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Friday, March 11, 2011

Breastfeeding love

I'm totally in love with this nursing photo and can't stop looking at it.

Moms, how long did you breastfeed your babies? And moms-to-be, how long do you imagine you will? Three months? Six months? A year? Toddler-age? Or not at all? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

(Photo by Michal Rubin)

421 comments:

1 – 200 of 421   Newer›   Newest»
haleysuzanne said...

I'm due in June, and I plan on breastfeeding exclusively for six months, introducing solids after that, and weaning at about 1 year.

kati said...

both of mine weaned themselves, otherwise i would have breastfed them longer. my first weaned the week of her first birthday and my second at 14 months. i loved snuggling my babes.

swedish in atlanta said...

I only breastfed a few months. I have three beautiful kids and it with each baby the breastfeeding got shorter and shorter. I was too impatient. However, my kids are very healthy, tall, and strong:)
Petra

H said...

My first weaned at 8 months and I was seriously angry at the world. With the new babe I am going to breastfeed for a year at least. It gives me so much joy to provide and connect with my children by breastfeeding them.

Tanara said...

Both girls 15 months. It was perfect.

mrs. olson said...

I breastfed my now 4 year old until 2 days after he turned a year, my second, weaned herself between 9 and ten months. I am currently nursing my third, Olive, who is 8 months and I'll be happy to let her wean herself whenever she's ready, even if she's closer to a toddler.

Angela {Phit Chicks} said...

I made it one year.
Some challenges since I travel internationally -- you haven't lived until you've smuggled frozen breast milk through customs!

Once, when at an airport hotel without a fridge for my room, I needed to freeze the milk overnight. So I snuck it into the bottom of the ice cream freezer in the gift shop.

Had to get down there early the next morning and retrieve it before someone thought Medela was a new kind of ice cream bar. :)

Motherhood makes you inventive and courageous.
Was hard. Would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Tara said...

I plan on breastfeeding my son (who's 4 1/2 months old) until he's at least a year old. Before he was born I intended to wean at one year but now that he's here I think I'll leave it up to him :)

CINCHED AT THE WAIST said...

wow, such a powerful image. just natural.

Chelsea said...

I was able to stay home the first few years. I let my daughter choose to stop nursing at 22 months. I miss that special time we spent together (...and burning an extra 500 caliories a day while sitting on my bum)!

Sherry said...

Loved nursing my sweet babes! I get tingles just even looking at this photo. My first baby was a premie and because I was sick with pre-eclampsia the nursing didn't go well so I pumped milk for her bottles for 3 weeks. Second baby weaned himself after about 3 months. Third baby refused a bottle and nursed until she was 2 years old. All are healthy and perfect! It's an incredible experience.

Jennelle said...

With my first child I breastfed to 21 months and my second weaned herself at 18 months.

Meredith Hayes said...

My wee baby us 4 weeks. I am determined to nurse for a year, but that doesn't mean I won't introduce solids at 6 months and use a bottle of formula here and there when he's emptied me out (he's a total bottomless pit).

It's amazing to me our bodies can come up with this perfect concoction for our sweethearts and that minutes out of the womb, they know exactly what to do. Painful though it may be, I'm sold!

t. said...

Awesome. Still nursing at 15 months. No plans on stopping anytime soon.

Kelly said...

I nursed my son until he weaned himself, at about three years old. Of course as he got older, it was very minimal, just a little bit before bed or naptime, or when he was sick. The nursing relationship is such a special one, and I was happy to let it end gradually and naturally.

Joanna Goddard said...

i love these thoughts -- so great to hear so many older babies nursing, lucky for them!

Joanna Goddard said...

i'm curious about working moms: did you wean earlier? it's so hard to pump frequently and enough/juggle work schedules around feeds/etc....i'd love to hear!

Emily said...

I planned to breastfeed for two years, but stopped after about 4 months. When I went back to work at 2 months I was struggling to keep milk production up, pumping in a spare kitchen in the restaurant where I work, getting up at 4 am to pump, and finally gave up when my baby still wasn't getting enough to eat. I wish more than anything that I had tried harder or tried combining breast milk and formula. I miss nursing so much. But my kid is healthy and that's what matters.

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

This is poetic!

Have a wonderful weekend!

xo


Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Joanna Goddard said...

angela, that is hilarious!!

Pure Mod Life said...

nursed all of mine until 2ys, just in the morning and at night closer to 2 that they got. my dr said it was the perfect multiple vitamin for them and until they had their full set of teeth, so they could get all nutrition is was best.

Joanna Goddard said...

emily, i am in the same boat!!

Angela {Phit Chicks} said...

Oh Joanna, you have me reminiscing...
I cried when I sold the breast pump.
http://bit.ly/ifLRSA

Casey Craig Art said...

My first child I breastfeed til 9 months but I was working outside the home part time and it was extremely difficult to express milk in the public bathroom at my job to keep up with his demand and I had to supplement with formula.

By the time my second child was born I was working at home. I breastfed him for a full year and this was such a better experience! At one year "they" say you can start them on cow's milk. Once those chompers start coming in you're ready to pass it on to Elsie!

Bethany said...

That photo is so sweet. :) Thanks for sharing it.

When my daughter was born, my goal was just to make it through the first 6 weeks, as everyone assured me that was the point at which it got easier. And it did. After that, my next goal was exclusively BFing til 6 months, which we did, then BFing (in addition to solids) to one year. My daughter is 13.5 months now and we both still love nursing. I can't see it ending any time soon, but I'm open to weaning if she indicates that's what she wants. My new goal is 18 mos-2 years, but like I said, I'm playing it by ear as far as how we're both feeling about it! :) I'm pretty sure some of our family/friends probably think I'm weird, but my husband is super supportive, as is my work.

Mary said...

I breastfed my boy until he was 2, he weaned himself at that point.
I weaned my girls at a year, but since they were twins, I convinced myself that it was like nursing for 2 years.
I still felt a little guilt about it though!
There is nothing in the world like the bond you achieve through nursing. Some of my fondest memories of my babies are during those middle of the night feedings.

maggie said...

i nursed for 6 months and then weaned because of going back to work. my baby is healthy and thriving on solid foods and formula and kefir!

NHmommy said...

I nursed my first son (now 3.5) for 17 months, I weaned him because I could not get pregnant! So frustrating. After weaning I got pregnant 2 months later. My second son turned one on the 25th of Feb and is down to two nursings a day. I am not sure how long we'll go, whenever he wants to stop I guess!

Melissa said...

We made it 8 1/2 months! I wanted to go to a year but my daughter stopped, cold turkey, I think mostly due to a cold that was making it hard to eat. I was so sad and tried to keep going for a week but she was done! I figured if she was done, she was done and we were good. Those late night and early feedings are special memories and I look forward to doing it again!

Aaron said...

We made it to 11 monts then he started biting! I'd flinch and he'd get startled and start crying. It was so pitiful. I guess that was his way of telling me he was done.

Marie Bee said...

beautiful!

my boy is 14 months, and still nursing. not as much as he used to, but he still insists first thing in the morning and when he's feeling tired. i'm not ready to let it go!

MaMaZu said...

I am now a grandma of 4 and I breastfed all 4 of my children for a range between 12 months to 2 1/2 years. All of my grandkids have nursed as well. Loved it!

Anna said...

I breastfed to 22 months, when my daughter weaned herself. I could have kept on going, since by that point it was really just morning and/or bedtime feeds, and it was such a useful soothing tool, too - when she fell and got stitches at 16 mos. I remember feeling like it was the only thing that calmed her down! That said, I couldn't help but feel awkward being the last one still breastfeeding of all my friends...

gemma said...

i actually didn't breastfeed at all because i felt very private about my body. i just didn't want to do it. my baby was on formula from day one and he is health yand happy. i feel good about my decision. each mother has to decide what works best for her and her baby and family!

Joanna Goddard said...

yes, melissa, working definitely makes it much tricker, i agree!!

Meg said...

I'm planning to start having kids in the next few years, and i have a new handsome baby nephew who is now 8 months old, so this is an issue i've given a fair amount of thought to. i'm so glad to hear so many varied opinions, and it seems that going with whatever works for each mom & babe is the most important thing - for some, the baby is ready to move on after a fraction of a year, for others they continue to bond up to two years. ideally i think i'd like to breastfeed for 6 months to a year. it's great as a girl with a twinkle in her eye (that's what my mom used to say about us before we were born... we were twinkles in her eye) to hear all these perspectives, and i love that you talk about these issues on your blog, joanna!

She Used To Walk Fast said...

I thought I would nurse for a year but my kiddo got teeth and between chomping on me (wow does that hurt! I remembered reading a book that counseled you not to yell if your baby bit your nipple and wondered if the author had ever had that happen) and his own self-weaning we finished nursing at around seven and 1/2 months. I still remember the last time I nursed him - it was 5.30 in the morning and I was sitting on my sister's couch in California and the sun was just starting to rise. He is healthy, smart as a whip and does everything on his own terms so if he was ready to be done with nursing then so be it.

Emily said...

Beautiful photo! I'm breastfeeding my 4 month old I will try to make it 1 year. I've had to supplement with some formula because I never made a full crop of milk, but I love breastfeeding her and of course, she loves it too. I'm not ever sure how I will get her to bed without it.

Kayla said...

My first refused to nurse and it made me so sad. Now my second is 10 months old and we're going strong. I love it so much! I'll stop when he's ready or (more likely) when I dry up. I'll be sad to see it go.

Kayla
Freckles in April | a modest fashion and lifestyle blog

Carly said...

I hope to make it to a year. My daughter is turning six months on Monday and I feel so proud that I have made it this long. It is one of my favorite parts of being a mom even though I was totally overwhelmed by the responsibility at first. Our daughter is so big and strong and my husband is constantly amazed that she has gotten this way strictly on my milk alone. I love that he realizes that and it only adds to my feeling of accomplishment.

Beth said...

I have 4 children and have exclusively breastfed 3 of them. All of them have weaned themselves- I am still nursing my 11 month old. The other 2 stopped at 13 months and 16 months. I think each child is a little different. I love nursing. It is amazing.
ps. i love your blog. i am a very late straggler- new reader. xo

Misty Hamel said...

What a great shot! My 10 month old is still nursing and likes to nurse in the bath and shower. It is a completely different experience than nursing in a more 'normal' setting. I don't have a specific end date in mind for nursing. It is such a comfort to me knowing he is getting his nutrients because he is still off and on with solids so far. I just may have to post our favorite breastfeeding pic now.

Sarah R said...

Mine is a little over 9 months and I have just started slowly weaning her. I just can't keep up and pumping isn't too fruitful these days. I think the key is to wean very gradually. At 9 months, I dropped a feeding and now we are giving her two formula feedings a day. It is working out really well for us. She seems satisfied too! Good luck! Everyone finds what works for them.

renee kristine said...

my son self weaned when he was 7 months.. i could tell my milk supply was decreasing so it was only a matter of time. i was really heartbroken, but he got his first tooth the next day! and his second a week later... sooo it was probably for the best!

i was really hard on myself because i wanted to do it for a year.. but in hindsight; 6 months is a great goal. so i should be over the moon that i made it to 7 months!

Anonymous said...

I am in love with these responses. It is so wonderful to "be" among moms who are pro-nursing!! I am a full-time working mom of a 16 month old girl who I nursed for almost 11 months. I took 4 months off for maternity leave and nursed exclusively for the first 5 months and pumped and nursed for 11 months total, but had to use formula along with breastmilk starting at 5 months because I wasn't pumping enough. To all the working moms - it is doable! I carted ice packs and breastmilk to and from work each day for 7 months. It's a labor of love but so worth it. (As an aside, I pumped at work so the nanny could give bottles during the workweek, but the key was nursing exclusively - no bottles - on weekends to get my supply back up.)

Elizabeth {e tells tales} said...

I'm due in June and plan on breastfeeding for 1+ years. But I teach school and still haven't puzzled that one out. It's my secret plan of plans to just take a year off. But we'll see. I'm definitely inspired by all the moms above who stuck with it so long.

stephanie said...

With my first baby (my son) I only nursed him for a couple of weeks. He had some stomach issues (reflux)and was spitting up ALL the time. I thought he was not getting enough and started to bottle feed:(
I nursed my daughter who came 3 years later for 18 months. They are now 15 and 12 and I still sometimes feel guilty that I nursed her and not him. Although, he is now a healthy and beautiful teenage boy:)

Lisa said...

I enjoyed a year with each! Then they were snackers who actually just wanted cuddle. It was great. Gosh just looking at that wonderful photo made my girls a little tingley!
Thanks for posting & have a wonderful weekend.
xo Lisa

Alicia Stucky said...

My son only breastfed for about 4 months, and even though I was okay with the decision to start giving him formula at the time, I later regretted that I missed out on the "magical" breastfeeding relationship that other moms gushed about developing with their children who nursed longer.

I didn't understand it until I had my daughter. We're going strong at 6 months and I absolutely love nursing her (though I'm looking forward to getting a break with the introduction of more solids!) :-)

Joanna Goddard said...

i love this discussion! i just want to add a little note: there does feel like societal pressure (at least in new york, not sure about other places) to breastfeed as long as possible. but i believe 100% that it's up to the mom and baby and there are many, many ways to bring up happy, healthy babies--breastfeeding, formula, a combo, etc! i just wanted to add a note that i don't want to make any moms feel bad for not breastfeeding as long as others (or for not breastfeeding at all)--that's definitely not the point of this discussion:) love to all mamas!!! xoxo

Jenni said...

I wasnt able to breastfeed either of my baby girls. :( I have rheumatoid arthritis and the medicine that I have to take to control it (barely) is dangerous to young children and passes through breastmilk. Without the medicine I wouldn't be able to function and care for them in other essential ways so there wasn't much choice but it's an experience I fear I am always going to lament not having.

Merrilyn said...

This photo makes me sigh with the wonderful memories of nursing my babies. Both of my children weaned themselves at 14 months. It was such a precious time, and I wouldn't trade it for anything! On a related note, I can't bring myself to get rid of the rocking chair I sat in to nurse and rock them, even though my youngest is now 3.

Anonymous said...

Hi.
I have been wanting to comment since i started to read your blog last June. Because we both have a baby boy born on May 2010 called Toby! Mine was born on 14th.
I am still breastfeeding my Toby and dont have any plans when will i stop.
I have two older girls who i breastfed til 12 months and 14 months.
And that picture is amazing!
Henna from U.K.

joya said...

I breastfed my first for a year, went back to my corporate job after maternity leave at 3 mos. Just pumped during day with no issues. I even had some travel where I also pumped. Key for me was to pump every 3 hours and to eat/drink a healthy diet and try to keep stress to a minimum.
With my second, who had severe food allergies since birth I breastfed him until 15 mos. I quit my corp job, started joyababy and was on a strict elimination diet for his health. He would react to everything I ate. I was so committed to breastfeeding him that I was eating like 6 ingredients for a year straight. It was worth it to me because he was building his already comprised immune system through me.

Now nursing my third who is a few months old and loving every minute. He also has signs of a few allergies so I have eliminated a few foods from my diet.

:)

Susannah said...

my 1st munchkin decided she was done a day before her first birthday. (my clue was that instead of nursing, she had increasingly been mystified by just looking at my nipples and then poking them and playing with them instead of eating. um, silly baby) i won't lie- that first day i felt a little rejected.

my second is nine months now (one day younger than YOUR bambino!) and LOVES to nurse. she would probably just hang out "nursing" 20 hours a day if she could. so maybe she'll end up going longer than a year. i work freelance from home & so i am lucky to have instant access to feed her. i have friends who have done crazy things to nurse! uh- pump BOTH SIDES while driving to and from work, pump in a broom closet at a high school, etc.

i love it and my babies have loved it.

Lisa said...

I just have to add. My kids were born in California and i always saw women breastfeeding.
I honestly don't think I have ever seen a woman breastfeeding in Lexington.
Different place, culture and level of public acceptance I guess. Nurse on sister!

ElisabethCS said...

My first one kinda weaned herself at 16mo.
My son needed to be weaned...he wasn't done when I was ready...so he kept nursing til about 18mo.
My third is now 8mo and we are still nursing strong.

I think he will follow the same pattern.

Love the photo. Wish I was brave enough to take one of me nursing. It's really a gorgeous thing. Not sexual at all, but our society is brainwashed.

btw love your blog!

Elisabeth
thehappyyogamom.com

Bree said...

I weaned my daughter on her 4th birthday. It was a wild adventure. From a rough start (bleeding nipples, bad latch), working, becoming a SAHM, pregnancies, and tandem nursing I learned so much about myself and my relationship with my daughter. I basically told her it was time to stop (I was so ready!) and she definitely would have nursed longer.

I'm still nursing my 9 month old. I don't plan on nursing as long this time. I would say two years is about what I'm planning right now. I want to have a third child and do not want to nurse during pregnancy or tandem nurse again.

Molly said...

My baby is just a few days shy of a year, and I'm still breast feeding. For me, the first months of bf-ing were so, so hard; then, from 4-8ish months, it felt like a constant struggle to keep him interested. Now that he's nearly 12 months old, it's actually easy (and, consequently, enjoyable), and I find myself unwilling to wean.

When I went back to work, I kept up my supply by adding one or two extra pumping sessions a day. It was and is a major pain (bf-ing has been the hardest part of babyhood for me), but for some reason, I'm still doing it.

ohnomyboots said...

One glorious, euphoric year before she began biting me to bits! It was so funny when we were home and she saw me take my shirt off to get ready to feed her, she would start this really silly mild hyperventilation thing- and her face would just light up in joyous anticipation! I do wish I had found a way to get through the biting, maybe we would have both learned something about aggression and boundaries- and if I have another I hope to go longer than I did.

Julia said...

My son is still nursing at 10 1/2 months. I'll definitely let it go as long as he wants - or until he has teeth as he doesn't have any yet. He eats real food like a champ without and teeth, so I only nurse four times a day. And no, I don't work which does make it easier.

Angela {Phit Chicks} said...

You're right Joanna, there is societal pressure to breastfeed.

There's also societal pressure to not inconvenience anyone while you do it.

Especially for working women. A bit of a dilema.

Sneaking out of Board meetings every two hours and kneeling down in corners of airports to be near an outlet were part of the "Fun" when I pumped for a year.
My co-workers were patient with post-its on my door -- "Available in 20 minutes" -- but other offices aren't so accomodating.
Oh, I could go on and on...
Wonderful post, thanks :)

Amy said...

My son is 7 months and I work full-time outside the home. I pump 3x a day and he nurses before bed. He gets two bottles of breastmilk and 2 bottles of formula a day, in addition to cereal and veggies. I thought I would quit pumping/nursing after six months, but I think I will go on longer because it is just so sweet. (In addition, we suffered a bout of stomach flu and all he could keep down was breastmilk and pedialyte, so I blew through my freezer stash. Knowing he was getting his nutrition through my breastmilk was very comforting...for both of us.) I admit the pumping is hard and tedious; though the bedtime nursing makes up for it.

hazel and hunter said...

such a sweet photo! i'm still nursing at 8 months, but a lot less because she's eating solids now... i'll probably keep doing it until 11-12 months, unless she weans herself before then!

Anonymous said...

I breastfed my twins for about 4 months, but also fed them formula. One would get breastfed and the other would gt a bottle and at the next feeding, they would switch. I had to keep a chart to keep it all straight! They are happy and healthy. (I have a friend who didn't breast feed bc she worked full time, but also because she was also somehow uncomfortable with the idea.)

Heather Mead Kim said...

I am a working mom and still nursing my 5-month-old son. It is going great, but being away from him during the weekday daytime hours makes it tough. I feel like we need the weekends so much - to provide me a break from pumping and to ensure that we stay on track with milk production. It is tricky, but so worth it. I plan to keep it up as long as we're both able and willing!! :)

Claudia said...

I didn't breastfeed my two oldest. I just wasn't given the support I needed when I had them. My third daughter though was exclusively breastfed because I ended up with an awesome lactation consultant that helped me over the hurdles and hangups I had from the first two. She is now 13 months and has weened herself. We are expecting our fourth child at the end of May and I plan on breastfeeding again exclusively till she is weened. This past year has been amazing and I am happy that we where able to do it. It is such a special bond.

Martha said...

I'm currently breastfeeding my 2 month old son but have to go back to work in two weeks. I have started pumping (hate it, btw, and hope it gets easier) but I'm worried I won't have a big enough supply when he starts day care so I plan on supplementing with some formula. I'm feeling nervous about this but I really have no other options. I plan on breastfeeding for about a year and introducing solids around 6 months. We will see!

Anonymous said...

I have three kids, I tried breastfeeding my first, but for some reason he wouldn't latch on (later on we discovered that he had developmental problems), we tried for three months, I faithfully pumped milk every two hours to keep my supply, but once I went back to school I couldn't keep it up. With my second I breastfed him for 1 year, and with my third she nursed for 1 month but she was losing weight, so the doctor asked me to give her formula, and I just gave up trying to nurse her. I am glad I tried with all of them, breastfeeding is wonderful.

crystal said...

i just loved reading through these comments. i live in a small town in the midwest and sometimes wonder if i am the only one who breastfeeds still. it is so comforting to know how many mommas stick to it when they can.

KERRY said...

Oooh, I agree, what a gorgeous picture! I am still breastfeeding my Bertie and he is nearly 14 months. He still feeds about 6 times in 24 hours, and is showing no signs of giving up. But then, I'm not ready yet either! I think we'll just keep going with it until he eventually weans himself. That's the plan anyway! How about you??

Brittany said...

Love the photo, Joanna!

Just read through all of these comments while taking my break to pump at work. We're still going strong at 7 and a half months, but last week my son just cut his first 2 teeth and he's nursing for shorter and shorter increments and doesn't seem too interested. I will probably start weaning him very shortly...I swear I must be missing a gene or something but I HATE nursing! Am I all alone? Haha.

Full House said...

Oh I wish I could have breast fed a little more on the go like this. I had the opportunity to breast feed both triplets and twins for a year. I loved it but because of all the time it took the best place for me to get the job done was at home nursing 2 at a time...which meant pure nakedness...not so conducive for feeding in the public eye..ya know.

Formerly known as Frau said...

Until that first bite....maybe 8-6 months!

Joanna said...

My baby girl is 9 months and she still nurses quite a bit, though a lot less in the last 2 months (comparatively). I don't know how long I'll go...it depends on how long she wants to, but I can see doing it well past a year if it's just a couple of feeds a day.

My rule, if they can talk to you while doing it, it's probably time to wean ;)

modamama.blogspot.com

KERRY said...

I'll also add, that my daughter stopped breastfeeding suddenly at 9 months...wouldn't touch me again, and I was devastated!! My hormones were all over the place, and I was in agony. I've always blamed myself because I ate a curry for the first time since she'd been born the night before, and have always been convinced that was why she stopped :( However, this time, I have eaten anything and everything, and had no problems at all!

Angela said...

My goal was to breastfeed for 6 months. Luckily it came easily for both my son and myself, with the exception of a bout of mastitis after just two weeks and a sudden drop in production at 3 months (it rebounded with extra pumping and fenugreek). We introduced solids at 6 months and are slowly weaning him now that he's one. My son will be an only child, and weaning has been a bittersweet experience. I'll cherish all the time we were able to spend together and it's sad to think that that one-on-one time is changing, but I won't miss pumping at work (though I love my trusty, durable pump). Breastfeeding was definitely the right choice for us.

Design Elements said...

my 1st son - 8 months
my younger son - 6 months.

gorgeous picture!

have a wonderful weekend!

Shelley said...

I breastfed my oldest until he was a little over 1 (at the time I was pregnant again:) I am planning to feed my youngest (now 7 months) through he 1st year (at least).

Design Elements said...

my 1st son - 8 months
my younger son - 6 months.

gorgeous picture!

have a wonderful weekend!

somer said...

7 months and still going strong! beau was born 2 months early, and i pumped around the clock so he had breastmilk during his 3 week NICU stay. he is thriving, never been sick and we travel around in and out of the country all the time! hopefully i will breastfeed for at least a year!

Allie said...

I'm still breastfeeding my 17 month old (for when he wants to fall asleep). This kid never had a bottle or pacifier. Less washing and preparing for me!

Sarah said...

I've been breast feeding my baby 5 and a half months so far. I plan on BF until 1 year, but I very soon plan on pumping (in addition to breast feeding right now) and freezing milk so that after 1 year I can stop BF her directly from the breast and give her breast milk in a sippy cup or bottle. I'm not a fan of kids tugging at your shirt and talking to your boobs like I've seen before, but I do want her to get breast milk as long as possible.

-Sarah
http://agirlintransit.blogspot.com/

My name is Caroline said...

Julip is still nursing! She is 13 months old and it is her primary food each meal. I am hoping she weans herself bc I just can't imagine me initiating the weaning process. We both just love it so much! :) I think my husband is ready for his woman back, though! :)

TERI REES WANG said...

My Chinese born Mother-in-Law, has always insisted that she made each of her four children's first birthday as the their big 'Graduation' day.

Cheers!

Ayan said...

omg, i had a hard time stopping my daughter from breastfeeding. dare i say it it's addicting to watch them and it's too darn comfy. i was breastfeeding until she was 12 months - yes that's 1 yr old. after her first birthday, i said to myself it's time. she has teeth already gosh. i think up to 6 months at least is good. will keep that in mind for next baby!
lots of love, ayan

Foxglove Accessories said...

My little girl is 4 months this week, and my plan is to let her wean herself when she's ready.

Jennifer said...

I nursed my first son ( a 10 lb 22" boy) for 8 months and my second son (a 9 lb. 8 oz. 22") for 7 months. They just were'nt interested after that and switched over - they're still very independant men! But I can still picture their tiny hands and fingers against my breast and how they would look up at me and smile. Blessed moments a Mom remembers always. Jennifer

Linnie Joy said...

I let my son self ween...he decided to stop all together when he was 18 months, i still miss it, i wasnt ready!!

Sara Szatmary said...

I'm not a mama, but I must say the my heart melts when I see them breast feed. It seems so intimate and so peaceful. Congrats to all moms who connect with their babies this way!

sniffles and bits said...

I am a mother of seven and have done both (nursed and not nursed). I believe you do what ever works at the time. And do not regret! It was meant the way it went. I do love nursing though and I will nurse this baby (now 10 months) as long as she wants! She does eat table food too:)

balancing said...

lovely and very touching picture!

we did 6 months plus 3 months of weaning.
my daughter loved it! she claims to remember everything. she is 6 years old now. and sometimes she says things like: oh, yummy, this hot chocolate -- tastes like mothermilk...

Marisa said...

Breastfeeding is the hardest, most rewarding thing I've ever done. I thought it would come naturally. . . nope. It took two months for my first child and I to get the hang of it, and we continued for 14 months. My second child didn't want to latch, so at 3 weeks, I started pumping exclusively. That was quite a trial. But I pumped for 9 months, making enough breast milk to feed him until he was 14 months. Absolutely my biggest accomplishment in my life. And I'd do it again in a heartbeat. :)

Anna said...

15 months and going strong! I am not really sure how or when this will come to an end, but I can't really imagine nursing her at 2 years old.:)

Courtney said...

beautiful photo. i planned on breastfeeding my son for a year, but i got pregnant and had to wean him at 7 months. i also planned on breast feeding my daughter for a year, but she weaned herself at 7 months, i was SUPER bummed.

Lara said...

I think it is fantastic how supportive you are of breastfeeding on your blog. It always surprises me that even here in NYC, there are people who have these strange attitudes about it -- like that you shouldn't do it in public. That would mean staying in your apartment for a year for some mothers!

I breastfed my daughter for 14 months. I have such fond memories of that time. She is now 5 years old and a happy, healthy little cutie!

Evie said...

I had plans to breastfeed until my son was 1 but it didn't go as planned. Although he was gaining weight and healthy, he was always hungry. I could not produce enough no matter what I tried. After he first had to use a bottle (pumped milk) when my sister babysat him at 1 month, he refused to breastfeed. He liked the fast flow of the bottle so much. So I began pumping all day and night for the next month until I just couldn't make enough to keep him satisfied. We switched to a mix of formula and breast milk for the next 2.5 months. I then went back to work and at 5 months, he is now only on formula. Still healthy and strong but much happier now that he can finally get his fill :)
I feel guilty when I read about how others are able to breastfeed for so long but I know it was the right decision for us.

mckenzie said...

one year. I'm so glad I did. they got to the point where it was only 2-3 times a day because they were eating so many other things.

Aneta said...

I breast fed my daughter who's now 21 months for a year. I loved everything about nursing, but after returning to work after 6 weeks I developed a love/hate relationship with the pump. Loved it, because it allowed me to feed my baby breast milk when I wasn't able to nurse her, but hated everything else about it... lugging the ugly bag around, cleaning and sterilizing the equipment every night, pumping in the middle of the night to make sure that my daughter had enough milk for the next day... ugh. After a year I've had enough. Stopping nursing was devastating to me, but breaking up with the pump was beyond liberating.

For a month or so before I stopped nursing, we gradually transitioned our daughter to cow milk. She took it well and never looked back.
I think I had a harder time accepting the fact that she's moved on almost too easily.
My partner and I took our first sans-baby mini vacation right after that, which helped me relax and prevented me from nursing to self-soothe.

JoJo said...

Hi. Love you blog.
My daughter is six months now and I breastfeed for 3 months, because she decided to go on strike :) I was super bummed!! would have loved to continue but she preferred to weaned herself. It is the best thing; the bound and how healthy it is for the baby.

Alicia Marie said...

I nursed my first till he weaned himself at 15 months. He stopped nursing on my birthday and I cried. I thought I would be happy...but it was so bittersweet.

My second is 7 months and going strong.

I work part time from home and have always struggled with my milk supply. I pump when I can for his bottle when I am in the office, but if he needs more, I suppliment with formula. It seems to work well. He is fine with both and I feel better knowing that he is full and happy and it allows me some flexibility.

Mai Weston said...

My son self-weaned at 11.5 months, which was perfect timing! I was so ready to be done.

Cassandra said...

I fed both of my girls for at least a year. I think I actually went several months over that with my eldest. I plan on doing the same with my little fellow now (he's 4 months.)

hedonista said...

My son's 4.5 months now and I plan on going at least a year. It's encouraging to see how many moms here who's babies self-weaned before they were two. I don't want to force him to stop, but I'd rather be done by the time he's two.

Perrin said...

I nursed my daughter for 12 months and 3 weeks. I started the weaning process right at one year because I was 4 months pregnant with our son and I was having trouble getting enough nutrition for myself. She weaned beautifully and never once looked back. I was so ready to be done with nursing, but I was not expecting to miss it so much. It was harder to stop than I expected.

Now, my son is 10.5 months old and he is still breastfeeding. I am struggling to make enough milk now, so I am expecting that he will self-wean soon after a year. I know that he is my last child and breastfeeding has gone SO much easier with him. I get teary whenever I think that my breastfeeding days are numbered. It has been a wonderful experience.

I work part-time and pumping is so difficult. I have increased my hours lately and I noticed a direct impact on my milk supply. It is so hard to be a working, nursing mother!

I used to hate nursing photos. Now, I can think of few things more purely beautiful. I have my husband take tons of pictures of me nursing. Even if my children never want to see him, I would love to have the memories for myself.

Mackenzie Khristov said...

I'm very newly pregnant, but this is something my husband and I have discussed a lot, he's very pro breast feeding and I'm somewhat ambivalent. I know I will breastfeed, but I'm of the mind that once our baby has teeth, no more boob. Guess we'll see how it goes- we've got a bit of time before we get to that....

Bre said...

I'm not yet a mother but I plan on breastfeeding, for at least six months, but ideally for the first year (along with solid foods of course). I have a lot of allergies, I'd hate to pass any of them on, and I want to give my children the best possible nutrition. Love this picture and post!

Moonlight said...

Without any research or being in the USA, i feel like here in Europe we are more open about it. It's not really something weird or anything.
I remember my aunts and older cousins breastfeeding in front of each other so I was always feeling very comfortable with the idea.

Audrey said...

Working Mama Experience:
0-3 mo. BF exclusively while on leave
3-6 mo. BF AM and PM, pumped 2x/day. Baby got bottles during the day of 50% expressed milk 50% FML
7 mo. Dropped pumping (too exhausting w work). BF AM and PM.
8 mo. Baby weaned (low supply by then).

Introduced solids at 4.5 mo. Baby needed a little cereal w his nighttime bottle to get thru the night. Jar fruits and veg at 5 mo. Finger foods at 6-7 mo. Many table foods by 12 mo. Switched to cow's milk at 13 mo.

Lisa Grose said...

Speaking for the ovulation-challenged women who love this blog for the inspiration it brings us on a daily basis, this was yet another cold slap of guilt laden reality that our lives are somehow not "complete". I don't buy into that philosophy anymore, but I do ask that when you include such intimacies of parenthood that you be mindful that all your readers are not so fortunate to have had a child to hold to their breast.

Anonymous said...

Sweet photo!

My son will be 8 months next week and still going strong on breastfeeding.

Before he was born I thought I would do the typical 4-6 months, but now I can´t imagine weaning before he´s 1. I even see us going much longer, we´ll see!

Irati

Kathy said...

Working full-time and breastfeeding was challenging for me. I was able to pump for 6 months but after that her diet was split half breastmilk and half formula, but we were also rehabbing and moved twice in that time--a wee bit stressful!

My pediatrician said working moms need to do what they can but be able to let go if it's too much... a happy momma leads to a happy baby... but god the guilt!

~Heather said...

With my first son I thought I'd be lucky if I went for 6 months, like it was a chore and inconvenience (plus the standards suggested you hit that mark). But I came to realize how wonderful it all was. But by the time boy #1 was 1 y.o. I stopped so we could try and conceive again (which happened within 2 months).

With boy #2 I was much more enamored with breastfeeding from the very start and went for 2 1/2 years.

I have noticed, within my relationship and in others, that the partner can get jealous and fed up with the act of breastfeeding. The guilt from that can weigh heavily and should be talked about more so that decisions to stop can be made together.

Only Real Currency said...

I have a professor who was a surgical resident when she had her first baby. She pumped until her first was a year and a half. She said she had a video on her phone of her baby that she watched while she pumped.
I thought it was such an inspiring story. If a surgical intern can find time to pump, why can't I when I have kids and am a working mom!

Anonymous said...

I nursed by daughter for over two years...then finally had to take a trip to the other side of the country for a week in order to wean her. she got a goldfish to replace nursing :) I could never get her to take a bottle, so I schlepped her to work with me till she was almost 3, with a babysitter taking her in the afternoons. I loved nursing, but by the time I stopped I was ready for more sleep and my hair was completely dried and lifeless....she had sucked the life right out of it. but SO worth it.

Kathryn said...

My son (now 10 months) was totally off the breast around 7 months. I had hopped to breastfeed longer, but work got crazy and pumping got more and more challenging. I had to add formula to his diet to keep up with his needs. Between the lack of pumping and the addition of solids to his diet, the percentage of calories that was breast milk got smaller and smaller. The last step was switching the pre-bedtime feeding to a formula bottle. It was sad, but it was the right thing for us.

Frau Zach said...

Looks lovely - so dainy and pretty!

Sarah said...

I'm still nursing and my daughter is 15 months old however it's only really a nap/bed time thing. And, you know what? That's fine with me. I plan on doing this until she's two, though I'm sure she will be done with me before then and wean herself.

A lot of people think I should have wrapped up by now but it's such a super food, I like to think of it as a multi-vitamin.

des said...

i nursed my sweet girl until she was three. it created a bond between us that is stronger and sweeter than i ever could have imagined. it was challenging at times and i wanted my body back but i swear that she is the healthiest, smartest kid in town because of it.

pickle said...

I nursed my son for 13 mos. after enduring the pump at work 3x/day--eek! and my daughter is 15 mos. and I am nursing at 7am and 7pm...stopping soon wanted to get through cold/flu season and love the snuggly time!

emily jean. said...

This photo is gorgeous.
I look forward for some of my maternity clients coming back for natural shots like these once the babes arrive.

Thanks for the continued inspiration......xx

Third Street Photo

Tamara said...

My Finn was born three months early so I pumped every two to three hours and transported the milk to the hospital, or pumped there so he'd had it nice and fresh. I made SO much milk that I filled our freezer and a few shelves in the freezer at the hospital! And I have really small breasts...small but powerful!

He's now a strapping young lad of 16 months and I still nurse first thing in the morning, before each of his two naps, and before bed. I think I'll go until he self-weans, or think about it if it gets to a point where it isn't easy to do anymore. For now, it's working for us and it's so lovely, I will miss it terribly.

Love that image! I haven't read through all of the comments but I'd be shocked if anyone said anything negative about it.

Kristin said...

Pumping at work is such a production. I've been doing it 3x per day since January (in fact I'm pumping right now). My lovely daughter is nearly 6 months old and I have no intention of stopping before she reaches a year. That said, being attached to my pump approximately 8-10 hours per week can be discouraging.

Anonymous said...

Joanna,
I know it may be an expensive option but have you considered changing your pump. I have twin boys (now 5) and when I went back to work when they were 12 months (I'm Canadian). They were still nursing about 90%. I had a Medela Swing electric pump and it was awesome! It had a let-down setting that made all the difference. I nursed the boys until they were 19 months and had to wean them because I still wasn't ovulating and wanted to have another baby. My daughter and I agreed to stop nursing 2 months ago. She turns 3 tomorrow and I'm so sad to be "losing" my last baby!
Dani

Kristin said...

I have another comment - thank you so much for exposing (no pun intended) people to breastfeeding. People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them I'm going to do it in public and/or until my baby is a year old. It's important to normalize it, so thanks!

Michelle said...

I feel that when they turn 1 is a good age for me to stop nursing. It is always a really sad day for me when my kids are weaned. I love nursing! Idon't judge if you choose not to, that is your choice, but I do feel sad for the women who choose not to bond with their babies that way. It is the best. Again, I am NOT judging.

film_maven said...

I planned on 1 year - did really well for 8 months. At first the issue of teething wasn't a problem, then I was bit- YIKES! Sorry, I don't mean to scare anyone- I am absolutely so glad I chose breast feeding. However, we did start switching to a cup around 10 months - he was well able to hand the transition and was only taking the breast for about 5 minutes on each side by then at meal times. Only when out, for the ease of travel did we go back to the breast. By 12 months he was weaned.

Again, I loved the experience and would highly recommend it!!

molly said...

My first two I nursed exclusively for a year. My third is bottle fed. We had a little trouble nursing and it was a hard decision to make.

Kiera said...

first baby i nursed 10 months. second i nursed 14, and third is 17 onths and still nursing. crazy!

likeitsgolden said...

I breast fed my son for 6 months and my daughter for almost 9. I may do it a bit longer the next time. People I know think its creepy and they voice it more the older the child becomes.

Grace said...

I have nursed all my babies until they were a year. It works well for us Penneys!

Melissa T. said...

I'm still nursing my 20 month old. It's our special way to reconnect when I get home from work. When baby #2 comes in November, I might still nurse both. We'll see. The great thing is there are no rules!

AJ said...

I actually can't decide how long I will nurse my son for. He will be 6 mos at the end of this month and is purely breastfed because we are both able to. I am not going to lie that I think about weaning him sooner rather than later bc I have held on to most of my weight. So many women shed pounds when they nurse but my body has kept it close by. I am still 25 lbs over my pre-baby weight and is a constant struggle for me. Then the conundrum begins of me feeling guilty that I would deprive MY BABY of Breastfeeding to fuel my self confidence. I love nursing and enjoy that time with baby but also constantly struggle with body image. As any mother knows, you always put your baby first, so I suppose weaning will be later rather than early.
Also, I teach 2 days a week and keep my pump in adorable insulated koko lunch purse and stash the bottles in there as well. I go into the bathroom or an unused room and pump, pump, pump away. It is rather hilarious when I hear students comments about the noise that the pump is making.
*This thought has been on my mind for quite sometime: do any of you feel the need to "unplug" yourself while nursing? Books, computers, phones can get in the way of bonding but also make the beginning of nursing doable. The first few weeks-months of nursing that baby is sucking on your nipple 4-8 hours a day!!!

Bethany said...

I just want to weigh in on the whole "teeth=time to wean" line of thought. Of course some babies do get a little bit bitey, especially when they are actually teething (they put everything else in their mouth and gnaw on it for some relief, why not the nipple?), but it's usually easy to nip (no pun intended, haha) in the bud with a little redirection and correction. Yes, there are always exceptions, but most babies and mamas don't have trouble with biting, even after teeth are in. Some babies get teeth at 4 months, some are even born with them - it doesn't mean you *have* to wean at that point, if you don't want to!

sarahjane said...

I nursed our son until he was 14 months, when he kind of weaned himself. By that time he was only nursing twice a day, so it wasn't that sad for me.

However, our daughter is 16 months and still nursing every 4 or so hours around the clock! What in the world? Babies are so different. But I've loved this extra time with her, to tell you the truth!

One Woman's Thoughts said...

I am so PRO breastfeeding. A beautiful and natural photograph!

I had 3 children within 4 years and breastfed all of them. The longest time to breastfeed was with my first child as it seemed I had more time.

The first breastfeeding time that I omitted was at dinnertime, as that way if anyone was around they could give a bottle and I could deal with dinner and feeding everyone else and not be so stressed.

The last breastfeeding time to stop was the bedtime feeding. So intimate, relaxing and an end to a day that I WILL ALWAYS CHERISH.

lealou said...

Reading all of these posts makes me a bit teary-eyed! I have a 3.5 month old and I don't want to think about when it will come time to stop breastfeeding. I also want to give a huge shout out to all you working mamas in the States. It must be so tough to back to work after only a couple months. I'm very thankful that we have a year for maternity leave in Canada. I couldn't imagine going back earlier but commend all of you that have to do it!

Krystal said...

I nursed my daughter (my first) until 2 years, I nursed my son until about 18 months. I got quite a few comments--especially with my daughter....nothing really awful, just "oooh I guess it is time to wean her" etc. But I just let it go in one ear and out the other. (I said I would only nurse my kids until a year before having them but I changed my mind pretty quickly. I did have to wean both of them though--no selfweaning over here. I think they would have kept nursing for a REALLY long time if I would have let them. )

brianna said...

I went back to work after 4 weeks but I nursed/used bottled breast milk for 12 months. The adventures of pumping while working as a field biologist and part time dance teacher are colorful. I credit the medela pump in style for our success (especially the cigarette lighter adapter for pumping in the car). I'm so glad I didn't give up even though it would have been easier. We did have to supplement with formula though and I did have to get pretty creative with pumping and storing milk. :) It's worth it though.

courtney said...

I had so much trouble with breast feeding my first son. My milk never came in. I had some but not enough to exclusively breast feed. I worked look crazy with lactation consultants took herbs as well as prescription prolactins. I always had to supplement with formula at each feeding. I still managed to bf til he was 13 months. My younger son is now 6 months. Things have gone much better this time. I did have to supplement at first but now am able to exclusively bf. We just introduced solids. I plan to keep going with breast feeding till it feels time to stop. One year two. We will see.

Ginny Cook said...

What a beautiful image - so mesmerizing!

I am a freelancer and work in and out of home (out here in LA). I am still nursing my 9 month old girl August, and I was originally planning on a year, but I can now see it going longer (at least for getting her down to sleep at night). But we've had our challenges! I am an artist and I work as a bookkeeper for artists and galleries - and I've found myself pumping on toilets (with no lid!) at various art studios or in the back seat of my car during a stifling hot commute.

Also, August will barely nurse in public anymore - she's just too interested in what's going on! So our nursing sessions are becoming more and more limited, and really tied into sleep. She's so resistant to naps that nursing (or walks in the ergo) are the only way to get her down.

Do any other mamas have input on nursing your baby down to sleep? Or how to (eventually, when the baby is ready) stop nursing a baby down to sleep at night? Will she just suddenly stop, I wonder? Right now I feel almost anxiously reliant on (and loving too) the power of the boob!
-Ginny

(sorry for being so long-winded!)

Genevieve said...

I'm breastfeeding right now while writing this! At 4.30am! It was so difficult and painful for the first few weeks and it was sheer willpower that kept me keeping on despite the bleeding nipples. I told myself that I would try for at least 3 months but around that time, it started getting a lot easier and i actually started enjoying it. My baby is 5 months old now and I'd like to breastfeed for at least a year. But we'll see what happens when her teeth come in!

Zak said...

My son will be 3 in June and is still breastfeeding...a lot.

Hannah said...

I nursed my twins for 15 months. It took four long months to figure out how to tag team both boys. But after that, nursing was such a beautiful and peaceful experience. Occasionally, they would fall asleep holding hands. I miss nursing and that sweet baby breath more than anything.

Anonymous said...

I originally (1st child) thought I'd bf between 6mos to a year. I gave myself the out of stopping at 6 mos if it wasn't working well for us. Now baby is 19 mos and we're still nursing (though only once at night). I love nursing!

My only issue is wanting to get pregnant again soon and so far, no luck. I'd love to let him wean whenever he wants, but I may have to wean a little before. The thought of stopping though makes my heart hurt so I'm in a little bit of a pickle!

Elizabeth {e tells tales} said...

Joanna, I just read your note about societal pressure--it's opposite where I'm from (the South). Seems like there's so much judgment--almost like if I were to breastfeed in public, I'd be encroaching on someone else's privacy (instead of them on mine).

It's through blogging breastfeeding mamas that I've found a lot of support to do it the way I want to.

sarahjean said...

I've had four babies and if there is one thing I've realized, it's that every single time, the whole process is completely different.

I breastfed for as long as 15 months and for as little as 6 months...and it's been completely wonderful and a little heartbreaking each time.

To be able to provided life and nutrients for your baby is amazing but when your body won't cooperate, there's nothing more guilt inducing...

Nicole said...

aw, this picture made me a little teary-eyed! I miss breastfeeding my babies. I weaned my little boy at 15 months and went a little past 2 yrs with my little girl. I planned to wean them both after their first birthday, but my little girl wasn't ready until 2.

asiajane said...

Lovely photo. I went 21 months the first time (weaned so I could get pregnant, and did-- three weeks later!) and 26 months the second time around.

autumn said...

15months and going strong here. We will probably just let our little girl, Noele, wean herself when she is ready or once we decide to start trying to get pregnant again. I has gotten easier and easier and I love the idea of her just nursing once or twice a day for a long (long) time. What a sweet and beautiful connection to share with an otherwise endlessly busy toddler.

doozledoorf said...

I am a single full-time working mom and I am still nursing my daughter who will be 2 on Sunday! I pumped until a year, which was exhausting, but so worth the effort. Currently she is only nursing a little in the mornings and night, and naptime on the weekends. I would not change a thing and believe it has been so worth every minute of it. My best advice to nursing moms is to enjoy every minute of it, it is such a special gift to have.

lou said...

i love breastfeeding conversations & photos... anything that normalizes this lovely nurturing natural milk!

i'm still breastfeeding my daughter who will be 3 in april. some days, she seens to want milky as much as a newborn. i have to say i never thought i would breastfeed her this long and wish she'd cut down a bit some days but she loves it so much. she's aware that she's the only one of her friends who is still having milky and is very proud of it.

love hearing all your stories. ^_^

Anonymous said...

How sweet that it is in a swimming pool. I love the little naked baby.

RLG said...

I managed to go the whole nine yards with my first. 18 months of breastfeeding and nothing else (no pumping, bottles, pacifiers). My son weaned himself! I was only a little heartbroken. LOL

With my twin daughters, it was much harder. I managed to go four months and had to quit (trying, pumping, etc) b/c it was taking over our lives. I still had to care for my three year old son, too. I was completely heartbroken, but we have an awesome pediatrician who was able to keep me focused, not just on the babies but the family unit.

Breastfeeding, for me, was one of life's greatest pleasures. I loved the bonding. Great post. Cheers, girlie. xoxo

tricia said...

my daughter nursed until she was about 21 months old, she's 2.5 (30-31 months) now. it ended quite naturally, and easier than i thought.

that last year she was eating more and more solids, and gradually gave up feedings (we were down to only 1-2 by the end), and i gently weaned her off those until we were done.

it was, for us, the perfect amount of time and i don't regret a minute of it. i look back at my time nursing her wistfully, and with a lot of pride, actually. it was my milk (and only my milk, we thankfully never had to use formula, though i know and support moms who do) that got her through the better part of her first year of life, and grew her into a healthy, happy toddler.

Kelly said...

I went 6 months...it became pretty challenging trying to find the time to pump when I went back to work! It was sad when it ended, but to be honest I was also a little relieved!

Tournesol said...

I nursed all three of my boys all till about 3 years old each, give or take a few months! With my first son I ablsolutely wasn't going to do it, didn't want to and then he had allergies and couldn't keep anything down. I tried breastfeeding him and he was fine after that, and of course I loved it. It's so clean and easy and there's no better way to calm down a fussy baby/toddler. I did work part time for a while and just had to vigorously pump at breaks and lunch time.

Allegra said...

I nursed until Allen was about 18 months old, mostly because I was going away on a business trip, and wasn't able to take him with me. I didn't think I was going to nurse that long, but I ended up growing to love it, so I put of weaning him as long as I could :)

xoxo,
Allegra

Ashley said...

I'm not a mom.. yet!! But i think i would breastfeed for 3-6 months.

Em-Jae said...

This photo is positively beautiful. Such a candid, intimate, unassuming moment.

I'm not a mommy yet, but I do hope to breastfeed. Maybe for a year? I guess it's not easy to plan -- my friend planned 1 year, is now into year 2 and isn't sure when she'll stop...!

Anonymous said...

15 months and we are still happily going strong! I am a full time corporate lawyer, which I thought would make it harder. However, I have now realized how grateful I am that I have an office and can lock the door. That has made pumping so much easier (also using a pumpease helped a lot since I could pump and work/type). I don't know how working moms do it if they don't have privacy or a good place to pump at work. Numerous times I had to tell colleagues who knocked on my door, sorry I am unavailable, I'll get back with you. I was afraid to say anything at first, but if I ever told them I was pumping I actually got a lot of respect. People have been surprisingly supportive.

However, I totally believe that maternity leave should be longer, because I really don't think moms and babies get into the swing of things until at least 4 months. Would be better to have the option to take 6 months, which I was lucky enough to have. In my experience, 12 weeks was just not enough, but once we got off to a good start, coming back to work at 6 months was ok.

I feel like the breastfeeding community should start looking at short maternity leave policies as a barrier to breastfeeding. Working moms, if we ask for what we need during this crucial time, maybe we can be just a few steps closer to providing for our families financially, having fulfilling careers and taking care of our babies the way we want to!

PS totally love your blog and thanks for posting a nice mix of fun and important things!

Jennifer @ Belclaire House said...

How sweet! I love that you use your blog to show the beautiful side of breast feeding. I'm almost to 6-months and plan on going a year or however long my little man wants to go. It's so amazing to see him grow solely from the nutrients he gets from me. I never in a million years could have imagined I love it as much as I do. That being said, I'm a stay at home mom and have a lot of support. I have a lot of respect for mothers who work and pump all day long. I'm leaving for a weekend in a month and have been feverishly pumping in addition to breast feeding so he won't have to use formula. It's hard work!

melissab said...

hey, there. i nursed both of my sons for about 2 1/2 years each. i didn't intend to go that long- just an instinctual evolving relationship. i thought for sure with the 2nd child i wouldn't nurse as long. nope. i still see benefits to nursing even now that they are 16 and 11: secure, confident, healthy kids. all those gut flora, plus the closeness, etc.. i think it a highlight experience of motherhood. i have a funny weaning story for the first kid that's too long to post here. :)

Ginny Cook said...

I want to also also add that we use formula now too, in combination with breastmilk. When August started solids - and I was mixing pumped milk into rice cereal (that August would then refuse) - I just hated throwing all that hard-earned milk away! So I now use mostly formula at mealtime (sippy cup, mixed into oatmeal, etc) and sometimes a bottle of formula and/or breastmilk in the afternoon when my supply is low.

Anonymous lawyer mama: I second you on maternity leave being longer! Unfortunately as a freelancer I had to be back in action after 2 months, and that was really hard!
-Ginny

Rusty Bellies Blog said...

I co-own a busy restaurant and I breastfed my daughter for 15 months. I pumped in my tiny office whenever I had a free moment...all while doing payroll, reports, food orders, phone calls, etc etc. I took my pump everywhere I went!

Erin said...

I believe in child-led weaning when it comes to breastfeeding. I breastfed my daughter till she gave it up at 18 months old. I breastfed my son till he gave it up at 2.6 years old. And I am currently nursing my second son who is 3 weeks old today.
Lovely post :)))

Fashalina aka The Hyperbalist said...

that is such a cool photo...she's very exotic and it's almost religious-iconography-looking. Like the Pieta...mother holding child..know what I mean?

Kelly said...

What a wonderful discussion!

I'm jumping back in here to add that it's important to note that ANY amount of breastfeeding benefits the child. A couple of days gives the baby all the immunization benefits of precious colostrum. A month protects the baby through the most hazardous part of infancy. Six months protects their intestines from foreign substances until the intestinal lining is sealed and fully developed.

Christy said...

I am a mother of 2 girls. I nursed my first one exclusively for a year and like 2 days before we stopped. I remember how sad I was to know it was her last time, but we were both ready to move on.
I have an 8 month old that I am nursing now.
I work full-time and deal w/pumping, bringing 2 extra bags (pump and cooler) and trying to find a privacy room. It is all worth it to me.
I'm actually at a point where my milk seems to be decreasing and I may have to start supplementing with formula just to make enough for her to eat. I have never used formula and this is something hard for me to think about. (Please...I am not judging anyone who uses formula).
I am not a public nurser as you actually don't see much of that in the midwest and I would feel uncomfortable. The most public place I have ever nursed is in my car in a parking lot or in the lounge area of Nordstrom's.
I read through several of the comments above and I love that nobody is judging others. I think as mothers we are judged far to often. Breastfeeding is a huge commitment (especially if you work outside of the home) and it is not for everyone.
Best of luck to all the mamas!

Elle Vee said...

Beautiful!

Did you see that terrible Bill Maher video of him talking about how breastfeeding is an intimate act and shouldn't be practiced in public... and likened it to him deciding to masturbate in public? Crazy that this is still a discussion we are having in this day and age.

It's great that you are out there rooting for the boob! Boobs are for babies!!!

Spencer and Michelle said...

I am hoping for at least 12 months when baby arrives. And if she wants to longer, then that would be great too.

Little Laura said...

I'm due in May with our first baby (YIKES!), and we're really hoping that breastfeeding will work out for me--especially after seeing the prices on formula! The "plan" is to nurse until a year, but I've never done this before so I can't say for sure what will happen. We'll probably introduce a bottle after a little while because my husband has expressed interest in feeding as well, so I'll be attempting to pump as well. Luckily, I get to be at home with the baby so finding that balance with working will not be an issue.

But I totally agree that we're not all the same and there is no need for a woman to feel pressured to do anything or feel guilty if something doesn't work out. Every situation is different for every family, and what is right for some is not right for others. All moms have the same goal--to have happy, healthy babies. :)

Kallie Brynn said...

I breastfed my daughter for slightly over 13 months. At one year, I started to ween and it took about a month and a half to step down the feedings and until my milk stopped coming in. Bittersweet.

Opposite lipstick said...

So cute!


http://oppositelipstick.blogspot.com/

Caro said...

Awesome pic. I nursed my daughter for 11 months and just weened my son at 19 months.

Natural Mama said...

Lovely shot!
I breastfed both my girls for a year and a half. For me this was a great time to wean. They were able to eat a variety of foods and drink milk by then so I never had to bother with bottles :)

Lee said...

I am not in love with this picture. I actually think it gives me the creeps. I loved holding my babies close. This just looks like a puppy struggling to get a hold of it mothers.
I nursed both my babies. My experience with nursing has always felt and been very personal. I never liked nursing in public because I loved the fact that I could just sneak away with just me and my baby. Everything was quiet, I had no insecurities to think about, I could examine their profile. Sometimes I would just put my head back and relax. Don't Mothers need that? I would relax knowing that me and my baby were together enjoy each other. It was a very personal thing that I didn't want to be interrupted or taken away (for me or baby) by others activities or others thoughts of me nursing. Lets face it, others have very strong opinions on this and it effect how we feel. It makes us insecure about nursing in general. Right? Other wise this would not even be a option for discussion.
I don't agree with Bill Maher on the subject, but do voice my opinion when I say it is personal and yes intimate. I believe in a world with so many distractions this is one opportunity we have to experience a true sense of joy and intimacy. I hold no negative thoughts about someone who disagrees with me and chooses to nurse in public. It's a personal choice and one that is not for me. I also don't think you can't feel intimate with your baby when nursing in public. Again nursing is personal and everyone experience it differently.

anamanzana said...

my goal was 1 year. my daughter went 11 months then go a really stuffed up nose & i was pregnant, so we both decided it was time. my son went 10 months, i caught an amoeba which required horse size antibiotics so that put an end to it. we were overseas at the time and both children never got majorly sick until they were old enough to drink swimming pool water.

Shea Nichole said...

I think this photo is beautiful. I hope I'm able to breast feed my future children for at least 6 months. Thanks for sharing!

http://justbreathe18.blogspot.com/

Karin said...

My little girl Amy Isobel is actually weaning herself off right now! She is 8,5 months and has been wanting my breasts less and less in the last few days. She gets forumla and I think she prefers the bottle and keeps biting me lately. She is teething and only when she is in real discomfort does she enjoy to nurse. I guess we will be done once these teeth have cut! Sad...but it was wonderful while it lasted! Love the photo!

Erin LaDue said...

My son weaned himself at 8 months. I was really OK with whatever he wanted. And he is a huge 3 year old now.

shawn said...

I wanted to breastfeed my son for one year but he ended up weaning himself at 6 months. I was working and my milk was decreasing so it was a mutual feeling :) and i defiantly did not have the right breast pump. moms-to-be invest in the best pump...it is worth it! as the months went by i was sad that my son and i did have the connection with breastfeeding anymore. but it;s ok he is a bright, happy boy.

lorraine said...

Wow! That photo is amazing! I live in the Bay Area and there is a ton of pressure to exclusively breastfeed. Like your child would grow a third eye, if you gave them an ounce of formula. When I was in the hospital, just after having my first(she's not 15 months), the lactation consultants(2 separate ladies) told me everything was great! Our daughter didn't pee for 3 days, ended up in the NICU for 4 days over Christmas, where the consultants (2 new ladies) told me I HAD to pump every hour, which was providing just enough to feed my daughter every three hours. I was a hormonal mess. I met with a 5th lactation consultant and she could just see the dispair on my face and told me it was okay to not breastfeed. She told me, and I trusted her, that my daughter was latching and everything was fine,that it would get better with time, but I didn't trust myself. I didn't think I was providing enough for my child. So I gave up after pumping for 3 weeks. It turned out to be a GIANT blessing. When I went back to work after 5 mos, my husband would feed her in the middle of the night. And he totally enjoyed it! I'm having another baby in July and am still torn as to whether I should try again. I'm such a wimp! I have such respect for moms who push through the trials and tribulations of breastfeeding!

Ingrid said...

When I had my first baby I didn't know what I was doing and was not successful at breastfeeding. For my second child, I read everything I could ahead of time, and LOVED it! I nursed her for over two years...She never took a bottle or a pacifier. I was home with her until two months, then back to work full time. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. My third baby was not as easy in the beginning, but I was determined, so she, too, never had a bottle. It wasn't easy, but it was cheaper, easier, and so wonderful to be that close and enjoy each baby...I loved it... Maybe it's not for everyone, but don't give up because it's hard in the beginning...The difficulties don't last long and the wonderful feeling of love and accomplishment last a lifetime.

Lenita said...

I sttoped last week, when Daniel completeded 10m. It´s happended because he started to bite me. I´d like to brestfeed more, but I couldn´t. I think it´s very personal. There isn´t right your wrong, just your choose.

Melissa said...

I nursed until about 16 months. I was out maternity leave for 4 months and then pumped for the remainder of her first year. Pumping was fine in the beginning but by the end I wanted to drop-kick my pump out my 7th floor office window.

And to be perfectly honest, I was tired of nursing. Once my cycle returned at 13 months my supply dropped and in the PMS phase it *hurt* I carried on with the bedtime nurse until she was mostly playing and then called it off altogether. Had one hard night, one slightly less hard night and we were done.

She'll be three very soon and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Sarah said...

My son is 17-month-old son is still nursing but because his feedings are getting so short, we are gently weaning and he's had zero transition problems. When I went back to work the pumping was demanding and sometimes difficult because I couldn't excuse myself from a meeting to maintain my schedule or stop the occassional leakage, but in all honesty I didn't think much about it and just did it. When I bacame a WAHM, the feeding was very easy and convenient to keep up. Plus, the snuggle factor isn't bad!

NCavillones said...

I committed to a year with Alice, my first, and weaned her at 13 months, with the intention of returning to work. I was already pregnant, it turns out, so I didn't go back to work. Right now, Stella is 10 months and we're still nursing. I plan to wean her after her first birthday, either to go back to work or to have another baby.
I had the thought the other day that I was kind of sick of nursing! I felt terrible about it but I guess it's normal... but if we had another, I would still breastfeed.

meg said...

still breastfeeding at 18 months! best thing ever. they wean themselves as they become more active - now it's jst something we do to bond at the end of the day - or even a quick sucke/hug will help her when she gets hurt. it has not been a "sacrifice" at all as many people say. its been a total blessing. love your blog!

Lexie said...

I exclusively breastfeed my now 8 month old son. I was always sure I wanted to breastfeed but I never imagined loving it so much. It's a challenge to work full-time and stay committed but it's worth it 1000x over. I will let him wean himself when he's ready.

Jennifer Wubbels said...

I'm still nursing my 6 month old, and hope to keep it up for the first year. I'm enjoying it and I'm lucky enough to be able to stay at home. I definitely think it's a personal decision and really think that moms need to follow their intuition and cues from their baby. I've had friends who have felt really guilty about not being able to breastfeed for longer, but you really just need to do what works for you and your baby.

blaine and michelle said...

It's been different for all my kids, but I exclusively breastfed them all for at least 6 months, weaned my daughter at 15 months, my sons each at 8 months and plan to wean my currently nursing daughter around age 1.

TheBeautyFile said...

I had every intention of breast feeding for six months, but had to return to grad school 2 weeks after I gave birth to stay in the program. I ended up breast feeding & bottle feeding within the first month so he liked the bottle more. I tried to breast feed as much as I could, but after the first month gave him the bottle totally. I pumped for four months and am proud of that. It's HARD AS HELL to breastfeed exclusively so I give a lot of credit to the moms that can/do.

eight muddy feet said...

My two oldest were around a little after a year, my two youngest around 18 months.

Anonymous said...

i love your blog and love this pic and how you champion breast feeding. I think every mom should do what is right for her and her family. And I think babies should be fed with bottle or breast when and where they need it - at home or in public!

DanielleJeanne said...

I wanted to stop at 1 year. That date passed and she's still nursing. She just loves nursing so much! I think she knows she's being weaned because she no longer wants to eat her solids or drink out of her cup.
I need to do some research.

missmehoneybee said...

Just finished nursing at 14 months!! Past my goal of a year, so Im super proud of that. Nursing is work, its amazing for baby and for mom but its still a job. Do what you can and don't feel guilty, I had to fight that off alot because I wanted to stop much earlier and had to suppliment too.. There were many days I just didn't feel like it. Also,switched to goats milk at 11 months.

alex.meow said...

I bf my oldest until 14.5 months. The day he started walking more than a few steps he just lost interest and stopped cold turkey. A month later I got pregnant and my youngest is 16 months and not ready to stop. I only feed him early morning and evening.

It helps that I have either been my own boss or worked from home. I have also pumped as schedules are busy and since my two sons and I have various allergies/sensitivities decided to never try using formula. We do use SINLAC (after 6 - 9 mos.) which is a gluten/dairy free cereal that can be used as a drink but we use it as a cereal. I am also in Europe. Everything is just so laissez-faire here. There's no pressure to bf or to use formula... what's most important is spending quality time in the earliest months with your kids.

I can not imagine not being able to nurse in public. And even old grannies come up to you in the park or elsewhere in public and comment that you are doing a good job nursing. They also tell you that your baby child should be wearing a hat but that's another story.

I can say I am getting a bit tired physically but I will let my child decide when he is ready.

Lindsay said...

This is such a sweet photo! I'm not a mama yet but I think breastfeeding is a beautiful thing and should be celebtrated :) It prompted me to ask my mom how long she nursed me for. She said "Two years - Too many bites and then I stopped!" I feel so touch and grateful that we shared that bond. Sorry for the bites, mom!

terry said...

My first one I breastfed for 14 months and he weaned himself. My second one I breastfed for 21 months. By then I was 4 months pregnant and thought it was a good time to stop. My baby is due in 6 weeks and I'll just see how it goes. I think it's good to keep breastfeeding until after they've started daycare with other kids, as they get exposed to so many bacteria and the breastmilk will help their immune system cope.

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