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How long did you breastfeed? - Page 2

post #21 of 48
My unvaxed 16 month old is still nursing, and he still nurses quite often. If I wasn't able to nurse him, I would have selectively vaxed after he was 6 months old. I would also probably selectively vax if he were in any type of childcare situation, particulalry if he wasn't nursing.
post #22 of 48
I thought I would BF until DD was one, but I ended up continuing til she was just shy of 3. Between 1 and 2 she had started at a large daycare (had been in a homecare situation before that) and she was sick a lot that year and I just felt like she really needed the breastmilk to support her immune/digestive system, it was more about that than the not vaxing. Plus, I really think BFing a toddler makes them way less ornery! I didn't want to lose the most effective toddler relaxation tool I had. By 3, I was ready to be done and I felt like she had a stronger immune system than the previous year, but she would have kept on forever if she could have.
post #23 of 48

My decision to let my son self wean, which he did at 3 years 9 months, was made before I decided to not vax. My brestfeeding decisions were made on the merits of breastfeeding alone and vaxing didn't come into the equation.

There were times where I was thankful that DS was still breastfeeding like when he had CP at 2.

 

CP = Chicken Pox


Edited by MyBoysBlue - 11/21/10 at 7:47pm
post #24 of 48
Neither my vax or my bf'ing decisions were made with the other in mind, though I certainly believe bf'ing helps the immune system and have bf'ed all of my children a minimum of 2 years and most of them longer.
post #25 of 48
Thread Starter 
MyBoysBlue-forgive me, what does CP stand for?

Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
My nursing has nothing to do with me not vaxing really. Dd nurses once a week or so and is 6yrs old. Ds is 2yrs and nurses tons still.

I'd nurse the same even if I vaxed.

and if I couldn't nurse it wouldn't make me consider vaxing. The two are independent to me.

-Angela


My two that nursed did so for 15 months and 3 years....
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cms2 View Post
MyBoysBlue-forgive me, what does CP stand for?

Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
Chicken pox most likely
post #28 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cms2 View Post
Wow! Thanks for all the responses. I do think setting smaller goals will help me feel less overwhelmed. I know this sounds awful but I hate feeling tied down. I can't be away from her for more than 2 hours. I'd like a little more freedom and flexability to do more things. I was an extremely active, on the go, productive person before I had her and had to bf all the time. I'd really like to chaperone my older DS's field trips but I can't be away from her all day nor could I pump on the field trip. I also had a home business that came to a halt when she arrived. I'm slowly rebuilding that, which makes me very happy, but it's very challenging because I'm with her 24/7.

I'm encouraged by the moms that say how great bf'ing is for soothing toddlers. I'm looking forward to quickly diffusing meltdowns. I'm really trying to find a balance in my life, focus on the positives and just keep moving forward with the bf'ing.
Seriously, it gets SO much easier in the toddler years! DS was a round-the-clock nurser as well, but as he got older we were able to hold off a lot longer. While he would prefer to nurse around the clock even at 18 months, I could leave him for hours at a time (aka, a field trip) with no problem. He didn't have a problem not nursing while I was gone. Of course this didn't happen until after the first year, but it was soooo worth making it through that first year to get there! You can also set limits to their nursing while you're with them. I didn't limit DS too much (other than the occasional, "Not now, mommy is busy/needs alone time") but lots of mamas can successfully cut it down significantly. I know mamas who after the first year only nurse 2-3 times a day. As long as your LO doesn't protest drastically (which is a clear sign that they're not ready for such a significant reduction) then it's fine. After the first year they get all they need from mama milk regardless of how much or little they nurse. The concentration changes according to how frequently they nurse.
post #29 of 48
what do you mean the only reason you have stuck with BFing is to build her immunity?

DD is almost 13 months dont plan to quit until she does for several reasons, her security and well being my #1

i *always* feel like i cant be away from her x amount of hrs but i personally dont want to. anyways i HAD to the other day from 7am-4:30pm. i nursed her at 12 b/c DH brought her to where i was so she could nurse. she was fine went a whole 6hrs without milk!
post #30 of 48
Thread Starter 
I say that because that has been the driving force that has stopped me from giving up. BF'ing is a *huge* commitment. And even saying that feels like an understatement. It is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and it pales in comparision to natural childbirth. There is no end in sight anytime soon with the bf'ing and the thought of that is overwhelming. The first 7-8 weeks, I did nothing (and I mean absolutely nothing else) but nurse her 24/7. My older DS was neglected, my house was a mess, some days dinner was a bowl of cereal. After that it did get a little easier, but I'm still the only person that can feed her, the only person to put her to sleep, and I'm the one doing 100% of the nighttime parenting. It is a lot on my shoulders. And then there's the added pressure that this was my decision to not vax so *I need* to keep bf'ing. (This is my own internal thinking, not from DH or someone else.)
post #31 of 48


Maybe try to work on a routine where someone else can put her to sleep? That seems like it might be a good place to start. Will she get sleepy when taken for a walk in a stroller or carrier? Or walked in the dark? Or rocked? Or bounced? While my nursing decisions are totally separate from my vaccination decisions, everything I read made me feel very strongly that children had an inborn right to nurse into (and often through) toddlerhood. Developmentally it just makes sense. The immune boosting is just a nice side effect.

-Angela
post #32 of 48
sorry i really cant relate b/c i have always loved to nurse and loved the convienience of it. yes i do the sleep and nightime stuff but its really easy i just lay there and get a min to relax while shes nursing.

that really sux you hate it so much. idk what to say besides what pp said
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cms2 View Post
I say that because that has been the driving force that has stopped me from giving up. BF'ing is a *huge* commitment. And even saying that feels like an understatement. It is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and it pales in comparision to natural childbirth. There is no end in sight anytime soon with the bf'ing and the thought of that is overwhelming. The first 7-8 weeks, I did nothing (and I mean absolutely nothing else) but nurse her 24/7. My older DS was neglected, my house was a mess, some days dinner was a bowl of cereal. After that it did get a little easier, but I'm still the only person that can feed her, the only person to put her to sleep, and I'm the one doing 100% of the nighttime parenting. It is a lot on my shoulders. And then there's the added pressure that this was my decision to not vax so *I need* to keep bf'ing. (This is my own internal thinking, not from DH or someone else.)


Nursing is hard work and I can relate, bf'ing is one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life too (especially at the beginning, constant non stop nursing, mastisis, plugged ducts, no support, rude comments, etc), and I didn't even have another kid to take care of! And like you I also do 100% of the nighttime parenting. There is a lot on your shoulders, And it's awesome that you have been able to ebf this long and it really does get easier in the toddler years. And for us, it got a lot easier once he started solids. The pressure was off me in a small way, and I felt that if I was gone for a couple hours (say.. to get a much needed and deserved massage! hint hint!) that my ds would be ok with daddy chowing down on some avocado or banana.

And maybe try not to look at it all in terms of years, but rather day to day or even minute to minute, ykwim? Looking at it in the long term can be overwhelming, but just getting through each day is a bit more manageable.

You've done great so far, and you can do this! It is hard work, but really the hardest part of it is over, it gets way easier as they get older.
post #34 of 48
Maybe this link will be helpful: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/love-bf-24-7.html

I think that breastfeeding is so much more than just a method to provide immunities to your child. Maybe if you could explore some of the reasons it is so important that it might help you with your resolve. It also is important to note that your baby will still want to be close to you at this stage. It is normal and will be a need of hers regardless of feeding method. This can be overwhelming for mothers. It is important that whenever you can, that you carve out a little time for yourself each day. Even if all you do is read a book for 30 minutes or take a bath. She is old enough that you could feed her and leave with your dp for a few hours to go out with friends. Breastfeeding committments do not mean you do not have to give up all of yourself. You just have to be more creative at how you take care of yourself.
post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cms2 View Post
My nonvaxed DD is 8 months old and still EBF. She has no interest in starting solids. The only reason that I have stuck with bf'ing was to help build her immune system. I feel that I have put so much pressure and guilt on myself to bf her for *years* due to the fact that I'm not vaxing. I'm curious how long others have bf and how much not vaxing has played into that.

Thanks!
I plan to breastfeed until next spring. My youngest will be 2yrs and 2 months. He's enjoyed solids from early on and begged for food at 4 months. Some babies don't do that. My third son didn't eat solids for 2 whole years, other than some mushy stuff, but would even gag on mushy frenchfries. He was healthy and fat on breastmilk, so I kept it up until he was around 3. My first two were 15mo and 9mo(her choice).

The reason I'm holding on until next spring is because I want to get him through the winter without worrying about what to feed him if he gets ill. It helps him recover so quickly. When we all had the swine flu last year, he had a slight fever for a day while some of us were down hard.

You say you feel pressure to breastfeed her for years. Where's the pressure coming from? How long do you currently plan to breastfeed? You have to do what's right for you and her, not what you're pressured to do. It does help, but I don't think it's mandatory.
post #36 of 48
Three weeks

And that wasn't even exclusive.

My DD completely refused the breast. Forget about bad latch, we had no latch. She would see my boob and flip out, arch her back and try to push me away.

The support I received was awful. One of the nurses in the hospital talked me into giving her formula in the middle of the night (my biggest regret). I requested to see an LC three times before they finally gave me a referral, and she mainly talked about bottle feeding. My doctor told me to go cold turkey on bottles and just give her water (!!!) until she decided to take the breast. It was seriously awful.

I pumped what I could, but after 3 weeks my DH had to go back to work and I had no idea how I would spend 20 minutes pumping 6+ times a day while caring for a newborn on my own. Meanwhile I was spending those 20 minutes dwelling on what a failure I was as a mother. Not healthy, and I was spiralling towards PPD really fast.

So we had to make the decision that it was better for my DD to have an emotionally healthy mother, than it was for her to have the breastmilk I was able to pump (it was about 50/50 at that point). We switched to formula full time.

I still greatly mourne the loss of our breastfeeding relationship. But I did the best I could do at the time.

As for vax.... DD hasn't had a single one. And won't, unless something seriously major happens to change my mind. I know that BFing would have been better for her immune system, but it wasn't like formula made vaccines any safer.

And you know what? She is still one of the healthiest kids I know. In over two years she has had a couple of colds, and a case of Hand Foot and Mouth disease (that was given to her by a fully vaxed kid, btw) and that is it.

So there it is... the view from the dark side.
post #37 of 48
DD nursed for 28 months, DS1 for 36 months, and DS2 for 28 months (only because I am pregnant and there is no more milk).

I didn't nurse them for any certain amount of time due to not vaxing...I just nursed them until they stopped...for whatever reason.
post #38 of 48

our DD is still nursing at 22 months a lot! I'm still nursing her because she needs it/ wants it....not because we didn't vax. I do feel like it's great for keeping her healthy and strong. we'll stop when she's ready, which doesn't seem like anytime soon. fly-by-nursing1.gif

post #39 of 48

Not that I'll be much help here, but I am going through the same thoughts in my own mind....Most people on here say they are comfortable about not vaxing and then give their extended BFing as at least one reason for why.  My baby is 6.5 months and I am not sure that I will really be able to nurse him for years to come.  It's not that I hate nursing, it's just that it's exhausting me to do it all day every day.  I feel like I'm so busy taking care of him all day that I don't take good care of myself and am just rapidly losing weight the more he gains (this started out as a good thing, but now I'm starting to look borderline unhealthy...I'm thinner than I was at my wedding and I dieted like crazy for that!)  I'd also like to get pregnant again soon and I don't know that I can even get pregnant while I nurse. As of now, still no sign of period or fertility returning, although I know it's a little early...

 

I have introduced some solids but that's just extra so he's not really nursing any less.  I do work a few nights a week and during that time, my baby gets a bottle or two of formula from my husband.  I don't have a good pump and my job is not one where I could find time or a place to pump.  I work the entire time I'm there and the rest of the time I'm gone I'm driving so it just doesn't work for me.  Other than that, though, he is breastfed probably 90% of the time. 

 

My dilemma is that I haven't given him any vaccines yet.  Like you, I've used breastfeeding as a reason for why it's "ok" to not vaccinate.  My concern is that if I don't force myself to  breastfeed until he's 3 or 4, I'm going to walk around all paranoid about him catching some VPD.  

 

I guess what I'm wondering is, if we do decide to wean before age 2, would it be a good idea to then get him vaccinated?  I'm a little worried about stopping because our doctor made it seem like as long as I was breastfeeding and not using daycare, I didn't have to worry too much about rotavirus.  But I didn't ask what would happen if I stopped breastfeeding.  At this point, it's too late for him to get that shot anyway, so did I commit myself to another 2-3 years of BFing?  Or does past BFing continue to help him throughout his life?  

 

I'm sorry if I'm no help but wanted to add in my concerns and let you know that I understand where you're coming from and am watching this thread. Thanks to all who have responded so far. 

 

post #40 of 48


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gemini529 View Post

 

My dilemma is that I haven't given him any vaccines yet.  Like you, I've used breastfeeding as a reason for why it's "ok" to not vaccinate.  My concern is that if I don't force myself to  breastfeed until he's 3 or 4, I'm going to walk around all paranoid about him catching some VPD.  

 

I guess what I'm wondering is, if we do decide to wean before age 2, would it be a good idea to then get him vaccinated?  I'm a little worried about stopping because our doctor made it seem like as long as I was breastfeeding and not using daycare, I didn't have to worry too much about rotavirus.  But I didn't ask what would happen if I stopped breastfeeding.  At this point, it's too late for him to get that shot anyway, so did I commit myself to another 2-3 years of BFing?  Or does past BFing continue to help him throughout his life?  

 

I'm sorry if I'm no help but wanted to add in my concerns and let you know that I understand where you're coming from and am watching this thread. Thanks to all who have responded so far. 

 


I've never had a doctor who really knew anything about how to reduce the severity of illnesses.  They've always been more focused on avoiding germs than supporting the body in dealing with said germs in an appropriate manner. 

 

The Health & Healing forum has a lot of threads on immune function, both stuff to reduce the likelihood of illness, as well as how to minimize the severity once you're sick.  And those suggestions work for a wide range of illnesses, not just the short list of vaccine available diseases. 

 

I breastfed my son til I weaned him when he was 21 months old and it did not help keep him healthy (yeah, I'm sure, I've done a lot of things to help his immune function and strangely, weaning him was one of them).  There are a lot more ideas out there than I realized, and I just keep finding more, building up my toolbox. 

 

 

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