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No benefits to breastfeeding after 3 months


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#1 *mylittleprince*

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:36 PM

I will start off saying I"m very pro-breastfeeding. I fed DS until he self-weaned at 17.5 months and am currently exclusively breastfeeding 15 week old twins.

In the last week I have had 3 different people tell me that breastfeeding has no benefits after 3 months and that the WHO guidelines are only because people in some countries don't have access to clean water. I've just kept quiet as they all use formula and I don't want to get into an argument. I also think fed is best rather than a starving baby.

One is a child health nutritionist who said baby's get the maximum immunity they can by 3 months.

Where are people getting this information from?

Do you agree?

#2 Ehill

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:40 PM

Well no matter what they still need to eat.  And breastmilk is cheaper and easier than formula!

#3 PurpleNess

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:42 PM

As a mum who really struggled with BFing and was predominately feeding EBM for the first 3 months ( along with trying to get bub to attach etc) but ended up chucking in the towel ( supply issues - you name it) which wasn't easy emotionally I think I'm in a position to say what a load a twaddle!

I would have given anything to successfully breastfeed as I feel the nutrition and immunity boost far outway formula but there is certainly a place for formula for mums like me, without it who knows what would have happened.

I'm surprised that professionals are feeding mums this rubbish, is it to make them feel better about not BFing? Perhaps.?



#4 CharliMarley

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

That is absolutely NOT TRUE! The ABA have researched breastmilk more than anyone and breastmilk is forever changing as the child grows and antibodies and all the other good stuff are still very important to a baby for as long as you and your child want to breastfeed.

#5 cinnabubble

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

Well, that's just bullsh*t.

#6 julz78

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

I think the people telling you this are completely ignorant. If people start the WHO guildelines are only for countries without clean water crap I usually call them out on it and say it is the WORLD Health Organisation's recommendations not the THIRD WORLD Health Organisation, they generally don;t know what to say to that original.gif


#7 CharliMarley

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

What qualifications does this "Child health nutritionist" have? A PhD in dumb?

#8 Jax12

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:45 PM

I really don't understand why people are so quick to encourage mothers to stop breastfeeding.  What business is it of theirs and what difference could it possibly make?  My limited understanding is that this information is not correct - I am sure that perhaps the benefits may be less significant after three months but they don't disappear completely.  I strongly disagree and would find it difficult to bite my tongue, particularly the child health nutritionist who should certainly not encourage mothers to stop feeding their baby such a perfect food source.  It just boggles my mind.

If a mother was struggling to establish breastfeeding and was expressing I can understand saying, you know what, you've made it through the first three months and that is really when your baby will have received the best possible benefits of having your milk, don't feel bad, look after yourself etc etc, but if you're fine with it and so is bub, why why why???   wacko.gif

#9 deejie

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

QUOTE (*mylittleprince* @ 25/01/2013, 01:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've just kept quiet as they all use formula and I don't want to get into an argument.


This is how I would respond to such nonsense as well. Nod and smile if needs be, then change the topic.

#10 Pup-pup

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:50 PM

In my personal experience,  whilst being breastfed my girls were definitely receiving extra immunity.  They didn't get any illness whatsoever,  not even the common cold whilst other members of the family had colds or illness.  So especially during their first winter,  it made a difference.

However,  once weaned (around 1),  I'm not convinced they are any better off than babies given formula for the first year.  And in their 2nd year,  think they had colds, gastro and other bugs the same as everyone else.

#11 Great Dame

Posted 25 January 2013 - 12:52 PM

QUOTE (PurpleNess @ 25/01/2013, 12:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would have given anything to successfully breastfeed


Your baby received breastmilk for three whole months?  Sounds pretty successful to me.  I hope that doesn't sound condescending because it's definitely not my intention, but I often notice a lot of posts with mums saying "... I failed/wasn't successful at b'feeding, baby only fed for X weeks/months".  I think even one day of b'feeding is a success, and three months is amazing.  


OP, I have no idea where that idea comes from.  I mean, NO benefit?  Really?  Perhaps I could believe the majority of benefit is in the first three months, but NO benefit after then?  Makes no sense.


#12 ez21

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

Rubbish!

Perhaps these people may have been sprouting this rubbish to make themselves feel better about their own decisions?  Either way, this sort of bad information is not good for encouraging the uptake and continuation of breastfeeding.

I'm no expert on when the immunity benefits of breast milk diminish but, even if there was no immunity benefit after 3 months (which I find hard to believe), there are other benefits to both mother and child apart from this.

#13 Tesseract

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:24 PM

The childcare workers at my work swear black and blue that they can pick the breastfed babies/toddlers based on how often and how severely they get sick. They would know which children are breastfed, so I'm thinking confirmation bias is a big deal, but still!

I also recently read this article http://www.jpeds.com/article/S0022-3476%28...1036-1/abstract which states:

"Breastfeeding for less than 6 months compared with 6 months or longer was an independent predictor of mental health problems through childhood and into adolescence."

(And yes they do control for socioeconomic status, family dynamic etc!)

I have a feeling that the "no benefit after 3 months" line actually comes from the fact that it is actually very difficult (expensive etc) to study the impact of breastfeeding past 3 months. It requires quite a lot of research to actually tease out those impacts. It also requires enough study participants and the fact is that there isn't just that many babies exclusively breastfed for that long (in the west). (Yes there are lots of us, but not 'lots' on a population level hence study participants are hard.) Hence many of the earlier breastfeeding studies only looked at children up to 3 months - because of that they couldn't actually make definite conclusions about older babies - they would state "We have shown a benefit for babies breastfed for 3 months" - but this was wrongly interpreted as "there is no benefit after 3 months".

I *think* that's where it came from. Does that make sense lol?

But as an aside, well so what if it only has immunological benefits up until 3 months? What about the benefits of the intimate relationship? What about the benefits of cost and convenience? What about the benefits of comfort and hydration when a baby is sick?

And even if there weren't all those benefits too, it still doesn't matter! Certainly feeding past x months/years is not damaging in any way (general population, individual circumstances aside). They're my boobs and my child and I'll do as I please. It's an attempt to control womens bodies and police their mothering to say that since there is "no health benefits" after 3 months or 1 year or 4 years you should stop doing it.

#14 Justaduck

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

Never heard that one, DP is always coming home with stories from the boys at work similar though...Ie So&so said they stopped feeding their child because your immunity runs out?? So&so isn't my Dr so I don't pay any attention.

At the very least, if you can bf and are happy to do so...it is free..


I worked in childcare (with bubs from15mths) and have never been able to 'pick' who was bf and not. The only thing we notice is that kids who haven't been in care before are sick more often that those who have been in care most of their lives. That is all

#15 meggs1

Posted 25 January 2013 - 01:53 PM

You could always say "oh I'm not doing it for the kid, I'm in it for the extra 14 weightwatchers points".



#16 cabbagepatch

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:05 PM

QUOTE (meggs1 @ 25/01/2013, 01:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You could always say "oh I'm not doing it for the kid, I'm in it for the extra 14 weightwatchers points".


roll2.gif

I agree with a PP who said there are more benfits than immunity and they continue ALOT longer than 3 months - close cuddles, hydration when sick, convenience, lowers risks of asthma and mothers risks of cancers...

If you CAN'T breastfeed thats fine - thats why there are alternatives, but to stop purely because there is an alternative is nuts... especially coming from people who would know all the trials and tribulations with trying to find the 'right' formula...

I would like to think I would just smile and nod in such a situation but I know thats just not true and I would give them what for

#17 JuniPooks_

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:06 PM

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 25/01/2013, 01:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your baby received breastmilk for three whole months?  Sounds pretty successful to me.  I hope that doesn't sound condescending because it's definitely not my intention, but I often notice a lot of posts with mums saying "... I failed/wasn't successful at b'feeding, baby only fed for X weeks/months".  I think even one day of b'feeding is a success, and three months is amazing.  


OP, I have no idea where that idea comes from.  I mean, NO benefit?  Really?  Perhaps I could believe the majority of benefit is in the first three months, but NO benefit after then?  Makes no sense.


This exactly original.gif

#18 Sif

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

Children's immunity fully matures by age fourteen YEARS (edited because I was thinking of a different stage of development), not three months - so that part is complete bullsh*t.

People tell themselves whatever they need to believe to comes to terms with their life circumstances and choices.

Edited by Sif, 25 January 2013 - 02:13 PM.


#19 Melons

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 25/01/2013, 12:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your baby received breastmilk for three whole months?  Sounds pretty successful to me.  I hope that doesn't sound condescending because it's definitely not my intention, but I often notice a lot of posts with mums saying "... I failed/wasn't successful at b'feeding, baby only fed for X weeks/months".  I think even one day of b'feeding is a success, and three months is amazing.




cclap.gif cclap.gif cclap.gif

#20 SWMonkey

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:16 PM

It's a load of baloney, breast milk is a LIVING fluid. When your child is sick your body creates antibodies to help him/her recover and this is not cut off at three months!

Plus, formula is a SUBSTITUTE, i.e. when breast milk is not available for whatever reason. I don't understand why people think that breast milk should just be replaced by its substitute if the breast feeding relationship is going well?

I also think it's a beautiful thing that my body nurtured my child and then makes milk for him which is perfectly tailored to his needs - how amazing is that?

#21 SWMonkey

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

Also, a child health nutritionist doesn't make them an expert on breast milk. It's like GPs giving advice on breast feeding when they are not lactation experts.

#22 Lil Chickens

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

QUOTE (Madame Protart @ 25/01/2013, 01:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Your baby received breastmilk for three whole months?  Sounds pretty successful to me.  I hope that doesn't sound condescending because it's definitely not my intention, but I often notice a lot of posts with mums saying "... I failed/wasn't successful at b'feeding, baby only fed for X weeks/months".  I think even one day of b'feeding is a success, and three months is amazing.


Well said.  Looking back on my own breastfeeding with DD I wish I had believed it for myself.  I put SO much pressure on myself to keep going with DD (and got to 13mo) and she cried/spewed during/after EVERY feed.  If DH was home he had to take her as soon as I finished as I was myself in tears and just wanted her off me.

That said by the time all that came under control I loved BF'g DD and then DS.

#23 Sir Dinosaurus

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:19 PM

I am also pro-breastfeeding and have a lot of FF around me (including 2 sisters) who also tell me FF is better, easier, dad can do it...blah blah and BF has no benefit.

I recently had a conversation with my closest sister who is bordering on disgusted that I still BF DS2 (nearly 18 months) and when will I stop.

I explained to her as nicely as possible that I thought the benefits of BF through the second year was worth it, that I loved BF and it was a lovely time for the two of us to spend alone together, that it was a truckload cheaper than any other option (ie it's free) and that it was my and my sons choice, not hers so please mind her own business.

I have heard that WHO line at least 50 times - it must be doing the rounds on the pro-FF sites (ie the ones who sell it!) because it seems everyone 'knows' it laughing2.gif

Smile and nod, I agree completely with fed is better than not fed and I try not to enter the discourse unless people (mainly family) are genuinely offending me by basically telling me I'm a pervert or weirdo or my son will be a pervert or weirdo. They're the weirdos.

#24 ubermum

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:21 PM

People say lots of things to justify or feel better about their own situation, whether chosen or otherwise. It doesn't make it true.

I don't believe it because it's just not correct.

#25 Bottom

Posted 25 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

Oh, yes it does have benefits: they are called: broke single Mummy would have been even more broke if I'd switched to formula, end exhausted single Mummy got a lot of sleep because bf was the greatest conforter and settler. Any health benefits for my child are even more of a bonus, but if the above was all there is, I am still so glad I bf til my child was two.




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