What are the benefits of continuing to pump and provide breast milk for my child after six months of age vs. moving to formula? I was unable to get my baby to latch on when she was first born. I had a large number of health problems that made it difficult physically to do. I have been pumping breast milk and feeding it to her via the bottle since she was born. I am trying to decide if I should continue to do so until she is a year or change over to formula. I get up every three hours to pump in order to have enough. I guess I am unsure if the physical benefits are that important after the age of six months? Thoughts? I know she doesn't get all the emotional benefits with bonding and closeness which makes me sad...

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Celeste - posted on 01/28/2012

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Of course breast milk has benefits past 6 months! Breast milk always has nutritional value/benefits for how ever long you nurse/pump. If you can do it, I'd continue to pump to a year.

Cassie - posted on 01/27/2012

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If you are willing to do it, it is worth it.

Firstly - my lactation consultant recommended "More Milk Plus" by MotherLove (they have a website where you can find local suppliers, or order online.) when I went back to work, because I was having trouble pumping enough. You take 3 a day, and it definitely helps, within a couple days. Then, you wouldn't have to wake up every 3 hours. (I know how much of a struggle this is, bc wth my first they gave me all these artificial things to try to hel her to latch on... which make it hard for her to latch on. I ended up breastfeeding her with a silicone nipple over my own, and then pumping afterwards on top of that!!! I didn't get much sleep and I only lasted about 4 months unfortunately)

Secondly - Breastfeeding DEFINITELY, WITHOUT A DOUBT!!! prevents diaper rash!!! My son just turned one and I weaned him for a few reasons: 1, teeth=Ouch! 2, I was planning to start at around 1yr since he can have regular milk. 3, I am pregnant again and although the lactation consultant said it's okay in the beginning, I definitely had cramping after I fed him each time. I think maybe in his whole life he had 1 rash while I was breastfeeding... once I switched to formula (and it has only been maybe a month or maybe 2) he has had 3+ rashes. I just feel bad for him, no one likes having a rash. So, even if she is not getting the emotional benefits (which I think is minimal, bc if you are holding her and hugging her, etc, she is still getting bonding time with yoU!) there are still plenty of physical benefits.

Just a few things I thought might help :) Are you working? That definitely will have an impact on your decision!

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