Our Favorite Breastfeeding Advice

This week’s post is all about our members. Members of our Facebook group were asked how long they’ve been breastfeeding and their favorite words of wisdom. We want to emphasize that there is no “right” length of time to breastfeed your baby – everyone takes their own journey, but every journey is a lot more fun when you have supportive and encouraging people around you.

Thanks, everyone!

  • AN: Just say no!!!
    Your baby won’t starve while you are getting tended to after birth…even if you had a c section. Insist on NO bottles and baby will latch! I don’t think this is scientifically proven but many many moms who’s babies were given bottles in the first 4 weeks had bfing issues (including me with my first) 1st baby 10 months…fought til the very last drop
    2nd baby…10 months and going strong!!!
  • CC: 1 child; nursed for 32 months, and counting. Best advice: You are enough for your child – there isn’t always one way to get the job done, every mom and baby are as unique as individuals and use Lansinoh before and after feedings and pumping.
  • JPY: 2 children… #1 – severe supply issues nursed 8 months (supplementing the entire time)… LC didn’t think I’d ever make it that long. boy did I prove her wrong! #2 – going on 6 months EBF on the 17th! The most helpful advice was to feed baby where ever & whenever. Don’t postpone feedings when baby just comes home from hospital b/c you have company or b/c someone wants to hold the baby and try to calm them when you know they want to nurse. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • EL: I’m nursing my second now.. 22 months old. When I first started, tho, I had a nursing epiphany when I learned (at LLL meetings) that cluster feeding in the evenings didn’t mean I was out of milk, and that nursing was something I could do in my sleep… When I was taught how to nurse side-lying. Both of these things helped me to just relax and have confidence in myself.
  • BB: “Never quit on a bad day” helped me.
  • WOS: 2 children, #1 was nursed 27 months (though she would’ve liked to nurse longer!), had a lot of issues in the beginning (baby was in the NICU her first four days, so she was given formula, I was encouraged to pump but my milk did not come in until she got home, so whenever I tried to nurse in the NICU she would scream and get frustrated). We had some rocky weeks (as I refused to use formula when we got home) and I used a nipple shield for the first six months (not recommended by LC but I did what I could to make it happen). Be patient and keep on chugging away at it (and with the help of professionals and determination) you can BF, even if you do get off to a rocky start! #2 has been nursing for 10 months and counting!!!
  • TL: I am on baby #2 and have been nursing for almost 4 years straight (dec 27th is my first 4 year bday) I never thought I’d make it past 3 months and I can’t believe I am tandem nursing an almost 4 year old and a 10 month old! The most helpful advice I received was to take it one day at a time and if baby is happy and having wet diapers baby is getting enough!
  • Kristin P: My little man is 27 mo, and we are going strong with nursing!! He was EBF his first 15 mo of life, and continues to nurse every 2 hours or so – definitely never goes longer that 3 hours without his ‘yummies’! The best advice I received was to follow my babe’s cues/lead for feeds, not the clock or schedule. I read that advice in the Dr. Sears Baby Book that my doula recommended. Other invaluable advice was that bedsharing is a wonderful way to establish breastfeeding – also from Dr. Sears. I was already following Aubrey’s lead, and bedsharing, but it was really empowering and validating to read his words.
  • JSS: #1 breastfed for 15 months, #2 is still breastfeeding at 13 months. They didn’t overlap. Best advice was that babies go through growth spurts every couple of weeks where they’ll want to nurse more – just stick with it and let them nurse as much a they want to. They’re not starving, and your milk supply will catch up.
  • MS: Daughter nurses still at 3.5 years and son is 9 months old and obviously still nursing. The best advice…trust you body and its ability to nourish your child, not only physically but emotionally.
    My daughter is a testament to that. When I ask her why she still wants to nurse (once a day) she tells me that “I nurse because I love you and I like nursing.” To me, weaning just because someone says to wean at a certain time doesn’t make sense.
  • Karaleigh: 10.5 months- drink LOTS of water, be patient and enjoy every moment of it.
  • BP: Six months for my six month old daughter. For us, the best advice was skin to skin contact and laid back nursing. And I’ve so appreciated having a good breastfeeding friend to laugh with for plugged ducts, and other challenges as they come up!
  • NLR: Between the three of them 6 years. (omg lol) Best I’ve got is don’t give up. Get help if you need it. It will get easier. #2 had a really rough start. Things did not level out for about 8 weeks. (So much pain, bleeding, screaming & crying; not just him haha) Once he and I got the hang of it, it was great. Went 25mos. If you have a c-section, you CAN most definitely nurse your baby minutes after birth. I had my younger two in my arms as soon as I was stitched up and in recovery. They were never more than a few feet away from me. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.
  • Renee: 38month old still nursing and tandeming with his almost 3 month old brother. Best advice I ever got was to just relax. Stop and take it easy. Take a deep breath and watch as it all works out ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Mirjam: 29 months…stick with it. Breastfeeding can be hard in the first few weeks, but when the two of you figure it out, sharing those moments of peace and silent connection are going to be worth any amount of work that you had to put into it.
  • MMV: All four of mine were EBF…#1 was 16 months and self weaned (I was not ready for her to stop!), #2 was a little over 24 months, #3 was also a little over 24 months, and #4 is 26 months and counting. Best advice was nursing on demand and also that even though nursing is the most “natural” thing to do, you and baby still need to work a little to figure it out! My mom also gave me the book “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” which was helpful since I never went to any classes or groups. Also, I agree with the c-section comments…my four were born by c-section and it did not prevent me in any way from nursing ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Rowkeena: โ€Ž19 months..Don’t give up when they start teething. You and your baby will form a communication where they understand that biting hurts. If you want the good stuff, no biting!
  • Brandy: 32 months combined, and still going. See a lactation consultant for breastfeeding advice, not a pediatrician!!! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Beth: 22 months and counting. The best advice I got came before my son was born. A friend told me that it’s okay for it not to feel natural at first and that it is hard at the start. She encouraged me to take a class before my son was born. My husband and I did just that, we took a class with a lactation consultant about 3 weeks before he was born. Looking back, I really wonder if I would have made it without that advice.
  • AR: Don’t quit on your hardest day.

    (nursing #2 nearly 8 months & going strong, #1 only 10 weeks. :()
  • EN: In our 26th month of breastfeeding, the best advice I’ve received is not to worry about the future yet. Most of our concerns about the future will be resolved or become non-issues by the time they arrive, whether it’s nursing with teeth, supply after introducing solids, nursing during pregnancy, or weaning. Don’t waste your energy worrying about possible concerns; instead, focus on the present and enjoy today.
  • CS: #1 for 11mo and #2 8.5 mo and counting – best advice I can give is make breastfeeding the only option, we couldn’t afford formula and I wanted to breastfeed with our first anyway, but even though it hurt and she was tongue-tied (fixed at her 1week weigh in) I never even thought to give her anything other than my milk. If you know it’s your only option, it’s a lot easier to stick with it! (sometimes it still hurts, but I’d rather be in a little pain and give my kids the best start I can than the alternative!)
  • JM: 15 months. Most helpful advice (from my daughter herself): “boob!” surprisingly (or not) I received a lot of unhelpful advice
  • IKK: One boy, 27 months old, still nursing. Even when the kids around him are sick for a week or two with bad colds, he always got over them in about 48 hours, with a little increased nursing. Best advice? O my! Where do I start? First of all, most (almost all) hospitals are NOT baby/breastfeeding friendly. So keep your baby near you as much as possible, maybe even the whole time and do skin-to-skin and nurse non-stop to help your milk come in. Especially if you had any interventions during the birth, it might take a little longer for the little one to latch, etc. Don’t let anybody intimidate you. One nurse kept telling me that my son was going to get cold having him skin-to-skin (because I kept taking his onesie off – even though he was UNDER the blanket with me). But he did not. And he did nurse. Another big thing is: get support. Be around other nursing mommies. Whether it’s LLL or just some friends, it’s so important to have someone to share your questions, joys, and sometimes frustrations. It’s all part of the journey and the last thing you need is somebody suggesting that “stop nursing” would end all your issues. And lastly, always remember, this is the relationship between YOU and YOUR CHILD, nobody else. This is one thing you share, unique to you two, special, magical, amazing and FOREVER – nobody can take that away. And nursing is part of that relationship, so when you are having a hard day, follow your heart, look into your babies eyes and do what you feel is best. Trust yourself.
  • SSK: #1 bf for 12 months, #2 for 18 months, #3 for 27 months, and # 4 and am still bfeeding strong at 20+ months (while going to school full time). So that is a total of 77 months, so far… I unfortunately received no advice with my first, but had read every book out there (11+ years ago) and it happened to come naturally to both of us:) Recently many friends have had first babies and have called on me to help with breastfeeding (which I love and do). The best advice I give them is to relax and not get frustrated too soon, keep at it and call if they need anything anytime! It is not “easy” or “natural” for everyone and takes a lot of dedication in the first several weeks!
  • Mirjam: Do you know what is so interesting? Reading all of these posts makes it really clear how much of a learning curve is involved in breastfeeding! Nearly everyone who has posted, myself included, breastfed their second child longer than their first, and the third longer than that. Which again kind of echoes what many mamas have said – breastfeeding is a learned behavior, both for you and your baby, and it is important to see it as that so you don’t get frustrated if you falter at first.
  • MH: 20 month First Son, 22 month Second Son –ย  Get through the first month of breastfeeding and it gets easier, in general. I had no guidance about breastfeeding just thought it would be easier and cheaper than formula. Advice: “try not to listen to people’s opinion about how long to breastfeed – short or long, only a mom/child knows what is appropriate.”
  • Beth M.: 49 months and counting (14m with #1, 19m with #2 and 16m with #3). Best Advice?? Just relax…your body knows what to do. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • HHL: 2 kids- I breastfed the first for 11 months(and pumped and bottle fed breastmilk until 12 months) and am currently still nursing my 16 month old. I’d say the best advice I received and not until the second was to ignore the clock and feed on demand. I spent so much time recording feedings and EVERYTHING else the first time around and the second time I wrote down NOTHING and life was so much easier. I truly think a huge part of breastfeeding success is surrounding yourself with like minded mamas. It can really feel like an uphill battle when you tell someone about a nursing issue and their response is why don’t you just stop, you’ve done it long enough vs. receiving a sympathetic ear and good ideas and options to give you the support needed to continue. Sometimes all you need to keep you going is for someone to tell you, “I’ve been there” and that’s hard to receive if you don’t know other moms who have nursed and are nursing.
  • DS: One little lady still breastfeeding (she’s 46 mos.) and one on the way; best advice — I definitely 2nd Brandyย  — unless you have a dream pediatrician, go with the lactation consultant’s advice (or now, the advice you get here! ๐Ÿ™‚ Second best — trust yourself and your mothering instincts always!
  • ERM: Wasn’t able to nurse my 12 month old twins but have been PROUDLY nursing my 6 week old since she was less than an hour old. BEST advice I received (which I didn’t get until last week) was to NOT even think about a pump or pumping for at least the 1st 6 weeks. It just adds too much pressure and stress. Just nurse, nurse, nurse and get that relationship down. If baby is thriving then you know you have an adequate supply. I highly recommend a trip to Jill Rabin in Northbrook also. =)
  • KCS: Child number one, age 5, nursed two weeks past his 4th birthday. The twins are three and still nursing. I nursed all three for 2 years.
  • ECH: 16 months or so with my first, 5 weeks so far with this new baby. The best advice I received was if you were missing nursings because you were busy, spends the weekends in bed nursing. It helped me to work full time, pump, and continue the nursing relationship.
  • NW: I’ve been breastfeeding for 3 months, and plan to keep going onto 12. Determination and the bond kept me going. The day that we had an 8am dr appt, we were outside waiting for the doors to open and he was hungry, so I fed him in my car, and he looked up at me with milk all over his face and gave me one of the first smiles I’d seen. ๐Ÿ™‚ Best advice was skin-to-skin contact, it helped me within hours of some nipple confusion. But I’m lucky enough to have a generally easy breastfeeding relationship with my son.

2 thoughts on “Our Favorite Breastfeeding Advice

  1. My thoughts are a little contradictory to these other posts but im bf my 8 week old and plan to bf until shes at least a year. I felt huge pressure from the advice of not expressing or using formula in addition to bf. My daughter was jaundice and not weeing as she should have been in the first few days. I was up all night feeding until about 6-7am in the morning and by day 5 my nipples were so sore, cracked and bleeding where i obviously hadnt had her latched correctly. I was in a lot of pain from the birth and was an emotional wreck (sleep deprivation hadnt helped) and felt like a complete failure as didnt think i could continue feeding but had so wanted to. I stocked up on lansinoh nipple cream, took a break from bf, for a 24 hour period, continued expressing which wasnt quite as painful and gave my daughter some formula. Jaundice began to clear, the miracle of lansinoh cream pretty much healed my nipples and i managed to get some sleep as my partner was able to help out. The next day baby got herself straight back on (without my say) during some skin on skin cuddles. Theres been a couple of hiccups along the way and a couple of bottles of formula given but at 2 weeks she was going for 6 hours overnight and now at 7 weeks she sometimes going longer. Bf going amazingly, ive plenty of milk, baby gaining weight and can’t forsee a date id want to stop. Some of the best advice one of my midwives gave me was that bf is emotion lead and if you arent happy or coping with how it is going it wont work. So dont beat yourself up if you cant bf in textbook fashion, as long as youre commited to it you and baby just need to adapt to whatever’s thrown at you along the way.

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