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In another thread, someone asked why women say their BFing goal is six months. I started to answer, but my post got long enough that it would have been serious threadjacking.<br><br>
To the poster who asked "why six months" - that's the figure that appears in the handouts from the doctor's office. Mine wasn't the only doctor whose handout said that, either.<br><br>
Six months is supposedly when the benefit begins to trail off, ostensibly because the baby is starting to get nutrition from other sources. I'm a little vague on the exact wording, I'm just quoting from memory because I tossed the handout as soon as I got home.<br><br>
Also, for me, my mother made it six months with me until the doctor told her I had to be weaned. Bear in mind I'd only gained two pounds in those six months; I was looking at my baby pictures and realized I was holding a bottle of water in nearly every shot. I was born in a tropical area and my parents were positive that I needed water or I'd get dehydrated. THEY had never known anyone who nursed, so they didn't realize water was a bad thing.<br><br>
Anyway, even though I knew the handout was wrong, between that message, my mother's experience, and not knowing very many nursing mothers, that was just what I had in my head. Then I got to six months with my son and couldn't imagine weaning such a small person!<br><br>
Anyone else have a reason for their six month goal?
 

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Not only did I have a 6 month goal but I had a 3 month goal <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> . With DS1 I only BF'd for 3 months and that wasnt even exclusive. I was working, clueless and no support so I ended up giving up.<br><br>
When DS2 came around, I was even more bound and determined to give it a go. I set my goal for 3 months (baby steps) and was very hopeful because this time around I was a SAHM. Two weeks after he was born, my DH got deployed to Iraq (start of the war) and even he said that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the EBF, it would be too much with caring for a 2yr old on top of everything. It ended up being the best thing I did, it was WAY easier to BF than clean and mix bottles all on my own. Three months flew by in a blink, then 6 months, before I knew it, he was 18mos and self weaning and I was pouting that it was already over.<br><br>
I guess my reasons for having a 3 and 6 and 12 month goals was for baby steps. I make it to that point and say "ok, that wasnt so bad, now lets try it for 3 more months".
 

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I think it depends on how old the nurslings are that you see around you. When Konur was an infant, I thought 6 months because that's what I had heard and had not seen anyone older than an infant nursing. So, I figured babies stopped when they were an infant so 6 months is good. I didnt know how to stop but this was early on and Konur as tongue tied so I had enormous challenges and breastfeeding was a day to day thing for months.<br><br>
Then I met an amazing group of woman who took me in and showed me what EN looking like. They were all moms of toddlers who were still nursing and I was at first in shock, then amazed. I watched them parent using nursing as a tool as well as a source of nutrition. It became normal to see a walking talking person ask for milk, sit down on mommy's lap, latch on, and look at me as the moms spoke about their lives. The children were far from perfect but the bond with their moms was obvious. So, my goal was obliterated and I decided I wanted to be like that, have children like that, and let them wean when they wanted to.<br><br>
My theory is that we are comfy with what is around us, what we are exposed to. If we see older, then older will be more comfy for us so our goals will change. my two cents!
 

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I think that for some moms, it helps them to get to a 'goal', even if it seems silly or artificial to them later. For many reasons that Lori suggested, because for most of us, unfortunately, extended nursing or nursing PAST that six month mark, is not something any of us have ever witnessed. I myself was blessed to get really well educated about the realities of nursing, and for the long term, before i had my baby... I was determined to do it for 2 years, and i ended up with closer to three, which was awesome. Also, i think for some folks, to think of nursing as a 2 YEAR process might be a little daunting <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">. But then we realize what a lovely and natural progression it becomes, and we stop thinking about goals and months and even years.
 

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I said 6 months when I didn't know that formula would have to be used. Once I learned that, my goal was a year. Once he was born, my goal was just to get through the next day! I felt like quitting every day for the first three months. DS weaned at a month shy of 5 years.<br><br>
Though setting a goal can help, it can also be overwhelming. At the start, just trying to nurse another week or another day can seem like a lofty goal.
 

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I've always had a two year goal (well up until recently since I've become much more open to CLW thanks to you wonderful ladies!). I really think though that for most new mom's, that's as far ahead as they can imagine. Those first few months can be really tough and while we all know it gets easier (usually anyway) I can see how just focusing on making it to six months instead of a longer goal might seem much more manageable.
 
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