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what does exclusively breast feeding mean.. really?

let me first say i bfed both my children.. my son for a year and he had NO formula. i fed them both cereal and baby food from 6 months on..
but i have a preggers friend (her first) and she says she plans to exclusively breast feed and that that means no food at all for the first year. am i missing something? b/c i was told that your milk changes at 6 months and becomes thinner and more like a drink to supplement food (which i actually saw the change first hand) you were still supposed to feed your baby actual food. can someone please enlighten me? i dont want to argue with my friend but i dont want her thinking its ok to starve a baby either.

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Asked by idebusashes at 11:57 PM on Apr. 21, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (10)
  • exclusively is to just do breast milk not any substitutes i believe....that isnt including when the child gets about six months and needs the stage ones...I breast fed my son all the way up to 15 months and he still had the sge ones and all that just no formula substitute

    Answer by Bugsmommy1908 at 11:59 PM on Apr. 21, 2009

  • Actually solid food is NOT meant to be a supplment only to get them used to different tastes and textures...its not supposed to take away from the breastfeeding. You BF first then offer food later if wanted....some docs recommend at 6 months to start getting the swallowing reflex strong. some think that if you wait longer than that there will be problems....Im NOT saying I think that. just saying what Ive read....Ive been BFing and pumping for my DD who will be 8 months old in a couple days but did introduce fresh organic solids in her diet just so she could get a taste for some things....but its not NEEDED, I don't think. The pedis will usually recommend it but its not to take the place of whatever milk you are feeding. That is where they get their nutrients from. And as far as cereal and rice that's just empty filling calories:)

    Answer by calliesmommie at 12:01 AM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • i would suggest that she speak to her ob/gyn or babies ped. that way it's not you telling her she is wrong. but i've never heard of not giving a baby food that breast or formula is enough after a certain age. so maybe just do some research online than say i saw this and thought you'd find it interesting (that way you can give her a site or something if she wants to look) and then suggest she ask her doc about it to check on the info you both have.

    Answer by vabchmommy at 12:04 AM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • Your milk does not magically "change" at 6 months. Contrary to popular belief, breastmilk continues to be full of the same nutrients, even if the nursling is 3 yrs old. In fact "Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for >1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant."
    -- Mandel 2005
    While some babies are not ready for solids until closer to 12 months old, most are ready for and need solids starting somewhere between 6-9 months old.
    Virtually all reputable health organzations recommend exclusive bfding for the first 6 months, then the gradual introduction of solids starting at or soon after 6 months.
    Don't worry, mom will change her tune when her 7 month old grabs food off her plate and eats it.

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 12:04 AM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • Maggiemom2000 said it all!

    I had planned to delay my firstborn's solids until she was close to a year old... she ended up starting with solids around 9-10 months. It is not harmful to delay solids, but she might change her mind between now and her baby's first birthday. Or she'll have a baby who isn't interested in solids until they're 12 mos old, and her baby will benefit from her not pushing them on him when he's not ready.

    Answer by Collinsky at 12:47 AM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • During the first year breastmilk is never a supplement, it is the main source of nutrition and any solids given before age one are just "practice". Babies do not need anything besides breastmilk for the first year.

    Answer by kate_jocelyn at 12:51 AM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • Exclusively breastfeeding means nothing but breastmilk. There is NO time requirement. Your friend is incorrect.

    HOWEVER, what you were told about breastmilk is also incorrect. It is all baby really needs for the whole of the first year. Solids are for experimentation rather than for nutrition and must only be given AFTER nursing. If baby gets a teaspoon, that's fine.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:44 AM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • By the way...your friend's baby won't starve. It *can* be argues that babies who are loaded up on solids are shortchanged nutritionally. Not that moms intend to do that...they're told by doctors who really don't know a blessed thing about infant nutrition.

    Answer by gdiamante at 1:45 AM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • Exclusive breast feeding, is just that. Only breast milk. At the time that solids are introduced, the baby is no longer exclusively breast fed. Waiting on solids is considered "delaying solids" and won't harm the baby.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 9:39 AM on Apr. 22, 2009

  • Here ya go!

    sorry, had to type it in, so I hope there are no typos!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:44 PM on Apr. 22, 2009

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