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Breastfeeding - Weaning Process

  1. #1
    chubbysan is offline Registered User
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    Breastfeeding - Weaning Process

    i am still breastfeeding my 15mth old, but only the night feed before she goes to bed everyday. I gave her formula milk in the day. Recently I spoke to her pediatrician due to her poor weight gain, her Pediatrician suggested that i replace the night feed with formula as well. reason being there might not b enough milk left for her now.

    I just wanna know if anyone is doing the same, breastfeeding only the night feed and if your baby is striving well? Should i really replace with formula? Is it time for me to totally wean her now? i started my weaning process when she turn 1 yr old, by introducing 1 feed of formula and slowly increase to 2 feeds for the day. Been 3mths since i doing so, and wondering if it is really time for me to totally wean her now.

    i appreciate any advise and yr share of experience.

    thanks!

  2. #2
    LLL_Sarah is offline Registered User
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    I think the most important question is not whether or not you have enough milk for this night feed but whether you are enjoying it or not.

    Breastfeeding is much more than just giving milk to a baby it is a part of the relationship you have. Are you ready for this special time to end?

    If you are ready to move on to mothering your daughter in different ways and you are happy to give formula for this feed then move in that direction.

    If, however, you would miss the closeness of breastfeeding and would like to carry on for a while longer than don’t let a low weight gain worry you. Your baby is already over a year old and eating many different foods. It would be easy to add extra solids to increase the weight rather than extra milk.

    As your milk supply reduces the concentration of antibodies in the milk increases. Your baby may only be getting one breastfeed a day but she is still getting a full does of antibodies and thus the benefits of being a breastfed baby.

    It is worth remembering that breast milk has two functions, it gives the baby nutrition and it gives the baby an immune system boost. Formula milk only supplies nutrition – there are no antibodies in formula milk - in other words it only does half the job.

    Best wishes,
    SARAH

  3. #3
    capital is offline Banned
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    I am feeding my 17 month old 2-3 times/day. He is growing fineFirst thing in AM, before nap and before bed. I think if you are feeding once/day that changing this to formula is not really going to change much as far as weight goes. At that age weight gain is more about solid food intake that 1 night feeding of breastmilk.

    I would still BF myself, and make sure to give healthy foods only, since if eating little then need to make sure what is being eaten is healthy. How much milk does your child drink during the day? Children age one only need 16-24 ox of milk, so if drinking too much milk this may be a cause of not eating regular food. I would give only full fat milk products, ie full fat yoghurt, cows milk, cheese, etc no diet foods, and if the child is truely not growing I would ask my DR. for an investigation into why? Any diseases? Growth slows down a lot the second year, a healthy child will be just fine, so I would want to make sure there are no health problems. If your DR. is really concerned re milk intake, why not refer you too a dietician instead of just telling you to cut out one feed

  4. #4
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    i did exactly what you did, started introducing formula at 12 mths & gradually dropping one feed per month, and finally leaving to bedtime feed at 15 mths or whenever she needed comfort feeding (like when she hurt herself). (she's now 2.5yo) but i also topped up at the bedtime feed.

    i talked to my LLL leader then about weaning her. i didn't want to cos i was enjoying the closeness. but i had to take a trip without her & i wanted to wean her before the trip, so she wouldn't suddenly miss me. i remember my LLL leader said, at this age, she's nursing more for comfort than for the nutrition, cos she's eating so much more other foods, and already drinking other kinds of milk. so nursing her it's just for our comfort. i borrowed 2 books from the LLL library (how weaning happens & another one i forgot the name, maybe Sarah can suggest). then the week after i have finished reading the books & decided not to wean her but to bring her along with me to the trip, she weaned herself. just suddenly one day went by, she didn't ask for my breast, and 2 days gone by, and that was it. i don't even remember what day it was cos it happened so naturally.

    the first few days that she weaned, i would sometimes ask if she wanted mommy's nai nai (milk in cantonese), she would ignore me, pretend that she didn't hear me. so i left the subject for several mths. one day she saw me took a shower & she saw my breasts & she pointed at them at shouted "nai nai" & smiled. so i asked her if she wanted mummy's nai nai, she shook her head. i knew then she was ready to put that behind her, and so was i. we both have fond memories of her nursing days, and i'm glad i let her weaned herself.

    i just thought i will share my story with you.

  5. #5
    kashismum is offline Registered User
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    My 15 month was still nursing (in the morning only) right up to the day I delivered my second. I'd been convinced for a few months that I had almost no milk and she'd been sucking like a newborn - up to an hour! So, I do firmly believe that, at that age, it is for comfort mainly. And, I would always let the child wean themself, rather than deprive them of their comfort.

    In my case, my daughter weaned abruptly when I went into hospital to deliver my second as she never asked to nurse again.

    If your daughter is not gaining weight, I agree with the others in that her diet may be lacking. You can add extra calories to her meals but you can't add comfort and antibodies to an extra formula feed.

  6. #6
    chubbysan is offline Registered User
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    hi

    really appreciate for your all replies. I am reluntant to give up breastfeeding her cos of closeness and bonding. On the other hand, oso concern with her poor weight gain. She used to be a chubby baby but now, seem like losing her baby fat.

    Is interesting to know that breastmilk at this stage still provide the nutrients and anti-botics tat the toddler will need. It seem like to her dr that the nutrients inside the breastmilk now is not sufficient for the toddler growth.

    Overall my toddler is active and healthy, for the daytime formula she is drinking ard 6-7oz per feed. However, she is not a solid lover, she cld only finish 1/2 bowl of porridge only or sometimes lesser.

    Maybe i should try to add more calories to her solid first and hope will help.

    Thanks for sharing yr experience with me

  7. #7
    JennyB is offline Registered User
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    Hi Chubbysan,

    I'm not surprised to hear that your doctor thinks that the nutrients inside the breastmilk are inferior to formula. I think this is a common failing of doctors everywhere. Partly it is because they were trained long ago. Also their scientific training may make them distrust things which are not quantifiable, or they may have a cultural bias towards fatter babies.

    I also wonder whether your baby is actually undernourished. My 14-month-old baby also has low weight gain but she is very active, her father is well below average height for a man, so there are other possible reasons than undernourishment. Some babies are naturally leaner than others, and it is not usually a concern unless they are lagging behind developmentally as well.

    I weaned my first child from when she was about 18 months old, and for the last 2 months I was only doing the bedtime feed which grew shorter and shorter so I thought I must have so little milk left. I was really shocked at how engorged I got after weaning, for a whole week! It made me think, maybe my toddler had become extremely efficient at draining the breast and maybe she was taking quite a substantial feed after all. This might not be everybody's experience but I thought you might find this story interesting.

    Jenny

  8. #8
    kashismum is offline Registered User
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    My ex-doctor also told me that at 12 months, my milk had little nutritional value and encouraged me to switch to formula. At times like that, it was the support of my LLL group that meant I could continue nursing. You hear a whole lot of rubbish about breastfeeding; much of it emanating from the medical profession. Yet, I digress!

    Agree with JennyB about your daughter's diet. I'd try to vary her food and ensure that there's a good balance of carbs, protein, iron, etc. At her age, she can be eating pretty much what you are eating. I'm amazed that my daughter still loves her breakfast of oats with pear puree which is the same thing she's had every day for more than a year! Other than that, she has a very varied diet and eats a lot.

    Hope you can work it out and carry on nursing for a while longer.

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