Ohio Babies

How long to breastfeed

edited July 2021 in Ohio Babies

Ladies - I'm a first time mom and I need some advice.  My baby is about to turn 4 months next week and I'm wondering if should continue breastfeeding.  I went back to work at 12 wks and have been struggling to pump even once a day (I don't have an office and spend my time in and out of hospitals in surgeries or doctor's offices).  Over this past weekend, I tried to exclusively breastfeed, but I feel like I may not be producing enough?  My baby is almost 18 lbs already and probably atleast 27 in and eats every 2 hours still!

Also, I should add that I want to get pregnant again in the next few months since we want kids close in age.  I haven't re-started my cycles, so I'm a little concerned about that also.  BUT, I don't want to stop breastfeeding if my baby still needs it at this point.

I would appreciate your thoughts!

Re: How long to breastfeed

  • What you have done for your baby already is wonderful!  Way to go mom!  Every ounce counts!  I would shoot for 6 months if possible.  Your baby's digestive system is more ready for solid foods by that time.  Breastfeeding is hands down best for your baby.  Even formula commercials admit it.  Your body is designed to provide exactly what baby needs and formulas don't even come anywhere close to breastmilk!  Your baby should be able to begin spreading out his/her feedings very soon but the good thing about eating every two hours is that when you're together, your baby can get as much milk as possible.  When your little one starts on solids, which is best around 6 months, you are more likely to re-start your cycle because you will not be producing as much milk.  I'd call a lactation consultant for more advice.  Riverside hospital's phone line is wonderful!  I've called many times!  (On a side note, having a baby and breastfeeding takes a lot out of you.  Make sure you are in good health before you shoot for baby number two.)

     Best of luck to you! : ) 

  • I would second that - shoot for six months.  They used to say one year but the latest studies show that there is not really an additional benefit after the six month mark. 
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  • I don't know about recent studies like that...I haven't heard about them. But I will admit that I hang out in a very pro-EBF crowd so they aren't likely to pop up :) Regardless, I second the congrats! Any BF-ing is so good for your baby, so you've made a great effort. 6 month is the best point for solids, so it does seem like that would be a good stopping point if you really feel the need to stop.

    American Association of Pediatrics recommends a year at least, La Leche League says as long as you and baby are both able and willing and cites the AAP guidelines, and World Health Organization says 2 years at least.

    I definitely don't blame you for thinking about weaning (especially if you really want to TTC because that would be hard to wait for). I just have been thinking about all that too and this is the most credible data I've found! Good luck! 

  • I absolutely disagree with the poster who states there are no additional benefits after 6 months!  You and your baby benefit as long as you are nursing and there are many studies to support this. Not only does your child benefit from the nutrition/bond/immunity, you also benefit from it by reducing your risk of various types of cancers and other diseases.

    It's such a personal decision - congrats on making it this far!  I could never pump much AT ALL, but I didn't have to work so I was able to nurse on demand.  I couldn't imagine having to pump full time so kudos to you!  I nursed both of mine for over 3 years until they self weaned.  There is a definite benefit regardless of how long you choose to nurse. 

    One thing to think about if you are going to start TTC is cutting nighttime nursing.  That alone can increase your fertility.  I didn't start my period until 12 months postpartum both times, but we nursed a ton at night!

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