The duration of breastfeeding depends on several parameters: an adequate quantity of milk, the return to work, cultural variations. What is the average recommended duration of breastfeeding? Is it enough to breastfeed your baby for only 1 month? What are the alternatives to breastfeeding? We answer all your questions!
What is the average recommended duration of breastfeeding?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of your baby’s life is the ideal way to feed your baby. This breastfeeding can continue until your baby is 2 years old, in addition to the diversification of food from the age of 4 to 6 months.
However, it is important to keep in mind that this is a recommendation. If, for various reasons, breastfeeding lasts less time, don’t worry, it has no impact on your child’s health! So, no matter how long you breastfeed, it is a choice that is strictly personal to you. You just need to follow a few simple rules to ensure that weaning takes place in optimal conditions, both for you and your baby.
Breastfeeding your baby for 1 month: is it enough?
Breast milk is the most suitable food for the growth and development of your baby. This is because it is high in carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and protein. In addition, breast milk is naturally easier for your baby to digest. But, is it enough to breastfeed your baby only during the first month of his life?
What happens if breastfeeding lasts only 1 month?
As soon as your baby is born, the mammary glands produce colostrum. Colostrum is a “mature” milk rich in white blood cells and is essential for strengthening your baby’s immune system. Colostrum protects your baby from various infections and pathogenic bacteria. If you have been breastfeeding your baby since birth, he or she has benefited from this natural protection.
Today, your baby is 1 month old and you want to stop breastfeeding. What happens? Well, you will, in any case, continue to feed him! In this case, you will gradually wean your baby to a bottle. Ideally, we advise you to choose a growth milk that is rich in nutrients and more digestible for your child. By receiving a balanced diet, your child will continue to grow and develop in the most absolute normality.
How to stop breastfeeding gently?
From the moment you decide to stop breastfeeding, we advise you to wean gently. Indeed, if you stop breastfeeding abruptly, from one day to the next, the risk is to develop mastitis, an inflammation of the breasts. Stopping breastfeeding abruptly can also cause engorgement, which is an excessive accumulation of milk in the ducts. It is however very easy to treat this engorgement, by using, for example, a breast pump to relieve your breasts.
What are the alternatives to breastfeeding?
The breast pump
If you wish, or if you are obliged to stop exclusive breastfeeding, you can use a breast pump. This is a device that allows you to collect your milk and store it in a sterilized container. For this purpose, there are manual or electric breast pumps that transfer your milk directly into small jars. For a better preservation of the milk, we advise you to use glass containers, more easily sterilized.
Once you have pumped the milk, it can be kept for a maximum of 4 hours at room temperature between 19°C and 22°C or for 48 hours in the refrigerator at a temperature below 4°C. In a perfectly sealed box, breast milk can also be kept for 4 months in the freezer at a temperature below -18°C.
The main alternative to breast milk is industrial milk. Depending on your budget, you can opt for classic cow’s milk. This is natural cow’s milk that contains calcium and all the essential nutrients for your child. You can also opt for growth milk. This type of milk is recommended by pediatricians because it is particularly enriched with vitamins and minerals to meet your child’s nutritional needs. For example, in growing-up milk, iron, which is essential to the functioning of the nervous system, is present in quantities 20 to 30 times greater than in cow’s milk.
The essential points to remember: the duration of breastfeeding, and the act of breastfeeding itself, depends on you, your baby, his or her needs, your environment, and your lifestyle. Whatever the case, the most important thing is to make sure your baby’s diet is balanced. So, if you are obliged to stop breastfeeding after one month, there are many solutions so that your child can eat properly. So you don’t have to feel guilty about it!