When to stop breastfeeding??

Renae Alissa - posted on 03/23/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Hello-

I am wondering how long do you have to breast feed? My baby was a late pre term baby and she was born at 36 1/2 weeks. At the hospital she lost some weight and they recommended bottle feeding her. She is mostly formula fed now, and I try to breastfeed her once or twice a day and the rest of the time it's formula. I am having some difficulty stopping the breastfeeding, but really want to becuase I did not get that much milk in and she is kind of use to the formula now.

Can someone in this circle please provide some insight? I am feeling a little down becuase I wish I would have tried to breasfeed her a little more. I want to make sure I am doing the right thing for me and my baby.

Thanks,
Renae

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Sarah - posted on 03/25/2010

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You can always increase the amount you breastfeed her. The more you let her nurse, the more milk your body will make.

Christa - posted on 03/24/2010

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They recommend at least six months to get all the benefits. I did my first one for a year. There are so many benefits for baby and you from breastfeeding. It's not too late to get her on the breast, just start breast feeding her everyfeeding. Let her eat what's there and then give her formula to fill her up. Let her suck on you as long as she wants, this will help your milk supply increase. You can also pump after she's finished, you milk should catch up. She's still young enough you should be able to do this if its what you want. If not there are millions of healthy happy babies that are formula fed. Just make sure you do what you think is best.

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Kristi - posted on 04/05/2010

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Renae, I took had a preterm baby at 36 weeks. My baby had low birth weight which is why we had him early 3 lbs 15.6 oz. The hospital encouraged me to pump and bottle feed to ensure was being fed. He was healthy, just small and couldn't afford to loose weight. He's up to 7lbs 5 weeks later. So, he is getting the bottle, but expressed milk rather than formula. If you are considering this rather than formula I will tell you it is very time consuming. We work with Logan daily and have worked with a lactation consultant twice to get him on breast. We offer the breast for 45 mins max (if he is interested) When he looses interested or is just too tired we bottle feed, and then pump. The process takes about 1 1/2 hours by the time you work diaper changes and holding him into it. I have learned that feeding is supply and demand, so if you worked up a good milk supply in the beginning you may be able to pump and get her strength so she can eat on breast. Also, our Dr. had us add some Neosure Formula 1 tsp to 90 ml of breast milk in the bottle. This helped give him extra calories to get to this point. Otherwise, you will know what is best for you and your little one. Lots of people change from breast to formula and their babies are just fine :-) Good Luck!

Angie - posted on 04/02/2010

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Have you tried fenugreek to increase your supply? If you take 2 caplets 4 times a day it works really fast, at least for me it did. I did for just one day and ended up producing way too much so I stopped. My daughter has a disorganized suck and problems latching on so I use a nipple guard and feed her mostly pumped milk, I only nurse at night, mainly to clam her down so she falls asleep after her bottle. I plan on reassessing the situation at 3 or 6 months but at this point, don't see breastfeeding lasting longer than that.
Good Luck

Nicole - posted on 03/30/2010

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Only you will know what's best for you. No one can tell you what you feel is best. I've gotten my daughter down to breastfeeding only after work hours. During the day she eats formula only. Don't let anyone here tell you that you have to breastfeed. Sometimes its just not possible. People tend to try to make you feel guilty for wanting to strictly formula feed and I'm here to tell you that you shouldn't. It's your decision. I wasn't making enough milk either. It wasn't until I started formula feeding more that I would get enough milk to feed her. She breastfeeds at 9 pm and 3 am. The rest of the time is all formula. I don't plan on feeding my daughter a full year. When my daughter starts sleeping through the night is when I will stop. Since I only breastfeed at night its the only thing keeping me breastfeeding right now.

Alana - posted on 03/30/2010

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Let me start out by saying DO NOT feel down on yourself. Mother knows best and you were doing what was right for you and your baby at that time. I'm exclusively breastfeeding, but I don't know your situation and truly believe that formula feeding isn't as bad as lots of people make it out to be, especially with the advances in formula now-a-days.
Recommended breastfeeding time is 6 months, but MANY MANY mothers choose to supplement with formula, or even completely bottle feed them either formula or breastmilk. They do what is best for their babies.
Being stressed out is neither good for you nor the little one, so you make a decision based on that. If you're really feeling deadset on breastfeeding look up La Leche League in your area, or go to a lactation consultant. There's lots of help out there for breastfeeding moms, but if you do choose formula, don't be disappointed in yourself. :)
Best of luck!!

Chell - posted on 03/29/2010

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I had my first daughter in July 2007, her dad walked out on us when she was 2 weeks old. Up to that point I had been expressing (as she wouldn't latch on), by about 3 days later I couldn't do it anymore and switched to formula. I did this after speaking to the health visitor, who told me that the first 2 weeks are the most important, anything after that is great but most of the antibodies needed to build up babies immune system are in place.
I knew I was doing the right thing, but I did feel a little down because I couldn't continue.

Katie - posted on 03/29/2010

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I don't have much new to add, but want to offer support. Only you can determine what feels right for you and your baby. It is true that you should be able to increase your breast milk supply by offering your baby more feedings as well as pumping. If you enjoy breastfeeding, try to find a relaxing place in which to nurse- this could help with milk production as well. Look for support in your community as well. Le Leche League: http://www.llli.org/ is a good place to find information and support.



I breastfed my first son for 2.5 years (he didn't want to stop-- it was wonderful comfort for him), and currently exclusively breastfeed my 6-week old. I hope to be able to nurse for a year, longer if he wants to continue, shorter if he doesn't. But this is what worked for us, so I encourage you to find what feels right for you.



Best of luck!

Nikki - posted on 03/29/2010

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No one will tell you formula is just as good as breastmilk. But it is also not harmful millions of babies grow up on formula and are perfectly happy and healthy, so dont feel bad if that is what works for you. I had trouble breastfeeding but didn't want to give up so I pump. It is pretty easy sort of time consuming I pump every three hours and every four to six at night. I am able to freeze some milk just about everyday and though not ideal I at least feel like I he is getting my milk that is tailor made for him.

Kylie - posted on 03/29/2010

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the most thing that matters is that u r comfortable with what u r feeding her and that she is getting enough to eat. my first child was on formula at 6 weeks because of the preasure of it and not having enough milk but this time round i told my self that if it wasnt going to happen i would put him straight on to formula now at nearly 8 weeks i am still trying to feed him as it helps with weight loss but he has formular as well but i try and just give him bottle it seems as though he likes the breast and half the time wants it to go to sleep.but it is tolally up to u and ur daughter my 2.5 year old is nice and healthy and happy now on milk. hope it helps

Amy - posted on 03/25/2010

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I know it's not what you asked, but it's completely normal for babies to lose up to 10% of their body weight after birth. It's due to expending a lot more calories outside the womb, and not being fed through the umbilical cord. You can google it, if you want. You don't need to supplement just because they lose weight. I'm very surprised the nurses told you that.

But like Christa said, it's totally possible to work up to completely breastfeeding because the longer you breastfeed, the longer the baby will get the benefits, up to a year, I've read. After that, they need more solids, and the amount of breastmilk they actually get is inconsequential, although I would think some is better than none. There's no rule that says you have to breastfeed for any set amount of time. The other moms are right - the more you nurse, the more milk you're going to have.

Deb - posted on 03/25/2010

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My plan was to breastfeed for six months, but mother nature had other ideas. My milk starting drying up at four weeks, the Dr gave me a medicine to help increast milk production, but the side effects were horrible and I could only take it for a week. I dried up completely at 7 weeks. I felt so bad for a while that I had failed my baby girl, but I did what I could and it sounds like you are doing all you can. My baby is healthy and gaining weight and at the end of the day that is all that matters. HUGS

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