggesting I give her cereal and such...but I am going to hold out.  My daughter's Dr. says they really don't need solids because breastmilk has everything they need.  I have been considering exclusive breastfeeding for longer and am also curious of those who have done it for 9-12 months.  I think it would be cool to make it to 12 mo.  I don't think there is any rush at all getting baby to take solids...they are still babies and breastfeeding for longer certainly won't hurt them - if anything it's good for them. 

Allison - posted on 03/11/2009

906

20

158

I also EBF until 6 months, when we started introducing foods on a very slow and relaxed basis. Both my kids weren't really consuming "meals" until 9 months or so, and still very irregularly...mostly I let them play with the food. I was also very careful about introducing high-allergen foods: NO eggs, milk, or wheat until after 1 year (those are my own food allergies), NO strawberries until after 2, and NO nuts or shellfish until after 3. I did start yogurt before a year because of the good cultures in it, but otherwise we were very strict with those rules. It's hard to find foods to feed - crackers seem to be a popular food for infants! But we managed. I used the website http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/ for good information and food ideas.

Katie - posted on 03/11/2009

150

15

25

Like Tamara, I exclusively breastfed (not even a bottle for water or EBM) until 6 months, and then very gradually introduced solids, and allowed sips of water from an open cup.
On a purely emotional level, I'd have loved to have been ordered by a doctor to exclusively breastfeed even longer! In the grand scheme of things, it's such a short part of their lives, so enjoy it! Try not to think of it as never ending, but rather an extension of that amazing bond - there's no relationship like it! We'll support you!! Keep going!

Kathy - posted on 03/11/2009

8

5

1

Quoting Whitney:



Quoting Kathy:

I exclusively breastfed for 12 months. I have a cousin who went for 14 months. It's totally normal and your supply will match the demand. You should check into the idea of baby led weaning, which is where you skip the "normal" baby food plan and let her eat from your plate when she's ready. Good luck!






Oh that's so great to hear you made it 12 months! Did you ever have any problems with the bottle? My daughter LOVES the bottle because it's so easy! I have a hard time when we go on dates and she gets a bottle. The next time I go to feed her she is fussy because it's not as easy...Also I've heard of baby led weaning... Do you know where I would find more information on that?






After being in the NICU 4 days she had some latching issues (I think the bottle is so easy that she didn't want to latch).  Once we figured out latching, I didn't dare introduce a bottle again, so although it really ties you down, I didn't mind it and never used a bottle again.  It's actually better for them to have to suck.  So I would skip the bottle altogether. 

Sekayi - posted on 03/11/2009

39

10

0

You have our support!! You keep on give your lil one mamas milk as long as she wants it.

Lise - posted on 03/11/2009

56

7

2

I waited until 6.5 months. I was hoping that adding in solids would help her sleep through the night, but it only resulted in decreasing her nursing during the day. In retrospect, I would have waited longer because the nutrients in breastmilk are far more beneficial than what she is getting from solids.



Apart from her first couple of days when she was in the NICU we've never used formula.

Emily - posted on 03/11/2009

257

10

20

www.babyledweaning.com



 



There's also a book by Gill Rapley, available from Amazon and probably from your local bookstore.



We love it!

Whitney - posted on 03/11/2009

35

8

3

Quoting Kathy:

I exclusively breastfed for 12 months. I have a cousin who went for 14 months. It's totally normal and your supply will match the demand. You should check into the idea of baby led weaning, which is where you skip the "normal" baby food plan and let her eat from your plate when she's ready. Good luck!



Oh that's so great to hear you made it 12 months! Did you ever have any problems with the bottle? My daughter LOVES the bottle because it's so easy! I have a hard time when we go on dates and she gets a bottle. The next time I go to feed her she is fussy because it's not as easy...Also I've heard of baby led weaning... Do you know where I would find more information on that?

Emily - posted on 03/11/2009

257

10

20

same as Tamara - 6 months and now a slow introduction of solids (baby-led weaning) - he's 8 mos. now



I think you're being very wise... there's no need to rush!

Whitney - posted on 03/11/2009

35

8

3

Thanks for the support. People think I'm crazy and my family keeps bugging me asking when she's going to start eating foods. I keep telling them that they say all the baby needs for the first year is breast milk, but because its not "the norm" they aren't convinced. *shrug*

Tamara - posted on 03/11/2009

1,192

11

104

Quoting Whitney:



Thanks for the support. People think I'm crazy and my family keeps bugging me asking when she's going to start eating foods. I keep telling them that they say all the baby needs for the first year is breast milk, but because its not "the norm" they aren't convinced. *shrug*





I hear ya.  I often pulled "The doctor says" card when I was getting hassled about starting solids and than later on, weaning.  You're totally welcome.



 



As for how I got through it, I took things one day at a time and on days where I was having a bad time of it, an hour at a time.  Just know that you can do it, you will do it, and there is nothing that can stop you. :)

Kathy - posted on 03/11/2009

8

5

1

I exclusively breastfed for 12 months. I have a cousin who went for 14 months. It's totally normal and your supply will match the demand. You should check into the idea of baby led weaning, which is where you skip the "normal" baby food plan and let her eat from your plate when she's ready. Good luck!

Whitney - posted on 03/11/2009

35

8

3

Thanks for the support. People think I'm crazy and my family keeps bugging me asking when she's going to start eating foods. I keep telling them that they say all the baby needs for the first year is breast milk, but because its not "the norm" they aren't convinced. *shrug*

Tamara - posted on 03/11/2009

1,192

11

104

6 months and than we slowly introduced solids. I say go you! 9 months is a great goal for doing nothing but momma milk! You can do it!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms