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How do moms breastfeed for a whole year?

I had to stop when my baby was 4 months old because he wasn't getting any. He was not gaining weight or nothing. The doctor made me switch to formula and start food and now he is fine. Did I do something wrong or is this normal? Or is it because I am not as old as most moms. Should I try again in a few years when I have another kid or am I just not able to feed a baby like that well.

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ClaireWithChild

Asked by ClaireWithChild at 9:51 AM on May. 11, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 10 (401 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I breastfed my first 4 for a year each with no problems, with my 5th I had to stop when she was 6 months because she wasn't gaining weight - this is after I tried several different supplements (fenugreek, mother's milk tea, etc.) and it just wasn't working. Sometimes it doesn't. I don't think it has much to do with age, I've known several teens that successfully breastfed for a year. You should definitely try again if it's something you want to do!
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 9:54 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • Many doctors know very little about breastfeeding and push formula since it's easier on them. At 4 months, she could have been going thru a growth spurt and needed to nurse more often. It is possible that you werent producing enough.

    I would try again with another child. Get in touch with a good lactation consultant. They can help you thru.
    Jademom07

    Answer by Jademom07 at 9:58 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • It takes lots of drive and determination to keep it going. I breastfed my younget two well into their 2s. I wouldn't let a doctor make me switch to anything unless it was for health reasons. All babies grow different. Next time go with your gut. I had a doctor tell me at my daughter's one year checkup that I HAD to stop breastfeeding and give her cow's milk. I did not and she is fine. You just learn as you go.
    Izsarejman

    Answer by Izsarejman at 10:01 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • Try again with the next baby!!! Read up on the info online, join a breastfeeding group here on cafemom. You CAN do it! Doctors (unfortunately) do not always know much about breastfeeding. Many have false information they give out (granted they don't know how inaccurate it is). Most likely you won't have any problems and other moms can help you through your supply issues. It is VERY rare to have supply issues. Most of the time it is because mom is getting poor information about breastfeeding. Good luck next time!!!
    micheledo

    Answer by micheledo at 10:05 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • It's possible that your milk was not adequate to sustain your child's weight gain, that does happen for various medical reasons, but it's less common than people believe. Most of the time, the issue is lack of knowledge about breastfeeding by doctors and family and support during breastfeeding. Should you decide to breastfeed in the future, look into finding a qualified lactation consultant who will be trained in proper feeding techniques, ways to boost milk supply, and other questions you may have.

    Personally, I am still breastfeeding both of my children, my nearly 4 1/2 year old son and 2 year old daughter. But I think my patience with it has nearly worn out, heh.
    bishopblack

    Answer by bishopblack at 10:09 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • I've never breastfeed less than a year, but I aim for at least 24 months. I do my best to not give them anything but breast until they are at least 6months old, although my body doesn't keep up quite so well. So we supplemented my oldest and now my youngest with formula. But it's entirely possible that your body simply wasn't making enough milk or that your milk didn't have enough cream. Either way had you posted before you stopped, I could have given you some advice on upping your supply... Anyways, what matter is that your son is healthy. Sorry you couldn't breastfeed, but good for you for trying!
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 10:14 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • Make sure you get a lactaction consultant to help you next time. Doctors (especially male) don't understand it. Never put a nursing baby on **your** schedule. Nursing every two hours around the clock is normal for a newborn. It won't be very much different at 4 months. Let the baby nurse whenever he/she wants to. If you were limiting when the baby could nurse, your milk supply would go down. If you weren't eating enough or drinking enough water, your milk supply will go down. Try again and get support next time - you'll have a much better experience.
    RobotLady

    Answer by RobotLady at 10:16 AM on May. 11, 2011

  • I think you may have fallen intot he common four month trap of thinking there wasn't enough. There is only ONE indication of supply... the number of dipes you change. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS. Baby can be (and actually should be at this point) a pissy monster. That's fine. It's a supply booster. Your breasts can (and SHOULD) feel like deflated bags... that means they're working right!

    You've already been given tons of good advice. One place you should NOT take it from: your pediatrician. They get no training on this.
    gdiamante

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:32 AM on May. 11, 2011

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