June 2013 Moms

Innocent Bystander - A BF Debate

Last night my H and I went out to dinner w/ a group of his work buddies.  Several of the wives and I were having a conversation about BF'ing.  They asked me what my intentions were, and if I was going to FF or BF.  I told them that I plan on BF'ing.  Two of the women breastfed and were giving me tips and suggestions.  One of the ladies then made a comment about not BF'ing past one year with either of her children, and she "didn't understand why some women choose to do so".  Well the other lady said, "I BF'ed my daughter until she was 29 months, and the ONLY reason I weened that soon was because she started to bite me and leave marks" (I cant make this stuff up). Well, that's when all helll broke loose.

The lady who stopped at 12 months (her name is L) said that it seems sexual to do it for anything longer, and the lady who BF'ed for 29 months (her name is T) told her that she was mildly retarted to think that way.  I just sat their and watched the drama unfold at that point b/c it got pretty tense, and ended with the husbands having to suggest it was time to leave (I didn't even get to eat dessert!!!).

So, here is the question that I refused to ask last night for fear of my head being bit off... What is the benefit of BF'ing longer than what a child would be on formula for and at when should you stop?  I know there is a lot of debate in this topic, but I am genuinely curious.  I plan on BF'ing for the first 12 months, but didn't really think to continue for any longer b/c that's when I would stop FF'ing... So, please, enlighten me.

Also, if you are planning on BF'ing, how long do you intend to do so and why?

 

TTC: 07/2012 - BFP: 9/30/12 - EDD: 6/9/13

Radley Quinn was fashionably late via induction on 6/17/13

 

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Re: Innocent Bystander - A BF Debate

  • The benefit is really just that BM is better for your kid. The longer they are drinking it the better.

    It sounds like L has issues. There is nothing at all sexual about BF. I repeat, NOTHING. The fact that she even went there rather than just say they weened at 12 months and leave it at that is so weird to me. I just make it a rule not to hate on how anyone feeds their kid. BF, extended BF, formula, it doesn't matter as long as mom and baby are happy.

    ETA: PS, sorry you missed dessert! That's a bummer. 

    PCOS Dx 12.08 / BFP! 4.22.10 DS1 born 1.4.11 DS2 born 6.19.13
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  • This story made me laugh, so thank you!

    I plan on nursing this little guy, but I don't know when I'll stop. I never nursed dd because of medications I had to be on, and she didn't get sick once, the entire time she was on formula. I stopped her cold turkey on her first birthday, and she never looked back! I know there truly is a lot of debate, but dd was super healthy even without being bf. I was sad that I couldn't, but glad it worked so well.
  • With a quick web search, I found this site that lays it out pretty simply:

    http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/ebf-benefits/

    Basically, by breastfeeding longer than a year, you're just maximizing on all the benefits for baby and mom that happen when you breastfeed for any length of time.

    Personally, I breastfed my daughter until shortly after she turned two. She naturally weaned at that point, and it seemed to coincide with the time that I felt I needed to be done. Until then, though, we both really enjoyed the time spent nursing - it's time when the two of you are completely connected and in tune.

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  • That's a tough one! Since I'm not all the way through my cup of coffee yet, I'll see what I can pull out of my rear ;)

     I BF my son for about 30 months; the only reason we stopped was a preg (which I lost) this summer. It was just too painful to continue. He weaned pretty gently, thank goodness. So, 30 months was much longer than I anticipated nursing. I had set like a 6 month goal, then a year, then it was "I'm not sure I can get this kid to stop!" DS was a very high needs baby, (still high needs), and BF was my secret weapon. He ended up being very picky food-wise (still is), and BF made sure he was getting some sort of nutrition.  I think it was the only way for him to stay on the growth charts!  Not to mention, when he was BF he was the healthiest he had ever been.  So many benefits (immunity wise) that don't change or stop once a baby hits a magic age. 

    But it's not for everyone and I'm of the mindset you do what you can, or what you feel comfortable with, whether that's FF or whatever.  The "It's Sexual!" argument is bull, though.  It's more that American society is uncomfortable with nursing (it seems) past the baby stage.  But it worked for us and I definitely plan on BF for as long as I can with this new one.   

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  • The World Health Organization actually recommends BF up to 2 years and beyond.  You can get more information here if you are interested.  http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/

     I BF until a little after 14 months but only stopped because my son weaned himself. 

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  • I do plan on breastfeeding up until 12 months. I cannot say whether or not I will change my mind when that point comes, but that is where I plan to be.  Of course we make plans and god laughs at us!! At this point it looks like I will be pumping most of the time if I have to go back to work 6 weeks after baby is born. (we were planning on me staying home, but its not looking like that is going to work for us)...

    You must have been so uncomfortable, I think I would have had to leave.  but I would have gotten dessert or made DH stop and get ice cream or SOMETHING!!!

    I think its a totally personal decision and there is no right or wrong answer here....I mean I was formula fed, along with my 4 siblings and I think we all turned out ok...no serial killers.....its just a personal decision, which is why people get so passionate about it

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  • I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can BF for at least 12 months. I think I will probably stop after that. Thanks pp on the link to the benefits of BFing longer than 12 months. I'll be returning to work at 10 weeks and I'm not sure I would be able to stretch past 12 months.

    To the ladies who BF longer than 12 months were you a SAHM or working mom? If you worked was it tougher going past 12 months? 

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  • I breast fed DS to 16 months. At that point, he was just nursing first thing in the morning and last thing at night. The only reason why it stopped then was because we moved and he stayed at a friends house for the weekend. When he came back home, he showed no interest and I never got engorged so I don't know if my supply just dried up or what.

    I hope to BF this LO just as long (or longer!)

    Plus as far as continuing on past 1 year. DS didn't take to milk right away. He definitely preferred the breast milk at first. We would swap in a sippy of milk here and there but he primarily still drank breastmilk at that point. It took a month or so for him to actually want to drink cows milk.

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  • image Cangel24:

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can BF for at least 12 months. I think I will probably stop after that. Thanks pp on the link to the benefits of BFing longer than 12 months. I'll be returning to work at 10 weeks and I'm not sure I would be able to stretch past 12 months.

    To the ladies who BF longer than 12 months were you a SAHM or working mom? If you worked was it tougher going past 12 months? 

    I didn't BF much longer then 12 months since it was just 14, but I'll answer anyways.  I was working and I pumped until about 14 months, my son was only nursing twice a day, morning and night and more often on the weekends.  He weaned around the time I stopped pumping so I think my supply dropped enough that he just preferred the bottle. 

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  • Well the other lady said, "I BF'ed my daughter until she was 29 months, and the ONLY reason I weened that soon was because she started to bite me and leave marks" (I cant make this stuff up). 

    Well, that's true, this does happen. And it happens with babies who are younger than a year. It stings sometimes, but it's nbd. DD would do it, I would just have to unlatch her, tell her "no biting!" and put her back on.

    told her that she was mildly retarted to think that way.

    She just lost all respect from me for using the term "retarded" that way. 

    ---

    All that aside, the World Health Organization says:

    Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. 

    http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/

    http://www.who.int/features/qa/21/en/index.html

    And here is an article from Kelly Mom talking about the benefits of giving breast milk (along with complimentary foods) past 1 year of age:

    http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/ebf-benefits/

    There's nothing wrong with giving your child cows milk (or almond, soy, etc) after one. These organizations are just pointing out that a child can continue to receive nutrients and benefits that are exclusive to breast milk past that age.  I personally think it's great to breastfeed as long as you feel it's working for you. Whether that's 1 week or 1 year or 2 years.

    I breastfed until DD was 11 months old. I returned to work at 9 months and tried to give her bottles but she refused and began to self-wean at that time. I would have preferred to nurse her for longer, but it just didn't work out that way, so nbd.

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  • I plan on BFing for as long as possible, between 12 months and whenever our second gets here. 

     

    P.s. there is nothing sexual about the new saucer nipples I have developed. People that use that argument make me want to kick them in the crotch.  

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  • Oh, and breastfeeding is not sexual. Honestly, anyone who thinks it is should probably see a therapist or something.
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  • image hjk5000:
    The benefit is really just that BM is better for your kid. The longer they are drinking it the better.It sounds like L has issues. There is nothing at all sexual about BF. I repeat, NOTHING. The fact that she even went there rather than just say they weened at 12 months and leave it at that is so weird to me.nbsp;I just make it a rule not to hate on how anyone feeds their kid. BF, extended BF, formula, it doesn't matter as long as mom and baby are happy.ETA: PS, sorry you missed dessert! That's a bummer.nbsp;


    All of this.

    L definitely has her own issues to work through.
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  • My doctor said that at least 6 months would be ideal but a minimum of 3 months is good.
    I basically told him that I wanted to try breastfeeding and asked him what he thought was a good minimum amount of time.
    I only asked because Ive had people tell me to at least do it for 2 weeks so that your baby gets the benefits of the colostrum. I wanted to see how that compared with the doctors answer.
    So, my goal is now a minimum of 3 months if I can get the baby to latch and stuff. Then I will see if I want to do it longer.
    Ive personally always felt uncomfortable with the thought of myself breastfeeding. I dont know why. It just never seemed for me. But after hearing all of the benefits I want to try to do it for my baby.
    ...please notice that I said I personally feel uncomfortable with myself doing it. I have nothing against breastfeeding mamas at all...
    I also want to try pumping so that my hubby can participate in feedings at some point. I dont want him to feel left out. So maybe I can do that after a few months? My baby will still get the benefits of the breastmilk but from a bottle. I obviously have to see how it goes and take it day by day. We all know things dont always go as planned.
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  • Everyone else said it well. Breast milk does not lose its amazing benefits at 12 months. And nursing is not just about nutrition. DS is almost 12 months and I have no plans to stop nursing.

    Also, I would have wanted some pop corn to watch that fight unfold.
    *Bumping since 2007*
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  • Anyone who thinks breastfeeding is sexual is a pervert. Seriously. What a nasty thought.

    We nursed until Hen self weaned, it was at about 21 months, I was in my second trimester. I'll nurse again as long as G wants.

    You do what is best for you. End of story.

    Please forgive my typos! I'm not as dumb as my iphone would like you to believe :)
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  • image nykkolhooks:

    I plan on BFing for as long as possible, between 12 months and whenever our second gets here. 

     

    P.s. there is nothing sexual about the new saucer nipples I have developed. People that use that argument make me want to kick them in the crotch.  

    My (FTM) goal is 12 months, but I think I would like to go further if it works out!

    As for the bold above: 100% agree.  And my husband has taken to calling them "latchables" b/c "you know, it's JUST LIKE lunchables, but for all of LOs meals!"

    Cracks me up every time and makes me feel less freaked out by the huge dark spots forming around them!!!! 

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  • Whoa...  That sounds seriously intense.

    I'm a FTM, so this is just my plan and I'm really hoping I can make it. Initially I said I want to BF for 6 months but now I'm aiming for 12.  Everything I have read talks about the benefits to the child if you breastfeed for at least 12 months.  Actually, most things say any amount of BF-ing is great, but 12 months was recommended in more than one book/source that I read.  Who knows, I might go past 12 months.  That's a decision I will make when I get there.

  • image Cangel24:

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can BF for at least 12 months. I think I will probably stop after that. Thanks pp on the link to the benefits of BFing longer than 12 months. I'll be returning to work at 10 weeks and I'm not sure I would be able to stretch past 12 months.

    To the ladies who BF longer than 12 months were you a SAHM or working mom? If you worked was it tougher going past 12 months? 

    DS weaned himself at 13 months, but I can say that if anything BF and pumping got easier as he got older, especially from a work perspective. I worked part time, but after 9-10ish months he was eating so many other foods that I was only nursing him morning and evening anyway. I stopped having to pump at work during the day by 10 months. The hardest part of going back to work was right at first when he was still only getting BM and I had to pump like crazy to make enough milk for my extremely hungry kiddo. Once we introduced solids at 6 months pumping was no big deal at work.

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  • image CarolynL8:
    My doctor said that at least 6 months would be ideal but a minimum of 3 months is good. I basically told him that I wanted to try breastfeeding and asked him what he thought was a good minimum amount of time. I only asked because Ive had people tell me to at least do it for 2 weeks so that your baby gets the benefits of the colostrum. I wanted to see how that compared with the doctors answer. So, my goal is now a minimum of 3 months if I can get the baby to latch and stuff. Then I will see if I want to do it longer. Ive personally always felt uncomfortable with the thought of myself breastfeeding. I dont know why. It just never seemed for me. But after hearing all of the benefits I want to try to do it for my baby. ...please notice that I said I personally feel uncomfortable with myself doing it. I have nothing against breastfeeding mamas at all... I also want to try pumping so that my hubby can participate in feedings at some point. I dont want him to feel left out. So maybe I can do that after a few months? My baby will still get the benefits of the breastmilk but from a bottle. I obviously have to see how it goes and take it day by day. We all know things dont always go as planned.

    I feel the exact same way. Until I got pregnant, I never thought I would breastfeed. Now I at least want to give it a try. I'm hoping to make it 6 months. As of right now, I don't think I would feel comfortable going over 12 months, but that is a personal decision, I don't judge others who do go over and I think the comment that it is sexual is ridiculous. Since I have never done this before, I don't know how I will feel and I certainly hope no one judges me for going under or over 12 months. It's a very personal decision, something that I don't think needs to be argued about between friends (or anybody for that matter!)

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  • image nykkolhooks:
    I plan on BFing for as long as possible, between 12 months and whenever our second gets here.nbsp;nbsp;P.s. there is nothing sexual about the new saucer nipples I have developed. People that use that argument make me want to kick them in the crotch. nbsp;
    I lol'd at saucer nipples. Thank you.

    As far as the original question, I'm a FTM and I plan to bf until 12 months. There's absolutely nothing wrong with going longer than that [and hey, maybe I will...never know], more power to mamas who can. That's just the goal I've set for myself.

    Whoever thinks it's a sexual thing sounds creepy as all get out. Especially since she's nursed a child before. You'd think after she's experienced it, she'd know better.

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  • I'm a FTM so my goal is to try it..and try hard. If it doesn't work, so be it. If it does, I'd like her to be exclusively BF while I'm home with her over the summer. I'll be going back to work and hope to pump enough for her to get breast milk in bottles at daycare. That being said, when do plans ever go my way? I'm honestly playing this one by ear. If we're successful, I'll do it until she's ready to quit I suppose. 
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  • There is no benefit of long term BF, EVERYTHING I have read and been told (even by LCs and LLLI members) is that there is no nutritional value after 2 years old. At that point it is simply personal preference, but your child will not actually benefit nutritionally from BM. Do I think it is sexual? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Do I think it is kind of weird... yes, BFing is for babies and toddlers not pre-schoolers. At that point (IMHO) it becomes a mother thing, SHE wants to continue BFing to prove a point/keep the connection with her child/doesn't want to let go... whatever the case may be, because it doesn't benefit the child and I truly believe long term BF is detrimental to a child's emotional and social development. *by long term I'm shooting more toward the 3yr age*

    We stopped at 13months, M was EBF for almost 12 of those months. We had to supplement with pumping and formula for the first month. It was time for us to stop, she was drinking whole milk just fine and was only nursing occasionally when she woke up in the am and most (but not all) nights right before bed. As we started to cut back it became incredibly painful for me too, so that played a big factor in weaning. Now if she hadn't already self-weaned for the most part then I would have kept going a bit longer... but I had wanted to be done once DS came in June. With DS if he wants to nurse until he's 2 then I have no problem with that but I won't go much beyond that.

    ETA: How you feed your child is your own business IMO and I would never tell someone they are wrong for doing something one way or another, but I would totally tell the one lady she was messed up for thinking BFing is sexual!! That's just disgusting and perverted.

    Oh and I totally would have ordered dessert just to enjoy the "show" with lol

    Proud babywearing, breastfeeding, vaccinating SAHM of 2U2!
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  • I have nothing to say that hasn't been said already. Both of those women were out of line. But the one who thinks BFing past a year is sexual wins the imbecile award.

    I started weaning DD at a year for a mix of reasons. She ended up dropping the last feeding herself at 14m and I wasn't ready for it, lol. It was sad to lose it.

    I plan to BF this baby as long as she wants to up to 2y. That's the plan, at least. One of the reasons I started weaning DD was because my sex life was suffering during BFing. We'll see if we can break down that barrier this time while still BFing.
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  • image nykkolhooks:

    P.s. there is nothing sexual about the new saucer nipples I have developed. 

    Lol! 

    I agree... my nipples are so disgusting looking, super dark and gigantic... I don't even let DH see them... seriously where I would normally walk around topless (after shower, while finding clothes, changing, etc.) I'm walking around clutching a towel/shirt/blanket over my chest hahaha I mean those things scare me!

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  • With DD I only BF until about 10 months. I had a very difficult time producing and when I went to work pumping was very stressful for me. I was producing enough, until about 8 or 9 months and I just felt like there was a decline in my supply. I would have kept going as long as I could have but at 10 months we switched to formula for 2 months, then to whole milk at 1 year. DD had no problem with the transition to either. I am just hoping with this LO I can make it to 10 months again. If I make it longer than 12 months I will be OK with that. I do not feel that BF'ing after 12 months is sexual. And I would have asked for dessert even with the intense debate.

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  • image clizh:

    There is no benefit of long term BF, EVERYTHING I have read and been told (even by LCs and LLLI members) is that there is no nutritional value after 2 years old. At that point it is simply personal preference, but your child will not actually benefit nutritionally from BM.

    Of course they do. It doesn't magically turn from milk to water at the 2 year mark.

    Please forgive my typos! I'm not as dumb as my iphone would like you to believe :)
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  • My goal with both my boys was always 12 months.  DS2 is 30+ months and still BFing.  It's not just a matter of nutrition as I cannot imagine I am producing much milk.  More so the bond we have as mother and child.  My son would be heartbroken if I told him he could no longer nurse.  I am thrilled that he still wants me and we will continue nursing until he self weans.

    Intentions are great but I truly believe it really depends on the individual child.   

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  • My daughter nursed until 21 months. The only reason we stopped was because the pregnancy caused my milk to start drying up and she naturally self-weaned when that happened. I'm hoping to go until 2 with the next baby. 
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  • image SouthSideDrea:
    image clizh:

    There is no benefit of long term BF, EVERYTHING I have read and been told (even by LCs and LLLI members) is that there is no nutritional value after 2 years old. At that point it is simply personal preference, but your child will not actually benefit nutritionally from BM.

    Of course they do. It doesn't magically turn from milk to water at the 2 year mark.

    No it doesn't, but they've gained all they can really gain from it and at that point they shouldn't be BFing multiple times a day either when they should be receiving meals. The magic of BM ceases to exist, because the milk no longer adapts to their needs like it did throughout infancy, it freezes at its last nutritional level. They simply don't receive the amount of calories that their little bodies should be getting if they are being BFed throughout the day. Between their constant growth and crazy energy levels, they need the nutrition of WCM and full balanced meals... BM just doesn't measure up to that like it did in first year of their life.

    Majority of moms I know that have BFed past 2yrs only nurse as a comfort (before bed, naps etc.)... which is good in terms of proper nutrition but it is also where IMO it crosses from beneficial for the child to unneeded and more beneficial for the mother.

    Ha I know that when M and I finally stopped it was an awful feeling for me, and she couldn't have been phased by it... it would have been completely me not wanting to give up that one on one time before bed, not her needing it.

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