Natural Parenting

Breastfeeding, By The Numbers

breastfeeding infant at mother's breastI’m working on an infographic-driven “by the numbers” series this month, and this information really spoke to me. Although there are challenges, there is also such an obvious benefit to breastfeeding. This information really focuses on the first six months, but the American Academy of Pediatrics actually recommends we continue to breastfeed for a full year, while supplementing with food. I breastfed my son for more than a year, my daughter for nine months, and my youngest for six. It was difficult while working, but worth it. I hope we can share more information like this to encourage the new mamas among us to give it a try for at least six months. How long did you breastfeed? What was difficult and what were your challenges? I’d love to learn from your comments. Thanks!

breastfeeding info graphic


  • Lynn

    I breastfed all 3 of my children, the first till she was 1 and then the second she weaned herself at 3.5 months.
    Then My son he was born at 23 weeks gestation and the NICU encouraged pumping and they would store the milk for me. When he was about 27 weeks, actually he was 1 month old the nurses suggested trying to see if he had the reflex to bf, I was so lucky he took well to the breast the first try.
    When my son was finally able to come home for the fist time I was told to expect my son to have lots of breathing difficulties and sickness, asthma and pneumonia. Well the only time he had gotten pneumonia was when he was weaned, as for asthma we stopped doing the puffers 3 months after being home and breastfeeding on demand.(His pediatrician monitored his progress 2 times a week) Well to make a long story short, he was breastfed on demand till he was 4 and then I finally had to wean him so he could go to school.
    He was only the size of a 3 year old, and it was the hardest thing to do. Because a month after weaning he became sick with pneumonia.
    Looking back and reading the stories I feel very lucky to have had the time to be able to work from home. I should add that my son is now 11 years old and still tends to cuddle. Breast feeding him gave him the security that at times he still craves, Although looks ridiculous because he is almost the size of me now. But he is healthy!!

    • Rachel Sarnoff

      Wow what a story! I am so glad your son is healthy and happy, and it sounds like breastfeeding was really a big part of your bonding. Thanks for sharing your story, Lynn!

  • Amy

    I breastfed both my daughters, but only for a few months, as they both teethed early and it hurt. Both were adopted and birth and breastfeeding was a way of bonding and making them my own. I used a Lact-Aid to supplement and pumped the second time too. But I never had huge amounts of milk (nor the large breasts that accompany that) so when they got teeth it was difficult. I would do it again in a heartbeat and always recommend it to adoptive moms.

  • nancy

    I am still nursing my almost 2 year old daughter. I pumped when I had to stop bringing her to work with me at 7 months. I thought I would wean her at 1 but have decided to let her self-wean. I think she enjoys the closeness and the cuddling that it entails. I work 3 days a week now so she is ready to have her mommy time when I get home.

  • Eva Daves

    I have three boys and I have breastfed them all. My first child, I bf for two months and then returned to work. I tried pumping, but I was in the Army and I just didn’t have the accomodations that I needed. (Bathroom pumping? yuck. no, thanks.) My second, I was a stay at home mom for a bit and bf him until he started cutting teeth and biting… he was about 6 or 7 months old when I weaned him. Those two are now 13 and 10 years old. I have an 18 month old who I am STILL bf on demand, but mostly in the morning when he wakes up and in the evenings. I work full time and I haven’t really had a need to pump as often. This time around it’s been a rewarding experience. I wish I could’ve done the same with my first two! :) I highly encourage new mommies to keep at it, if they can. :)

    • Rachel Sarnoff

      Good for you! You are really dedicated. I agree about bathroom pumping. It’s sad that employers don’t make more accommodations for breastfeeding–and longer leave for that matter. But we do what we can, right? Thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer Holland

    I breastfed until my daughter was 2. It was incredibly rewarding and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Pumping for the first year was difficult with a full-time job, but it’s something I would also do again. I feel very strongly that breastfeeding helped keep my daughter from getting sick as much as some of her peers in daycare (that and great probiotics and vitamins!).

  • Annie!

    I breastfed my 2 children and never gave a thought to pumping….to me, it looked unnatural! My daughter went until about 2.5 and my son, well, now that was a different matter….he would have kept going and going and going….!!!! But he was nearly 3….. I LOVED breast feeding…. I miss it. < My son is now 5.5 going on 25…..and giggles hilariously when he thinks about sucking on Mamas boobies!!! Like as if he never did that stuff!!!!!!

    • Rachel Sarnoff

      Isn’t it funny how quickly they forget! So great that you could go without pumping. It’s such a drag, but for those mamas who are working while breastfeeding, it’s essential!

  • Gina Murphy-Darling

    I breast fed my two daughters until they weaned themselves. I was a full-time working mother. For my first child, I went back to work after 3 month and pumped. She nursed until she was almost 3 and by that time only at night. I was fortunate enough to be able to take my second child to work with me for 10 months. She nursed until she was 2. I don’t regret one single moment. It was as natural as breathing. Sad how many people in this country are so hung up about it.

    • Rachel Sarnoff

      Good for you! That pumping at work thing is certainly challenging. So great that you were able to breastfeed for as long as you did. Thanks for sharing, Gina!

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