This question can only be answered by the individual and essentially it comes down to: ‘how long do you feel comfortable breastfeeding for?’

You’ll hear advice that a particular duration is ‘optimal’ (often 1 or 2 years), however the most relevant consideration is your personal desires and your health, both physical and emotional.

According to the ABS National Health Survey, 96% of new mothers initiate breastfeeding in Australia. The term initiate simply refers to the baby having access to colostrum (the earliest form of breast milk) directly from the breast rather than a bottle or a syringe. By 4 months of age the number of babies exclusively breastfed drops to 65% and by 6 months it drops again to just 35%.

If you have a personal aspiration, for example if you’d like to breastfeed for 12 months, you may need a little help or assistance from time to time to reach your goal. This may include introducing a supplement or a breast pump to help with your milk supply which can drop from time to time due to a variety of factors including (but not limited to) sleep, diet and stress.

As your baby grows, you may notice they’ll start to wean themselves off you as they get the taste for other foods during the transition into solids.

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