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HOw long do I need to breastfeed?

I have been breast feeding and pumping for the last 6 1/2 months, and I am wondering if it would be ok for me to switch to formula now? I planned on only breastfeeding until he was 6 months. I really wanted my baby to get all the right nutrients and I now I feel have have done my best and would really like to stop.I love my little pumpkin to death but I am just soooo tired of breastfeeding! I guess what I am wondering is if I stop now will it have all been for nothing? Please let me know what you think I should do?

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Asked by martinjessi at 3:01 PM on Nov. 11, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (46)
  • Kudos on making it to 6 months! Most pediatricians recommend breastfeeding through the first year but if your done, do NOT feel guilty over calling it and switching to formula. What is most important is that you enjoy being with your baby and if nursing is stressing you out you're not enjoying him. You've given him six more months of nursing than most babies get, be proud of yourself.

    Answer by Slinkee at 3:03 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • I think you've done a wonderful job of going til 6 months. They recommend for at least a year, but some people can't do that. It doesn't make them bad mommies. You've done your child a great service already by going 6 months. You can wean him whenever you feel you are ready. Talk to your pediatrician if you're worried about his health. Maybe think about starting him on some solids to help with the formula supplementing?

    Answer by Babyness at 3:05 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • well.. you cant just wean your baby off within a heartbeat.. it takes some time... instead of 100%breastfeeding you should replace one (breastfeeding)-meal with the bottle... probably takes up to a couple months.

    i couldnt even breastfeed that long, because i didnt have enough milk :( be happy that you are able to breastfeed your baby. "being tired of brestfeeding" is the weirdest and sadest thing ive ever heard. if it would hurt you or something like that, then i would understand, but saying "im sooooooo tired of it" isnt really nice.. shouldnt started it in the first place :( sorry, not trying to be mean.

    and no, its not for nothing just because you want to stop now.

    the way you put it, sounds like its a burden for you. or do i understand you wrong?!

    Answer by m.robertson811 at 3:06 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • With my first 3 kids, I quit nursing at 6-7 months. With the fourth I went crazy and breastfed until 2 years! You did great! You did more than what most women do and you baby will reap the benefits!

    Answer by amydh at 3:09 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • PM me if you want tips on weaning your baby of the breast. I'm a Pro at it! lol

    Answer by amydh at 3:11 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • m.robertson811 may not be trying to be mean, but she sure comes across that way. If you do not or did not breast feed then you have no idea how taxing it can be-especially if you are a working mom. I have been giving my daughter breast milk for almost nine months and it is exhausting. Just because she said she is tired does not mean she thinks it is a burden. Being a mom is tiring too, but our babies are not burdens.
    The only reason I have not stopped pumping is because I feel it would be selfish to stop now. The only reason I would be stopping is because I am tired of pumping, and I do not feel it is fair to my dd.
    The answer to your question is there is no specific amount of time that you have to or need to breast feed. Your choice to breastfeed has given your baby a wonderful boost on a good immune system. Do what is best for you and your baby and don't feel guilty. Good Luck.

    Answer by hutch2579 at 3:17 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • I'm sorry, I don't want to start an argument here but let's not judge her for being honest. I breastfed my son until he was a year and trust me I WAS tired of it by then. It is an amazing experience to nurse a baby, but that doesn't mean it's ALL sunshine and rainbows. I'm sorry that you weren't able to nurse your baby but to say that she shouldn't have even started in the first place is just wrong. It has been shown that even nursing your baby the first days of colostrum can have a big impact on them.

    Answer by Slinkee at 3:18 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • It is recommended that you breastfeed for at least the first year, but it is also a personal decision that you need to make for yourself and your baby.

    Answer by LaurLaur623 at 3:28 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • I'd see if the baby will even take formula. after having breastmilk so long, she may not like formula and you will have your answer. formula tastes soooooo yucky, esp after sweet light breastmilk.
    if you and i were having a conversation, I would encourage you to go to a year and then wean to cow's milk. you've come so far already, and you can supplement breast with table food to take some of the burden off you instead of weaning to formula and then weaning again to cow's milk in 6 more months.

    Answer by teri4lance at 3:30 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

  • Well most moms who are pro-breastfeeding will want to lecture you on attachment etc. but i feel that you did the best of both worlds. I assume you didn't really want to nurse to began with but did anyway for the health of your baby. If you feel you cannot do it anymore i will tell you honestly they say 6 months is what they need to get the immunities your baby needs. It will be hard, and some of the good nutrients your baby is getting he/she won't get from formula but at least you gave your baby that much and probably established a pretty strong bond with your baby as well. Can I make a suggestion though. If you switch to bottle, you or whoever is feeding baby could still hold baby close and in your arms while feeding so you don't loose that bond.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:31 PM on Nov. 11, 2008

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