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How long did you breastfeed?

Question of the day here . . . How long did you breastfeed?

The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages new moms to breastfeed exclusively for at least six months and to continue to nurse through baby's first birthday. Many moms are happy to oblige. Other moms are ready to quit after a few months and for a variety of reasons: they want their body back, their milk-supply is dropping, they've returned to work and the stress of pumping at the office is causing problems.

A new study conducted at Brigham Young University says that out of a sample of 60,000 kids, only 36 percent of babies were breastfed up to six months of age. Eighteen percent of babies were breastfed until the they were a year old. Women who had to return to work, were smokers or lived in the Northeast were more likely to discontinue breastfeeding sooner.

Another point in the study that I thought was interesting: The odds were higher for any breastfeeding for babies who resided in the western part of the United States versus babies who lived in in the Northeast. Education also plays a role. "Educated parents" were more likely to nurse longer versus "less educated parents."You can find the full study details here and a blog post (and interesting comments) from The New York Times here. (by Charlene Prince Birkeland, Shine staff, on Mon Aug 11, 2008)

I nursed my first baby for 14 months. He was still enjoying it, I was still enjoying it. I was pregnant again, my Dr said it was completely fine. My husband gave me a hard time. My MIL gave me a hard time. Everyone gave me a hard time that I was STILL nursing my 14 month old son. So I was guilted into stopping. Baby two came along and I was a nursing pro! She nursed, exclusively as well, for 15 months. Baby girl just weened herself and stopped coming to me to eat. My current baby, who is now 26 months is still nursing. She is still enjoying it, I am still enjoying it. We are getting to the end of it though. A couple more months, perhaps even weeks, who knows. We shall see what she decides. None of my children ever took a bottle. I never pumped, except for a few desperate attempts (just DID NOT work for me). I exclusively nursed all three of my babies. It is tough, it is at moments INTENSE. But I am happy that I did and I wouldn't have done it any other way!

So, did you nurse?
How long did you nurse? Why did you stop?
Did you feel pressure to continue or to stop?

Chinese Slippers

Millennium Park, Chicago