How long did you breastfeed? - Mothering Forums
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I'm Not Vaccinating > How long did you breastfeed?
cms2's Avatar cms2 10:38 PM 10-17-2010
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!

lizzylou's Avatar lizzylou 10:40 PM 10-17-2010
My son still nurses a bit but doesn't really get much milk (if any at all) as I am pregnant. However he was definitely getting milk until right around his 2nd birthday. I felt that 2 years of nursing was my personal minimum in order to skip most vaxes. Not sure if that number is totally arbitrary, but I do remember that it's what Dr. Sears mentioned in the Vaccine Book.
earthmama369's Avatar earthmama369 10:47 PM 10-17-2010
DD stopped nursing the day before her fourth birthday. DS stopped at 3 years and 9 months. Building a strong immune system was definitely part of my decision to aim for child-led weaning. It wasn't the entirety of my decision, but it weighed in. I know that genetics, nutrition, hygiene, and plain old luck play into it, but I feel good about the part I've played. Both kids have strong immune systems and are rarely sick.
anj_rn's Avatar anj_rn 11:42 PM 10-17-2010
DS weaned himself at 18 months. DD is 19 months and no plan to stop. Really has nothing to do with vaxing, just want to build her immune system the best we can.
treeoflife3's Avatar treeoflife3 11:48 PM 10-17-2010
we ebf'd til 6 months and we are still bfing at 19 months. not vaxing has nothing to do with that choice. Our choice is merely to allow her to wean when she is ready.
alegna's Avatar alegna 12:10 AM 10-18-2010
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
MountainMamaGC's Avatar MountainMamaGC 12:37 AM 10-18-2010
I breastfed for 2 years, because I wanted her to be healthy. I think its a normal part of growing up. I would have probably breastfed 2 years regardless of vaccinating.
Xerxella's Avatar Xerxella 12:56 AM 10-18-2010
The 2 seem independant to me. We'd still be nursing even if we did vax. DS self weaned at 19 months (when I was pg w/ #2). DD is still nursing frequently at almost 18 months with no end in sight.

I can really see the benefit to nursing a toddler. It REALLY helps my DD calm down when the world doesn't make sense to her.
lilmom's Avatar lilmom 01:34 AM 10-18-2010
My DS is completely unvaxed (3 yrs old) and we were not able to bf at all because I was extremely sick during my pregnancy with him, and I had no milk. None. I cried for the first 2 months of his life every day about it.

But still, I considered not vaxing to be the healthiest thing for him, and I just did the best I could with organic formula and lots of love. He is the healthiest kid I know! He has hardly been sick at all in his life.

If I have another child and am able to nurse, I will probably do it for at least a year, but I don't think 2 yrs or any other number is magic. I just think it's up to you and your child. Don't worry yourself sick about it mama. Nursing and vaxing really are two separate issues..my son is proof.
caned & able's Avatar caned & able 01:43 AM 10-18-2010
to pre-kindergarten.
nukuspot's Avatar nukuspot 01:47 AM 10-18-2010
DD is 18mo and still going, I hope she will go for years longer for the immune benefits (non vaxxing here too) but also there are so many more benefits to BFding...Cuddles and intimacy with your LO, easy to get them to sleep, easy to calm them when they are upset, good source of vitamins/minerals/fats/proteins, good hydration source, quick snack when out, etc....The list is numerous. 8mo is really young to be worrying about stopping in my opinion. Enjoy your time together as a nursing pair!
CookAMH's Avatar CookAMH 02:11 AM 10-18-2010
I think we have just weaned, and my DS is about 17 1/2 mo. I didn't continue for a specific time because we don't vax, we just did it as long as it was right for us. I'm pg so I weaned him over the last couple of months.
citymagnolia's Avatar citymagnolia 02:49 AM 10-18-2010
DD will be 4 in February and still nurses every night and morning, sometimes during the day when she's feeling funky. I honestly haven't thought much about how long I'll nurse. Just until one or both of us feels it's the right time, I guess.

I will say that I had her on a selective/delayed vax schedule of one shot/month when she 6-11 months. When she was 11 months old she had a serious reaction to the Prevnar vax, in fact we almost lost her. She was unconscious in the ICU and we were told she might not wake up. When she did wake up, all she wanted to do was nurse for the whole week we were in the hospital. If she had been weened, that experience would have been many times more difficult, in so many ways. Nursing was comforting to her and kept her fed and hydrated. An added bonus was that certain staff members would leave the room when she was nursing, so she was actually able to get a little sleep as long as I kept her there.

I don't vax them anymore, but would probably have the same approach if they were vaxed.
smeep's Avatar smeep 03:26 AM 10-18-2010
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 nursed DS for 27 months.

That said, perhaps you should set smaller goals. Since you're at 8 months, make a goal to make it to 10. When you get to 10, make a new goal to go to 12 months. Once you hit 12 months, make a goal for 15. Then 18, and so on. Smaller goals seem a lot less overwhelming and chances are before you know it your LO won't be nursing as frequently (or you will be able to encourage them to nurse less) and you'll learn to love it! It was pretty hard for me with DS for the first year or so. Eventually it just became the easiest thing ever! I loved that it was the best way to quiet him when he was tired, frustrated, got hurt, etc.
Gismobabe's Avatar Gismobabe 07:32 AM 10-18-2010
I nursed my daughter for 17 months and she is fully vax'ed (but I will not vax her any more) and I nursed my second son for 16 months and he is not vax'ed at all. I am trying to keep their immune systems working well but after nursing I just started to give vitamins, colostrum powder and high dose vit C when they are sick.
Nicci P's Avatar Nicci P 10:16 AM 10-18-2010
DS1 (3yrs 5m) was vaxed before I learned more and decided to stop, DS2 (15m) isnt vaxed at all. Both still breastfeed. Will breastfeed on demand until 2yrs and after that its just 1 feed in the morning and 1 at bedtime, although more if they are unwell. I'm intending to feed until around 4-5 years old, but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
I agree with PP about setting smaller goals though, I originally intended to feed for 1 year but when it got to the end of that year neither of us were ready so I extended it to 2 years. By the time he got to 2, I'd decided to not worry too much about a cut off point (it was around the time I'd found MDC and realised that "normal" people breastfeed toddlers... I didnt know anybody who had breastfed past 4 months)
But that said, I never even linked my not vaxing to breastfeeding. But I do find it interesting that although both my boys are breastfed its the non-vaxed one who has literally never been ill whereas DS1 had chest infections and ear infections as a baby.
cms2's Avatar cms2 11:14 AM 10-18-2010
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.
~Charlie's~Angel~'s Avatar ~Charlie's~Angel~ 11:32 AM 10-18-2010
I wanted to chime in, although I am the black sheet here. Which is kind of my point.

DS1 I had very little support in BFing, and really didnt know what the heck I was doing. I had never even heard of LLL. We only made it to 4 months. Ironically, that is also when I stopped vaxxing.

DS2 made it to 11 months. I couldnt take it anymore, I was ready to chew my boobs off if he really wanted to continue nursing, but he didnt seem to notice the change. To me, my comfort was just as important, and I cringed evertime

How long I BFed has absoltuly no merrit on my decision at all. Neither does their daycare status.
treeoflife3's Avatar treeoflife3 11:37 AM 10-18-2010
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.
not awful... every single day I think about just weaning her (and sometimes cold turkey depending on whats going on!) but then I finish the day and the next one starts. I really do take it day by day. smaller goals are definitely easier haha!
akind1's Avatar akind1 12:03 PM 10-18-2010
We are still nursing at almost 11 months, and will continue to do so. The only thing I am working on weaning is the breastpump (I really don't like that thing!)

DS is completely non-vaxed but I don't BF because he is; the two are unrelated to me. He is also a very healthy little boy. I set small goals; until teeth, (he has 6 now) until 1 . . .and with that fast approaching I know we will not wean then. I think he will continue to be breastfed for several more months, at least. He does eat some solids, but doesn't seem to eat enough of those to reduce his nursing sessions.

One day, one week, one month at a time. that is how I try to do it.
jammomma's Avatar jammomma 12:12 PM 10-18-2010
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.
Qbear'smama's Avatar Qbear'smama 03:49 PM 10-18-2010
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.
MyBoysBlue's Avatar MyBoysBlue 03:59 PM 10-18-2010

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


fruitfulmomma's Avatar fruitfulmomma 04:04 PM 10-18-2010
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.
cms2's Avatar cms2 11:04 PM 10-18-2010
MyBoysBlue-forgive me, what does CP stand for?

Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
Mackenzie's Avatar Mackenzie 11:07 PM 10-18-2010
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....
Mackenzie's Avatar Mackenzie 11:08 PM 10-18-2010
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
smeep's Avatar smeep 11:16 PM 10-18-2010
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.
sosurreal09's Avatar sosurreal09 11:22 PM 10-18-2010
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!
cms2's Avatar cms2 11:00 AM 10-19-2010
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.)
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