Saturday, December 3, 2011


Lately the number 3 has had a lot of significance in my life.  My family now has gone from 2 to 3 members, my daughter weighs 13 pounds and is 23 inches long, we're waiting 3 months before starting a serious new home search, I'd like to lose 30 pounds to be at my goal weight, and starting in the new year I'll be whittling down my wardrobe to only 33 items for a 3 month span (previously blogged about here.)  

Another notable number is that I was initially planning on only breastfeeding my daughter for 3 months until I brought this up with her pediatrician earlier this week.  For some reason, when I was pregnant, many of my friends told me that they only breastfed their children for 3 months, some did shorter spans and a very slim few did longer spans.  So when I told the pediatrician that I was planning to wean my daughter in about a month, I was surprised when she told me that I should do 6 - 12 months of breastfeeding at the minimum.  I think part of the reason I was so surprised by this is that it seems to me like everyone else breastfeeds for only 3 months and the minimum is supposed to be double or quadruple that amount of time.  

So I went home to do some research.  There were many benefits that I already knew were associated with breastfeeding: boosting baby's immune system, reduced risk of SIDS, reduced risk of postpartum depression for mom, etc.  My doctor told me that most of these benefits aren't fully realized unless baby receives breast milk for 6 months and that information is subsequently backed up but the AAP

How long should I breastfeed my baby?

The AAP recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months of life. This means your baby needs no additional foods (except Vitamin D) or fluids unless medically indicated. Babies should continue to breastfeed for a year and for as long as is mutually desired by the mother and baby. Breastfeeding should be supported by your physician for as long as it is the right choice for you and your baby.
It's also backed up again here by LLL
All the benefits of human milk—including nutritional and health—continue for as long as your baby receives your milk. In fact, as your baby takes less human milk, these advantages are condensed into what milk is produced. Many of the health benefits of human milk are dose related, that is, the longer the baby receives human milk, the greater are the benefits.

So now I'm thinking that I'll begin to wean my daughter at either around 5 or 6 months, unless she grows teeth and bites me.  Then it's game over.  But generally speaking, baby teeth begin coming in at around 6 months.  

How long did you breastfeed your child or how long do you plan on breastfeeding your child?   

1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting information, Crystal! What's also interesting is that most of my friends (except my bestie that had twins, and didn't really breastfeed at all) have breastfed or are breastfeeding for 8-12 months, so I thought that was normal! =) I guess it's all relative! I'm hoping I can breastfeed 6-12 months. I'll stick with it as long as I can -- I've heard that moms drop their baby weight super fast when breastfeeding. =)