For those of you who breatfed


#1

When did you stop? I have a 5 month old son, and I am thinking about stopping. But I just can’t decide. Also, when did you first give your baby solid foods?


#2

Three years ought to do it.http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon10.gif

God bless you for giving your child natures most perfect food this far. I truly have to admire anyone for giving their child this gift, however long you’re able to do it. The health benefits alone of breastfeeding are just immeasurable. But, could you hang in there 'til one year?

Have you considered expressing milk? This is just an idea, one my wife used. She calculated our child’s needs, allowing for a transition to solid foods, to the first year. Using a hospital-grade pump, our deep-freezer and a whole bunch of little containers, she expressed a whole year’s supply, and then some. You would be surprised at the ‘production’ you can build up to, using a really good ‘double-pumper’. Man, was she proud of all that milk. After a year, our child sort-of weaned off of it, but we still had a whole bunch left. She found milk banks are thrilled to get any excess. She was very happy to have also provided that wonderful, life-giving food for unknown infants who sorely need this milk.

Keep going…you can do it. Just a couple more months. And after that, maybe just a couple more. Then it’s just two more, to go.http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon12.gif


#3

I suggest, if you can, to continue until you give little one whole milk and make sure he’s not allergic to it…that’s around a year old.

I nursed my first child 16 months.

I nursed my second child only 6 months because I got pregnant when he was 4 months old and my milk wasn’t plentiful.

I am now nursing my third child.

If you stop nursing him now, you will have to start giving him formula instead of breast milk. Then you’ll have to wean him from that anyway.

As for solids…when he seems ready. About 5 months, he should be getting ready for rice ceral and some fruit like banana or apples. Just ask your doctor. What I do is slowly “replace” nursings with solid food as they get older, but a lot older than 5 months. You can probably replace a morning nusing with ceral,etc.

Why are you thinking of stopping? I might can help you in that area.


#4

I would have to agree, and suggest waiting till around 12 months of age when he is fully established with all four food groups. It is the best thing for him. I nursed all four of my children until they were 12 months and it also saved a lot of money on formula. That stuff is expensive, and in my opinion much less convenient. It might be harder if you have to work, but it is still possible to do it by pumping. Here are some good reasons breastfeed.com/resources/101reasons.htm.


#5

I am still sorta nursing my 19 month-old. With the pregnancy of my second child, my milk has dried up, but my son still wants his “noo-noo” before bed and occasionally before naps. Really he only nurses about once a day.

I would highly recommend you not wean yet, if you can. The benefits of breastmilk- the antibodies your child receives from you, the vitamins and minerals that are designed to be digested by his immature digestive system, the good fats that breastmilk is full of- have been hard to replicate in formula. Your breastmilk really is the perfect food, so give it to him (her?) as long as you are able!

The American and Canadian Academies of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization both recommend nursing exclusively for at least 6 months, then continued nursing for 1-2 years or as long as it is mutual desired. La Leche League holds this same opinion.

Speaking of LLL, you may want to consider joining the local chapter- they address all these questions in their meetings, including weaning and first foods. You can go to their website (search for La Leche League on Google) and find your local chapter.

About solids. My son was 5 1/2 months old when he got his first taste of banana. I skipped the cereal all together (I didn’t see the point of having to spend money on something that was so overly processed they had to “enrich” it with vitamins and minerals when I was still primarly breastfeeding); my son received easily digested fruits and veggies (banana, avacado, unsweetened applesauce, sweet potato, things that were still in their natural form as much as possible and that I could mash up with a fork) for a few months maybe once a week. I didn’t rush him, I still wanted him to be primarily nursing since that was much better for him nutritionally speaking.

We moved from the soft foods to foods with more substance (peas, small chunks of banana, etc) 3-5 times a week around 7 months. He was eating very small-cut pieces of meat and much larger peices of soft fruits and veggies by 9 months maybe 4-6 times a week. By a year he started eating solids everyday by a year and by 15 months he was eating three square meals a day plus two snacks. Today he has no allergies (although the jury is still out on peanuts, so we are holding back on that until he’s older), has never been sick more than a cold, and is healthy and happy. He never had baby food from the jars, but I did give him some of the toddler meals (like Gerber’s Lil Entrees) once he was older.

I would encourage you to read up more on starting solids, as there is sort of a suggested general progression that is recommended to avoid allergies. For example, the most common allergens like wheat, milk, eggs, and nuts should be avoided as long as possible, but there are others like citrus fruits that should also be monitored carefully. Allergies in young children are very common, and if watched carefully and avoided, most children grow out of their allergies quickly. Remember that a child does not have the full set of digestive enzymes until they are four years old. Their bodies are not able to digest everything properly until then.

Never introduce more than ONE new food a week, and watch baby closely for signs of allergy such as irritability, a diaper rash that is in a circular pattern just around the anus, etc. You can find all the signs of allergy in infants in most infant care books or check www.askdrsears.com.

Most of all, don’t rush anything. They will eat “real” food (and lots of it!) when they are ready!

Best of luck!


#6

Breastfed my first for 2 1/2 years.

Breastfeeding my 2nd at 2 1/2, and third is breastfeeding at 11mos.

Keep going, these precious moments will seem like a blink when they are gone and your baby is 5 years old.


#7

[quote=lovelavender]When did you stop? I have a 5 month old son, and I am thinking about stopping. But I just can’t decide. Also, when did you first give your baby solid foods?
[/quote]

I breastfed my first til he was 18 months, my second until he was 16 months, and my third until he was 11 months (due to an illness I had). I introduced solids to each of them around 4 months, but for at least the first year, breastmilk was their main source of food.


#8

If you wean him now, he’ll need formula or the next 7 or so months, which is expensive. Also, some babies have a reaction to certain types of forumula which will require you to figure out what the problem is… you’re little guy will be a guinea pig until you find one that suits him.

So… I vote keep on breastfeeding until he can drink whole milk at 1 years old. You’ve come this far (good job!) and in a few months he’ll be nursing less because he’ll be eating cereal. Not to mention that breastfeeding is a HUGE calorie burner and will help you get back to your pre-preg weight… (unless of course you’re already there… in which case I hate you. :wink: Just kidding!!)

When I had my first child, like you I was SICK of breastfeeding by the time he was about 4 months old so I switched to forumula. I really regreted that… forumula is smelly & it made him spit up alot more. With the next 3 babies I breastfed until they wanted to quit… between 2 - 3 years old. Try to make it to his first b-day… you’ll be glad you did.

Blessings!
CM

P.S. Solids for my babies around 6 months old… rice cereal.


#9

The reason I ask is because I have been mildly depressed recently. I used to take antidepressants before I was pregnant and I struggled with it at times during the pregnancy also. I can’t take the medicine if I’m breastfeeding. I know some experts say you can but I couldn’t. Imagining the meds going to my baby just gives me the creeps. So I’m waiting. It’s not the worst case of depression, I don’t sit there and stare at TV or anything all day long. I guess I can handle it. I just don’t seem to be as happy as I could be, or appreciate the beauty in life. That’s why I asked.

Would I be a better mom if I was less depressed (I have 3 other children), or are the benefits of BF worth it? That’s what I can’t decide.


#10

I would say that, all things being equal, your mental health is more vital to your baby than breastfeeding. Five months is a wonderful start for your baby. but it’s better for you to taper off and wean your baby so that you don’t have an abrupt change in your hormones. Do you think you can make it with full time breastfeeding just through Christmas and New Years? That is such a demanding time of the year anyway, and giving your baby yourself during the demanding holiday season would keep things a little more even for your baby. Also, please try to get plenty of exercise. Take that baby for lots of walks. Life is so overwhelming, but sometimes just going for a walk with your baby helps keep things in perspective.


#11

[quote=lovelavender]The reason I ask is because I have been mildly depressed recently. I used to take antidepressants before I was pregnant and I struggled with it at times during the pregnancy also. I can’t take the medicine if I’m breastfeeding. I know some experts say you can but I couldn’t. Imagining the meds going to my baby just gives me the creeps. So I’m waiting. It’s not the worst case of depression, I don’t sit there and stare at TV or anything all day long. I guess I can handle it. I just don’t seem to be as happy as I could be, or appreciate the beauty in life. That’s why I asked.

Would I be a better mom if I was less depressed (I have 3 other children), or are the benefits of BF worth it? That’s what I can’t decide.
[/quote]

I take Paxil…it works well for me. I suffer from depression also. My doctor says that the small dose of 10mg will not harm the baby. I have taken it after all three children. I feel MUCH better on it and I am a better Mom. Maybe talk to your doctor about meds that you CAN take…


#12

I also agree that your mental health trumps the benefits of breastfeeding. If you need medication to function, then that’s what you need to do. I would suggest you talk to your dr about your needs and see what is recommended. Also a pharmicist would be able to tell you if the medicine you need to take is safe while breastfeeing.
Praying for you,
Jennifer


#13

MOST (notice I said most) prescribed medications are safe for a breastfeeding baby. I am talking about the ones that we take on a day-to-day basis. If you are really concerned, talk to your doctor, a pharmacist, or better yet (because even doctors and pharmacists tend to be uneducated about breastfeeding) contact La Leche League. They have a board of doctors, nurses, and midwives who have devoted their careers to researching and knowing everything there is to know about breastfeeding. They have done study after study on what medications are problematic for nursing babies.

Another thing I would like to address: the benefit of breastfeeding on depression. Breastfeeding releases lots of those “happy” hormones for mommy while baby nurses. If the medicine is not necessary for you to be able to function normally in society, and your doctor gives his approval, I would say to continue breastfeeding as long as possible. Check on if you can take the meds while breastfeeding, too.

Good luck!


#14

I can honestly say that in breast feeding seven children for over ten years, I’ve really never noticed those “happy” hormones that I’ve heard so much about…

But maybe I’d have been a miserable wreck had I not breastfeed.

By the way, Paxil has come up in the media lately. Please see this link about Paxil and birth defects:

medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=53565


#15

Hi!
Maybe you can try to sit back and see if there are other areas (not medication) in your life you can adjust to help you psycholgically. If not, you could look into meds that are safe while bf. If they have been proven safe they may be the solution to the prblem. If you know they are safe, but it still gives you the creeps, think about how if you stop bf your baby won’t be getting the antibodies that would be so helpful for him/her. When a baby is about 6 months the antibodies they had from being in your womb are pretty much gone but their defenses are not completely developed yet, so bf is really helpful to them for that 2nd half of their first year (along with new foods).

If the only thing that can help you are meds that are not compatible with bf, and it is affecting the rest of your family, I would definitely work on weaning and just take the meds. BF is great if you can do it, but like another poster said, you’ve already given your baby some wonderful first 5 months of bf, and if you find it is taking a toll on your family, you might just want to take care of that.

About starting solids, my ped said there has been extensive research done and that some new studies that came out show that between 4 and 6 months is a good time to start your baby on cereal. Before and after for some reason increases the chance for diabetes by a lot. Anyways, the American Ped. Society suggests around 6 months too. It also depends on your baby etc. One of the reasons the baby needs to start around that time is because the iron he receives from the mother’s breast milk no longer has enough iron (hence the iron fortified cereals). Also, they found it was the ideal window to teach babies to eat of spoons. With ours we started our baby on cereal first (more breast milk than cereal, but it helped our baby learn to eat from spoon and get some iron), then baby food. My nephew was a big baby and the doc told my sis to skip the cereal and start on baby food.


#16

[quote=lovelavender]The reason I ask is because I have been mildly depressed recently. I used to take antidepressants before I was pregnant and I struggled with it at times during the pregnancy also. I can’t take the medicine if I’m breastfeeding. I know some experts say you can but I couldn’t. Imagining the meds going to my baby just gives me the creeps. So I’m waiting. It’s not the worst case of depression, I don’t sit there and stare at TV or anything all day long. I guess I can handle it. I just don’t seem to be as happy as I could be, or appreciate the beauty in life. That’s why I asked.

Would I be a better mom if I was less depressed (I have 3 other children), or are the benefits of BF worth it? That’s what I can’t decide.
[/quote]

If that’s the case and you (and your doctor) feel that going back on your medication would be best then by all means… don’t worry about the BF thing. Your health is what’s most important… so you can be there for your 4 children. Are you getting enough sleep? I know it’s hard for me to appreciate life when I’m so dog tired and caring for a baby and 3 other children can get to the best of us.

Best wishes to you,
CM


#17

i’m still nursing at 19 months and will wean slowly between now and 2 years.

i started solids here and there at 6 months but he wasn’t ready until 8 1/2 months.

kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/index.html


#18

[quote=lovelavender]When did you stop? I have a 5 month old son, and I am thinking about stopping. But I just can’t decide. Also, when did you first give your baby solid foods?
[/quote]

I nursed mine for #1 - 19 months (weaned herself, pregnancy made my milk dwindle), #2 - 2.5 years, #3 - 2.25 years, #4 2.25 years and #5 is 21 months and still nursing strong. I’ve been preganant or nursing or both for 13.5 years solid now.

As for solid foods, usually around 5 months although they don’t really take much at that stage. Mine don’t often eat a lot of solid food until they are about a year and a half.

I don’t know anything about taking anti-depessants but I do understand your concern. I hate taking anything when I’m pregnant. Do you think that your depression is affecting the way you are as a wife and mother? I think you need to listen to your instincts and weigh the cost/benefit ratio of all options available to you.


#19

I decided with my oldest that I would stop when she was one because, at the time (9 years ago) the conventional wisdom was that there were no more health benefits after the age of one.

Also, we were going to be trying soon to have another baby and I wasn’t ovulating while I was breastfeeding.

With my second child I decided to stop when he could walk. As it turned out, the day he started walking was the very last time he ever wanted to breastfeed so it worked out well all the way around.

Try to keep it up for at least a year if you can. The health benefits to your child are worth it. However, if you should decide to stop for personal reasons don’t let anyone try to make you feel guilty. Your kids will be fine. They won’t get into better colleges or be less likely to divorce one day or have a better relationship with Christ just because they were breastfed.

In Christ,
Nancy :slight_smile:


#20

I was able to go completely off my medication after I began working out (aerobic plus free weights) after about six months. Maybe there is something you can do about the depression without the medication. I tapered off gradually over about two months. I sleep better, have better energy, and am generally much better satisfied with life.


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