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Expectation vs. Reality - How long did you breastfeed/pump?

  1. Foodnerd81

    wonderful cherry / 21504 posts

    I planned on BF for a year and then seeing where it went. She ended up self weaning at just about 20 months, which was definitely longer than I expected but worked great for us. What I didn't expect was to get pregnant right away and have no break in between.

  2. lilteacherbee

    cantaloupe / 6791 posts

    My goal was a year with LO1 and we made it 13 months before he self-weaned when I was newly pregnant. I would have gone a little longer, I think.

    5.5 months and going strong with LO2. My goal, again, is a year, but I'd consider until 18 months or so.

  3. josina

    pomegranate / 3973 posts

    @Alba4: Pumping does sucks so props for doing it for as long as you did!
    @DillonLion: to the emotional scarring! Wish it could be easy for everyone!
    @bluestriped bee: Bf'ing one at the beginning is soo time-comsuming, I can't imagine 2! Awesome that you could get bm from your sister!!
    @twodoghouse: Supermom!
    @ldh112: Hugs!!

  4. yerpie110

    nectarine / 2771 posts

    Bf dd1 for a year, which is exactly what I wanted. No problems so far with dd2 (7 weeks old), and hope to make a year again!

  5. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts

    Longer. She was on the boob until 17 months.

  6. catlady

    grapefruit / 4988 posts

    The goal I told everyone was that I'd do it through my maternity leave and then "see what happened." But in my heart, I always hoped to BF for one year.

    I stopped pumping at one year as intended, but we only just weaned a couple weeks ago for good at age 27 months. (!)

  7. mamabolt

    nectarine / 2797 posts

    My goal was to BF/pump until a year. When we got there, I hoped to get to 2 years BF (stopped pumping). We ended up going to 3 years, so way longer than I thought, and had to actively wean at that point.

  8. CakeLady

    pear / 1657 posts

    My goal was to BF/pump for a year, I quit pumping at a year and DS lost interest in nursing at 12.5 months.

  9. reverie

    kiwi / 661 posts

    I hoped for at least 6 months and planned to rethink once we hit that milestone but stopped at 16 weeks since I wasn't nearly meeting his demand and was pumping all the live long day for one bottle. I hope I'm kinder to myself with the second one. I'm going to try again but it was a very emotional process for me.

  10. Mrs. Champagne

    coconut / 8483 posts

    Longer. I hoped I could get to 6 months ebf. We made it to 13 months and then I weaned him.

  11. AB810

    apricot / 370 posts

    I wanted to make it at least a year but was open to going until two with my first. I weaned her at 21 months when I was four months pregnant.

    Still breastfeeding my three month old, open to going to two.

  12. BandDmommy

    pomelo / 5660 posts

    DS- goal was 6 months, we made it past 6 months. I was working FT out of the house, so it was hard. I also had a week long business trip which pretty much ended EBF.

    DD- no real goal. I would have liked to have gone longer but pregnancy dried me up

  13. Mrs D

    grapefruit / 4545 posts

    I only nursed her 4.5 months but had really hoped to get to 6 mos. Then she started rejecting my freezer stash so she was on formula full time by 5mos. I was not happy....hoping to do better this go around...

  14. ChiCalGoBee

    nectarine / 2028 posts

    Longer than I expected. Once I was able to successfully nurse I said I'd try and make it to 1 year and I did...and then nursed until 13 months. I thought I'd definitely be done by my son's first birthday, but it was so easy once I stopped pumping and was only nursing once or twice a day to keep it up. I probably could have gone for longer, but I think when we stopped was good for both of us. I have no regrets!

  15. ElbieKay

    pomegranate / 3231 posts

    I selected that I had no expectations, which is sort of true. I did not know how it would go. I had a goal of six months, but no real intention to necessarily stop at six months. I wound up pumping at work until ten months. Then I nursed mornings, evenings and weekends for a few more months. Then down to just mornings for awhile longer. Stopped completely at 16 months when I cut him off to maintain my sanity. I was SO DONE!!!

  16. dc yoga bee

    grapefruit / 4770 posts

    I had not planned to breastfeed at all! Just did not want to do it. Then, when they put her on my chest, she immediately latched on. So, I said fine I'd do it throughout my 8 week maternity leave. Now, at 8 months EBF, I hope to make it to a year, and then just let her self-wean. That is, if she will finally take to some solids! It's been hard with an over supply, then an under supply, and the constant pumping at work, and making my schedule around pumping and making sure she has enough milk. But, worth it for us.

  17. Rainbow Sprinkles

    eggplant / 11287 posts

    I didn't really expect anything, I just told myself that not breastfeeding wasn't an option and I would stick it out no matter how bad it sucked (literally). I breastfed #1 til 19 months, #2 for 17 months, and #3 still ebf at 4 months. I've been breastfeeding for almost 4 years!

  18. Kemma

    grapefruit / 4291 posts

    I didn't really have any set expectations but Miss A is just weaning now at 3y 3m so suffice to say we've exceeded expectations (we're on day four of books rather than boobs at bedtime!).

    My expectation with the wee guy is to make it to twelve months (he's 10m now) but he's not the booby baby that his sister was (and he bites!) so I don't think he'll go as long.

  19. gingerbebe

    cantaloupe / 6131 posts

    I was open to whatever, but intended to EBF for a year since I took a yearlong maternity leave. I ended up with very low and uneven supply and my son had weight gain issues, so we did 90% EP with 10% formula supplementation with comfort nursing until 9.5 months when I weaned completely to formula.

  20. MrsStar

    nectarine / 2994 posts

    I didn't have expectations, I was willing to see how breastfeeding went and was happy to use formula if needed. I nursed lo1 until 13 months and lo2 is almost 6 months and still exclusively breastfed - I'm hoping to get to 18 months tis time

  21. artsyfartsy

    cantaloupe / 6692 posts

    My plan was to breastfeed until 2 and to stop pumping at 1 (morning and night nursing and no more pumping while at work)

    We had to stop at 9 months because he wasn't gaining weight anymore. It sucked to not meet my goal but I got over it.

  22. MrsSRS

    nectarine / 2987 posts

    I thought I'd nurse LO1 until about 2 years. I gave up pumping around 13 months and we stopped nursing somewhere between 16 and 18 months because pregnancy tanked my supply. 7 months in with LO2.

  23. LilSprinkles

    clementine / 778 posts

    Pre-baby, my goal was 6 weeks. I ended nursing DS for 19 months. Way, way longer than I expected!

  24. Mrs.Waffles

    cherry / 156 posts

    LOL! I planned to breastfeed for only six months. My LO is now 16 months and I'm still breastfeeding him. I wish he would just wean himself.

  25. PawPrints

    pomegranate / 3658 posts

    I didn't vote because I am still going (pumping right now, in fact) so I don't know if I'll meet or exceed my goal. But I think I am on track to breastfeed/pump longer than expected. I hoped to make it until one year. Currently at almost 10 months with no sign of stopping anytime soon. I may stop pumping at 1 year but I don't see that I'll stop nursing unless my supply tanks.

  26. erinpye

    pomegranate / 3706 posts

    The poll doesn't allow for more than one answer. The first time, I hoped at least a year, and only made it 8.5 months. I was very upset about not making it longer, but my supply dried up. The second time I had the same 1 year goal, and she self-weaned at 16 months. That was very healing for me, and I was so happy to let her decide when she was done.

  27. GoGoSnoGirl

    pear / 1558 posts

    I didn't vote b/c we are still going at 8mos, but my first goal was 6mos, my next goal is 12mos. I don't intend to wean, but I have a feeling LO may wean herself. She's already decreased her nursing sessions (# & length of time), so I am just in the last day or 2 thinking I may add a pumping session somewhere in there each day during one of her solid food meals to try & keep my supply up.

  28. simplyfelicity

    cantaloupe / 6634 posts

    I didn't vote because I am still bf but I started with the goal just to see how it went. In the very, very early weeks, I would have been shocked if you told me we would be at 7 months and still going strong with all of our issues.
    I am hoping to go til 12 months and day-wean.

  29. Zbug

    persimmon / 1355 posts

    Thought I would BF a year, stopped just after LO turned 2.

  30. bisous

    persimmon / 1304 posts

    Made my goal of pumping for a year and surpassed my breastfeeding goal--nursed my daughter til she was 22 months. I am excited about breastfeeding my second and miss it!

  31. MrsF

    honeydew / 7283 posts

    Shorter with my first (I had hoped for a year and only made it 8 weeks)

    About just what I had hoped with my second (nursed / pumped for a year)

  32. QBbride

    pomegranate / 3192 posts

    With DS, my goal was a year and I breastfed for 19 months (until I was 15 weeks pregnant with #2).

    With DD, I'd like to make it at least 18 months. It was a rough beginning but she is 6 1/2 months and things are going well!

  33. daniellemybelle

    cantaloupe / 6669 posts

    Longer, then shorter. At first I planned to BF for 1 year. Then I had low supply and I doubted that I would make it to 1 year or even 6 months. When we made it to 1 year it was going well and I decided I thought we should shoot for 2 years. But at about 18-19 months it was clear that we were both ready for weaning (well, me more than her, but I knew she could handle it).

  34. LadyPantaloons

    grape / 80 posts

    With my first I told myself that if I made if to 8 months id be happy. We had a rocky start. Nursed 2years 3months! 3 months later I was pregnant again and now I have a 1.5 month old and things are going great. The goal is 1.5 years this time, so we'll see! Lol.

  35. littlejoy

    pomegranate / 3375 posts

    I figured I'd BF for 2 years.

    Major issues meant I only BFed exclusively for 2 weeks ... then BFed + supplemented for a year. She nursed for the last time the morning of her first birthday.

  36. farawayyama

    kiwi / 556 posts

    I'd hoped to go to 2+ (my mother did extended breast feeding with my sister who was born when I was 20). I found that at about 13 months she and I both lost interest. Our final session (if you could call it that - she took a sip or two and was off) was at 14 months.

  37. AprilFool

    nectarine / 2591 posts

    Expected - 1 year. Reality - 3 days short.

  38. MrsADS

    nectarine / 2262 posts

    This is interesting. I have to say, I don't think HB is really representative of moms in general - in "real life" I don't know a ton of people who have actually EBF for a year, and it seems really common on here.

    We've EBF to 5 months so far. Goal is 1 yr + (open to letting him self wean). BFing itself has been easy - no latch issues, I make tons of milk, etc. but DS has major food allergies/intolerances (MSPI plus other foods) and I have had to eliminate basically everything from my diet and it's REALLY hard. If he doesn't grow out of some of these intolerances, I'm not sure I can imagine continuing to eat this way for another year. I'm used to it at this point but it really sucks.

  39. Alba4

    nectarine / 2951 posts

    @MrsADS: it's true. I know many people who A. Never attempted breastfeeding and B. Didn't EBF for a full year. It's wonderful to see many success stories here on HB, but I personally see a much more mixed result in real life.

    I'd be curious to see the correlation between the length of maternity leave with success/length of breast feeding. I only had 4 months at home, and pumping at my school and trying to work pumping into my teaching schedule was a challenge. I know there are a lot of Canadians here too and they are able to take longer mat leaves than most women in the US. Just a thought.

  40. MrsADS

    nectarine / 2262 posts

    @alba4 I think you are definitely correct on that. I'm in the U.S. I got 12 weeks but negotiated to take an extra month. And I'm in a white collar professional job, I have my own office so I have a private place to pump whenever I want. I think EBF for women in the U.S. who work at jobs where pumping is difficult/impossible is a problem. Another reason we need paid extended maternity leave.

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