Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Breastfeeding Questions Addressed

Heather (link unknown) commented on the "Why Breastfeed a Toddler" post with the following:

"I have been looking everywhere for information about why we encourage weaning to cow's milk (whole milk) at one year instead of continuing with breastmilk.

My son is 10 months old and have 8 teeth. I am weening him to a cup (he will already use a bottle) because he is a biter and I can't take the pain any longer.But I still think that breastmilk is best and want to continue to give him the milk that nature makes for him. I've had no problem with pumping so I don't think it should be a problem.My big question (that I can't find info on anywhere) is if I still give him breastmilk, but don't breastfeed how much do I give him a day? And for how long? How do I know when to start him on other liquids and then do you start them on cow milk when they're around 2 or 3?"

So far I have not had any leads on finding solid information to answer her first question regarding the wean from breastmilk to cows milk at 12 months. I know from talking to other mamas that doctors love to insist that this happens, however I am more familiar with the transition from formula to cows milk at 1 year. The hunt goes on for more information on this subject. Please chime in with any leads!

To address her question about how much expressed breastmilk to give her 10 month old I copied the following from kellymom:

"The research tells us that exclusively breastfed babies take in an average of 25 oz (750 mL) per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months. Different babies take in different amounts of milk; a typical range of milk intakes is 19-30 oz per day (570-900 mL per day).

We can use this information to estimate the average amount of milk baby will need at a feeding:

Estimate the number of times that baby nurses per day (24 hours).
Then divide 25 oz by the number of nursings.
This gives you a "ballpark" figure for the amount of expressed milk your exclusively breastfed baby will need at one feeding.

Example: If baby usually nurses around 8 times per day, you can guess that baby might need around 3 ounces per feeding when mom is away. (25/8=3.1).


Sometime between six months and a year (as solids are introduced and slowly increased) baby's milk intake may begin to decrease, but breastmilk should provide the majority of baby's nutrition through the first year. Because of the great variability in the amount of solids that babies take during the second six months, the amount of milk will vary, too. One study found average breastmilk intake to be 30 oz per day (875 ml/day; 93% of total intake) at 7 months and 19 oz (550 ml/day; 50% of total energy intake) at 11-16 months.

Several studies have measured breastmilk intake for babies between 12 and 24 months and found typical amounts to be 14-19 oz per day (400-550 mL per day). Studies looking at breastmilk intake between 24 and 36 months have found typical amounts to be 10-12 oz per day (300-360 mL per day)."

There is also a handy dandy milk calculator
to help you with the math!

"For babies over six months

Juice intake, like water intake, can interfere with breastfeeding because it fills baby up so that he nurses less.
Juice should be introduced just like any other new food. For example, applesauce and apple juice should be introduced separately.
Limit juice intake to no more than 3-4 ounces per day so that baby is not filling up on it to the extent that he has no appetite for other foods.
Offer the juice from a cup rather than a bottle.
Dilute the juice with equal amounts of water, or try using juice just to flavor water.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently released a
policy statement recommending that babies younger than 6 months should not be given any juice, children aged 6 months to 6 years should get no more than 4-6 ounces per day, and children older than 7 should have no more than 8-12 ounces of juice daily. "

I am not going to spend a lot of time right now finding other links to support the advice found on Kellymom because these are the views I share (and I am super busy). I think it is wonderful that you are going to express milk Heather, for your child even though nursing is no longer mutually beneficial! KUDOS to you! I did my share of pumping while at work and I can say from experience its no day at the park....but it is indeed a beautiful expression (pun intended) of love!

Regarding her question about whether to start cows milk at 2 or 3 years of age, I found this kellymom (however there is PLENTY of controversy over cows milk being just terrible for us - google and peruse):

How much additional milk does baby need during the weaning process?

If your baby is older than 9-10 months and still breastfeeds regularly (at least a few times a day), and is expanding his interest in solid foods, he does not require any additional milk (formula, cow's milk, soy milk, rice milk or the equivalent nutrients from other foods).
Instead of additional milk you can offer your child solids, with water or juice (no more than 3-4 ounces a day) and any expressed milk you may have stored.

The dairy industry has done a great job at convincing us that our diet is lacking in something if we don't drink cow's milk! Cow's milk is really just a convenient source of calcium and other nutrients - it's not required. There are many people in many parts of the world who do not drink cow's milk and still manage to get all the
calcium, protein, fats, vitamin D, etc. that milk has to offer. Too much cow's milk in a child's diet can (1) put him at risk for iron-deficiency anemia (because cow's milk can interfere with the absorption of iron) and (2) decrease the child's desire for other foods.

After the age of 12 months (or
sometimes later, depending upon your child), milk becomes a more minor part of your child's diet. If you have a child who refuses to drink regular milk and is no longer nursing regularly, you can offer yogurt, cheese, and ice-cream as substitutes. Also, you might put milk into various food products: pancakes, waffles, French toast, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and baked goods. Added protein may be offered via creamy peanut butter and a well-cooked egg yolk; calcium may be derived from calcium-fortified juice or green vegetables.

More info here on many other nondairy sources of calcium

If you find your way back to this blog Heather, ( she did not leave a good link) please comment!


katef - www.picklebums.com said...

oh that is all interesting stuff...

I always assumed you weaned from formula to cows milk because regular cows milk is sooooo much cheaper and easier than formula!

Interestingly I have one year old who drinks milk because she likes it, and one who doesn't because she doesn't like it. They both have milk 'on things' like cereal and in things and both eat a variety of other dairy but drinking milk is not high on our list of foods/drinks. We all mostly drink water. The girls have never had cow's milk from a bottle - weaning to a bottle of cows milk, that just confuses me no end. If the baby still needs a bottle (for whatever reason) then surely they should still be breastfed? I guess that is why I can't quite understand people who look side ways at me still breastfeeding a 1 or 2 year old when they still give their 1 or 2 year old a bottle of milk to go to bed!?!? What is the difference?

sorry - rant over! LOL

Maria said...

The last time I visited with my nutrition counsellor, we discussed breastfeeding as I was still exclusively breastfeeding my baby [i.e., no pumping, straight from the boobie milk machine] and she mentioned there are moms in their program that breastfeeds their babies well over two years and it is treated much like when you give a child formula or cows milk after 1 year old. with the introduction of solids, breast milk serves much like when a toddler needs a drink or something.

I plan to breastfeed my baby, who's now 7 mos, as long as I can and then when he starts biting I'd probably switch to pumping. It's so nice to see other moms who thinks it's okay to continue breastfeeding their children over 1 year.

Anonymous said...

My son just turned one, and I am still exclusively breastfeeding on 3 days off from work each week, and pumping to give him breastmilk for the 4 days he is in care. He is not interested in weaning.

Considering how much healthier breastmilk is for a baby, my daycare is oddly pressuring me to give him cow's milk during the day. They have transitioned him from a bottle to a sippy cup, and he often tosses it aside. They seem to think he will drink cow's milk from the sippy better than breast milk. I think their argument is disingenous because it's likely the delivery (sippy) than the product.

They even went so far to tell me the following: "most" moms of one year olds only nurse in the morning and at night; babies "need" the fat in cow's milk; he's rejecting the breast milk because he wants what the other kids have - cow's milk; and that it will be more difficult to give him breast milk when he moves to the pre-toddler room next month.

I think the last reason is the most accurate - it's for their convenience.

Considering breastmilk is healthier than cow's milk in many respects and has more fat content, their reasons seem bogus. AND if I stop pumping during my days at work I won't have enough to give him during the 3 days he is at home with me.

I've enlisted the assistance of my doctor, and am seriously considering changing daycare providers. Aagh!

Attraversiamo said...

I found your blog randomly and thought I'd share with you an article I found about weaning. I already posted the link on a post of yours from July, but since this one is more recent I'll post here too.


hope you find it interesting/helpful!

-Meagan from Alabama