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Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the home.

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
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Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
When I started nursing DS almost 10 months ago, my goal was to make it to two weeks (not a very lofty goal, I know). I honestly wasn’t even sure I wanted to nurse at all but it was important to DH that I try. Once I hit the two week mark, my goal was to make it to 12 weeks, then 6 months, then a year. Now that DS’s first birthday is quickly approaching, I’m questioning putting a deadline on it. I don’t see any reason to stop just because the calendar says he’s 12 months old.

I can’t say now how long I want to continue after that point. I work outside the house and pump twice per day and nurse 3 times per day. I don’t think I can continue with my twice daily pumping schedule after DS’s first birthday because of work commitments. I *may* be able to pump once per day if necessary. Has anyone successfully nursed after their LO’s first birthday WITHOUT pumping? I’m guessing he’ll need less and less as time goes on but I’m wondering if I can give him cow’s milk during the day and BM when I’m home? If I stop pumping during the day, will my supply dry up or can I just nurse in the am and at bedtime? I know a lot of this depends on my body but I’m just wondering what to expect if anyone has experience.

Ultimately, when it comes time to wean, I would like to do it on a “don’t offer but don’t refuse” basis and see how it goes from there.
 

ljmorgan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
1,037
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

Hey puppmom, I haven't been there, done that yet -- but I'm fast approaching this scenario as my son is turning 1 next week. Like you I pump at work, and some of the moms in that room are pumping at 18 months -- kudos to them, but I hate pumping and I plan on stopping the pumping soon. Over the next month or two I plan to transition to sippy cups of milk during the day, and BF in the morning and in the evening. I know of many women (well, online) who nursed twice a day for a long time after one year, so your supply will not completely dry up. Of course, it will likely drop a lot during the day since you won't be pumping, but you should definitely be able to continue nursing morning and night if you want. Good luck!
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,136
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

My experience -- I worked when G was 6 weeks old to 6 months old, took 6 months off, and then went back to work full-time at 12 months. At that point he was only really playing with solids, and I was pumping 2-3 times a day at work plus nursing while I was home. I can't remember how often I was nursing, but we were cosleeping at that point and I don't think he was night-weaned. Over the next couple of months, I transitioned down to 2 pumpings per day and then down to 1 -- down to 1 was the hardest transition with engorgement IIRC -- and then started pumping less at that one pumping, and then just nixed it entirely at 15 months. I had tried a couple of times between 12 and 15 months but got really clogged milk ducts, and one of the best ways to get rid of them is more frequent nursing/pumping, so I kept putting off my pump-weaning plans.

After I weaned from the pump, he got cow milk at daycare and I continued nursing him at home evenings and before naps on weekends with no problems with supply. He gradually went from nursing a couple times a day, to nursing once in the evening, to nursing on days when he wanted me to put him to bed and not days when he wanted Daddy to put him to bed. My supply kept up fine until he decided he wanted to start going 5-7 days between nursings. I could handle 3-4, but with 5-7 days in between my supply just tanked. My milk also started changing to colostrum consistency at that point (~17 weeks pregnant), and while it is possible the change in supply was hormonal, my money's on the amount of time he was going between nursings.

The last time he nursed was about a month ago, a couple of days before his 2nd birthday. He asked to nurse about two weeks later, and then again a few days ago, and while I was planning on doing the "don't offer, don't refuse" thing, I did tell him that the milk was all gone (slight lie, there's some colostrum) but that I could read him a book instead. He seemed fine with that. All in all, I would say that weaning was a very gentle and low-stress process.

Hopefully this helps somewhat, and your body can also handle weaning from the pump during the day. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask! :))
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

I worked with a woman who bf'd all 4 of her kids until they were 2. I think she bf'd when they woke up and at bedtime and I know she didn't pump at all at work.

Good luck!
 

turtledazzle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2006
Messages
584
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

Hi Pupp,

Thanks for asking this question, as it is one I have been wondering about as well. I look forward to reading all of the responses. T is just a few weeks younger than your son, and I also work full-time. I had always planned to breastfeed for a year, but that's only three months away now so I am not sure. My current schedule is to breastfeed at 7am from one side (I pump the other side), pump around 10:30, pump around 2:30, and breastfeed around 5:30.

Now that he is eating more solids he only drinks 12 oz at daycare and then another 6 oz bottle at bedtime around 7pm (that's usually his time with daddy). I am pumping well more than 18 oz per day (thankfully have been able to donate 1100+ oz) so I have been seriously considering dropping it down to one pumping session at work around noon. I have had to do that a couple of times in the past few months when I had meetings and couldn't fit in two sessions. It was fine on those days, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet to do it permanently as I am scared of it adversely affecting my supply too much.

I do know of a couple of women who continued to breastfeed just twice a day for a number of months. My gut feeling is that I could probably do it as I have never had any supply issues in the past. But, it is just a gut feeling. I've been thinking about contacting a LC that I know to ask her about this.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

Hi Pupp! Of course you don't have to stop nursing if you don't want to! All of my friends BFed for at least 12 months and most beyond in some form of another. Basically, you just start nursing on demand and send cow's milk to daycare for fluids if you don't want to pump.

I nursed Hunter for 12 months and never pumped. I went back to work when he was 10 months. For the first two months I was at work he nursed 4x per day -- before work, I visited him at lunchtime to nurse, then 2x after work. But I did not schedule it really, just offered it first thing in the morning, at lunch when I visited, when I picked him up at daycare, and before bed. That was fine for us and my supply kept up with his needs. At that point he was not taking cows milk and drank only a little water, so my milk was his main fluid, though he ate a lot of solids. He was night weaned. When I stopped visiting him at noon at 12 months and we introduced cow's milk during the daytime, my supply dropped (I assume) and he just lost interest in nursing :blackeye: So he weaned himself completely. I nursed him in the morning during our sleepy time in bed as a family for a while, but that was the only time he would nurse for comfort. The rest of the time he never even asked! One day I just said, well lets call it a day! I did not offer him nursing in the morning and that way that. It made me sad, because I wanted to nurse until he was closer to 18 months, but it was a very easy process.

Many of my friends was able to keep nursing only 2-3 times a day for a long long time. Their kids were more interested in comfort nursing that Hunter was, so their kids kept it up even though their supplies were a little lower, and that obviously made a difference. Once a child is 12 months, typically breast milk is not really necessary for nutrition -- though a great addition to their diet of course -- so I think comfort and bonding becomes a stronger motivator for the kid's interest in keeping it up. Hunter was always more interested in nursing for food than comfort per se, so when he did not need it for food he just opted not to nurse!

I think at 12 months you probably don't *need* to pump in the day and can just nurse on demand when you are with your child.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

Lindsey, I can’t believe Andrew is 1 this week! What a big deal! I hope you enjoy the big day. Does A take the sippy cup now? We give one to N but he just bangs it on the high chair tray and throws it on the floor! I definitely don’t want to be pumping at 18 months so I hope my body cooperates and nursing twice per day will work so long as N wants to.

Blen, I was thinking we would do the same – cow’s milk (as long as he can tolerate it) during the day and nursing in the am and at bed. I am nervous about cutting back on the pumping. I’ve had to skip my morning pump a few times and it always results in a clogged duct. I think what I’ll have to do first is reduce the amount of time I pump at each session then reduce the number of sessions. I’m so glad to hear that weaning was not traumatic for you or G. That’s what I was worried about with putting a deadline on things.

SS, thanks for the well wishes! A year ago, I didn’t even want to nurse. Now, I can’t imagine it any other way. I feel so lucky that it has worked for us.

Turtle, I pretty much have the same schedule as you except I nurse at bed. N has started taking less during the day too. He’ll take 12 ounces max but is usually somewhere between 6-10oz. I don’t know if MIL should offer the bottle with the same frequency just less at a sitting or just offer it less often? Or not at all and wait until he *asks*. I’m pumping at 10:30 and 2:30 too but sometimes have to split the difference and pump at lunch. I definitely get less output on those days so, over time, I’m guessing it would really impact my supply. I have a bit of supply paranoia so I’m sure I’ll struggle when I see my output drop.

Dreamer, I LOVE the no-pumping days. N has been sick so he’s been nursing in the MOTN. I actually like it because I don’t have to pump one side in the morning. This weekend, I didn’t pump at all. It was heaven! You make a good point – N may decide that HE’s done before I am. I never really thought about that. I’m just happy to know that it’s entirely possible that my body will meet his needs until he’s ready to wean. I’m definitely relieved by that. N is definitely a comfort nurser so I wonder if that’ll contribute to how long he nurses overall.

So…N had his 9 month well visit. We saw a Pedi in the practice that we haven’t seen before. He was very pleasant and attentive. Strangely enough, the topic of nursing came up as he was recommending that I introduce the sippy cup. He asked if I was still nursing and was very complimentary and encouraging as all of the other pedis in the practice have been. However, he then asked me how long I planned to continue and I said I wasn’t sure. He said that he generally recommends that toddles be weaned from all oral fixations if possible by 18 months. In his opinion, the breast is included. I found it odd that a pedi would recommend a stopping point for nursing. I’m learning to just go with my gut on some of these things… I did like him otherwise but probably will not see him again at a well visit because it’s important to me to have someone who’s supportive of weaning when we’re ready.
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

"weaned of oral fixations" Interesting :rodent: . I don't think such things are covered in a course or rotation in medical school unless he is a Freudian psychiatrist ;)) Seems like a doctor's personal attitudes can often seep over into their professional recommendations, and it is difficult as a patient to dientangle to two. I can't think of any medical reason why such a limit should be placed on any oral fixation, personally, but then I am not a medical doctor. So that is just my personal opinion too ::) . Gives me a chuckle though.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

I found it odd too! Maybe he could sense my uncertainty when he asked how much longer I planned to nurse but it really did seem like just an opinion. He didn't really position it as any more than that but I still felt like it was unnecessary. Maybe he knows something we don't. :rolleyes:

I'm learning that pediatricians don't know everything (surprise!) and that sometimes, I just have to go with what I think is right for my child. This is the perfect example.
 

Sha

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2007
Messages
2,329
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

Congrats for making it this far! :appl:

I breastfed up to 16 months (returned to work at 4 months pp). From 4 - 10 months, I breastfed morning, lunchtime (D's daycare was close by), and evening, and gave her formula at daycare. (I started out pumping at work, but it was too inconvenient and didn't fit well into my work environment, so I stopped at 5 months).

From 10 - 16 months (when we switched daycares I breastfed morning and evening only. Naturally, my supply dropped, but not too much. It wasn't a problem at all. About 2 weeks before my morning weaning date, I dropped the morning nursing session and bf at night only.

D gets formula and cow's milk exclusively now, at 17 months, although she still tries to nibble my breasts once a week or so. ::)
 

lbbaber

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

Pupmom, I recently experienced something similar with my son's pediatrician. I took him in for his 9 month well visit and we saw a Dr in the practice that we don't normally see. He asked me the same question and insisted I introduce the sippy cup ASAP with whole milk and to stop completely by 18 months (although he didn't mention 'Oral Fixation').

I have to admit, I was saddened by this. This is my 2nd child and I am now a SAHM. I was looking foward to letting my child and my body determine the *right* time to stop. I had no choice with my 1st bc of my work schedule. Now, I can't help but question myself. My son is 11 months now and d/t a recent surgery, he is eating mostly breastmilk. He needs the softer BM's that breastmilk brings so we do very little solid food (although he loves to eat it). The surgeon suggested sticking with breastmilk for a while but I feel like everyone around me is just expecting me to stop when he hits 12 months. I am sick of explaining my son's health issues to everyone that asks when I'm stopping and I don't have much support bc none of my friends/family are breastfeeding or they stopped really early.

It was nice to read about other moms' experiences with breastfeeding and I am glad that I am not the only one that wants to let my child and body decide when the *right* time to stop is.

Sorry OP for not answering your question.
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

lbbaber, do what you think is right! Sounds like your kiddo needs your milk. I say keep it up for as long as you can and/or want. I think my pedi, like yours, had good intentions in sharing his opinion but, it's just that - an opinion. I think they sometimes forget that they're medical professionals and, as such, often they're opinions are taken more as things you *should* do. I can't see any reason to wean until you're ready.

On a side note, I hope your DS feels better soon!
 

dreamer_dachsie

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
24,364
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

lbabber I just wanted to let you know that I have *many* friends who BF for much longer than a year, some as long as 2 years or more, and there is every indication their kids are totally adjusted, thriving, happy, heathy kids! Moreover, their heathcare providers never said a word about when weaning should occurr. In fact, I have a close friend whose daughter is the same age as my son (27 months) and was occasionally breast feeding and beginning the weaning process when she needed some extensive hospital care. During her stay, the nurses and doctors all mentioned many times how happy they were that she was BFing still as it was such a good source of comfort and nutrition during her treatment. So clearly those medical professionals did not think it was a bad thing at all for a two year old to BF! You do it as long as it feels right for you and your child, and don't worry about what anyone else says!
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,655
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

I breastfeed my son until he was 2. I did not pump because he refused from day one to take a bottle. His babysitter had him drinking from a cup before he could even hold one. He nursed when he was with me but I never pumped because he wasn't going to drink it anyway and the pumping gizmos in 1990 were nothing like what they sell today.

I produced a lot of milk but my body was able to turn it off during the day. As weird as it sounds on weekends I picked up again. I believe having my baby around stimulated milk production and being at work stopped the flow. My body got trained to the schedule. Towards the end of 2 years I only nursed at night.

Ah, no "oral fixations". My son is 21, never used a pacifier, sucked his thumb, doesn't smoke or chew gum. I've never heard of nursing as leading to oral fixations, of being considered an "oral fixation". It's a form of nutrition and comfort.
 

ljmorgan

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 5, 2006
Messages
1,037
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

Andrew does drink his breastmilk from a sippy cup. He only drinks from straw cups, he never took to the spout style sippy cups. He took to the straw cups with no issues at all. He only had water in them until he hit 11 months, the last 3-4 weeks he's been having his milk in them too and it hasn't been a problem. If you recently introduced N to cup, I'm sure he'll take to it quickly. I just tried a lot of different style cups to see what he liked. Good luck!
 

Puppmom

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 25, 2007
Messages
3,160
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

re: oral fixation. It did seem silly to me. I see a paci as being different than the breast. Besides, N is a thumb sucker and I can't exactly take away his thumb at 18 months! :bigsmile:
 

lbbaber

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

Thank you Dreamer and puppmom for the encouragement. It is greatly appreciated. It's nice to know I am not alone.
 

Blenheim

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Messages
3,136
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

Oral fixations... I agree that this is the doctor's personal attitudes creeping over into his professional recommendations.

World Health Organization - "Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond."

American Academy of Pediatrics - "Babies should continue to breastfeed for a year and for as long as is mutually desired by the mother and baby. Breastfeeding should be supported by your physician for as long as it is the right choice for you and your baby."

American Academy of Family Physicians - "NURSING BEYOND INFANCY. As recommended by the WHO, breastfeeding should ideally continue beyond infancy, but this is not the cultural norm in the United States and requires ongoing support and encouragement.69 It has been estimated that a natural weaning age for humans is between two and seven years.70 Family physicians should be knowledgeable regarding the ongoing benefits to the child of extended breastfeeding, including continued immune protection,71 better social adjustment,72 and having a sustainable food source in times of emergency. The longer women breastfeed, the greater the decrease in their risk of breast cancer.73 Mothers who have immigrated from cultures in which breastfeeding beyond infancy is routine should be encouraged to continue this tradition. There is no evidence that extended breastfeeding is harmful to mother or child. Breastfeeding during a subsequent pregnancy is not unusual. If the pregnancy is normal and the mother is healthy, breastfeeding during pregnancy is the woman's personal decision. If the child is younger than two years, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned. Breastfeeding the nursing child after delivery of the next child (tandem nursing) may help provide a smooth transition psychologically for the older child.19"

Health Canada - "Encourage exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life, as breast milk is the best food for optimal growth. Breastfeeding may continue for up to 2 years and beyond."

On a more personal note, I had to take G to the ER at 20 months for vomiting/dehydration, and got some very sweet comments from the ER staff when I was nursing him. I got the impression that they liked to see it.


Lbbaber - If you feel like it's best for you and your child to continue nursing for however long, you do not need to justify that to your friends and family. I think mine expected that I would wean sooner as it's what most of them had done, and were shocked when I referenced some of the above recommendations. That put an end to questions for a while, and so it's probably not necessary to bring in your child's health problems when talking about it if you can just remember what the "official" recs are. When G started nursing just at bedtime and not around the clock, I think the questions stopped entirely (other than from my mom) because they all just assumed that he was weaned. And I do hope that your little one feels better soon.

And, to increase our sample size from one to a whopping two, G does not show any signs of oral fixations.
 

GraceAva

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
84
Re: Breastfeeding beyond 12 months and working outside the h

hi everyone, i breastfed my daughter till she was 1yr and have only recently stopped. to be honest i was starting to get a bit worried that i would be bf her when she was 5! i started weaning her of it by giving her bottles and increasing them over time but sometimes she would just not accept a bottle and literally throw it at me, usually if she was over tired. also if she woke up in the night bf her was the only way to get her back to sleep, thats why i was getting a bit worried. my breast milk seemed to always adjust to how much it was needed and i never had any problems with leaking or pain. then eventually after about 2 months of bottles and bf on the day of the royal wedding there was no more milk! so we had a few days of grace crying at night and having to learn how to get herself to sleep but now she's fine. i do think your body will adjust if you only feed twice a day but with me it did eventually stop producing milk altogether. but to be honest i think that anybody who gets to a year deserves a prize and there body back! ive just found out i'm pregnant again so will have 9months off then the whole thing starts again!
 
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