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How Long Did You Breastfeed?

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Every mom has a different story about what worked best for her and her baby.  Some moms exclusively breastfeed.  Some exclusively formula feed. Some do a mixture of the two.  And as for introducing solids, there’s a range here as well.  Some pediatricians recommend starting solids at 4 months. Some say later.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.  And then continuing breastfeeding until at least 12 months.

Well, there’s a new editorial by some researchers in the UK who say exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months has some problems.  Here’s the story from ABC.com Watch this video.  And an important point that comes up at the end of the video, the researchers received funding at some point in the three years prior to the editorial from baby formula and food companies.



5 Responses to “How Long Did You Breastfeed?”

I breastfed my first for 15 1/2 months. Self-weaned (don’t offer/don’t refuse). Tried to do that with my second and after 2 1/2 years had to cut him off. Will try that with my 3rd also. Happy to say no formula AT ALL with 2nd and 3rd. Didn’t know the risks of formula at the time, so thought it was ok.

My first was given solids at 6 mo., 2nd didn’t eat solids til 10 months! Total Boob man! My 3rd is just yesterday 6 months and has been given solids for about 2-3 weeks. After she started grabbing our spoons I knew. Each baby is different…recommendations are just that…recommendations. The key is research…finding out WHY the recommendations.

My first daughter was exclusively breastfed until we started solids at six months. She continued nursing through my second pregnancy, although we ended up supplementing due to decreased supply, and now at 16 months is back to nursing several times a day. She frequently nurses simultaneously with her 5-week-old sister, whom I also intend to nurse exclusively until roughly the six-month mark.

Every baby is different, but I have a hunch regarding starting solids. So many moms comment that “breastmilk suddenly wasn’t enough for my baby, so we started solids.” For at least some moms, I’d bet the perceived inadequacy lines up with a strong growth spurt on the part of baby, when baby is likely to want to nurse much more frequently and for longer periods of time. Baby is really trying to increase mama’s supply naturally in response, not communicate that breastmilk is not enough.

Breastfed my first son for 23 months…he was an all day, all night nurser! It was hard, but worth it. My second son is 7 months and its a totally different experience! Might I add that since the first latch after birth it was easier and just totally natural. Check out my site sometime if you enjoy greener parenting!!

Emily, I agree with your thought on growth spurts being misunderstood as inadequate supply. I was told average growth spurts happened at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. That’s a lot when you think about it.

I averaged about 2 years per kid overall. The first nursed for 22 months, the second 26 months, and the last 16months.

I found that once that first year was over it was relatively easy to move to morning and evening only, unless they were sick or having a meltdown for some reason.

I introduced my first baby to solids at 4 months, which was quite ridiculous. The other two I waited until they were grabbing for our forks which was closer to 6 months – and we skipped the cereal and went straight for veggies as a start.

Hi Andi,

I’m still nursing L — and he is almost 4 1/2 years old now :) Can’t believe it but we both love it. We don’t nurse in public anymore, he doesn’t ask, but he nurses for comfort when we cuddle on the sofa, and he nurses to sleep every night.

Dagmar
Dagmar’s momsense

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