When Is It Enough? Reasons to Consider Breastfeeding Longer
Although many Americans believe that they should stop breastfeeding between six and 12 months, there is a lot of evidence that suggests that your child will have a healthier future if you continue breastfeeding for at least two years. Even though this might seem like an inconvenience, it is important to remember that your baby will start eating other food by the time they are six months old. In other words, breast milk will eventually become more of a supplement than a primary food source, and if you give your child enough time, they will naturally wean themselves. As the makers of the Mombo nursing pillow state, “your time together is so precious-and so fleeting,” why not give your child the extra comfort and health benefits that nursing can provide, for just a little longer?
Five Reasons to Embrace Extended Breastfeeding
1. Higher Intelligence – Studies have indicated that people who are breastfed are more likely to have a high IQ. When you consider how much easier it is for highly intelligent people to become successful, you will definitely want to consider breastfeeding for an extended period of time.
2. Health Benefits – Most mothers begin breastfeeding because they know that it is healthier for their baby. Although any duration of breastfeeding is better than being fed formula from birth, it is important to let your baby breastfeed for as long as you are both comfortable with the process in order to provide them with the optimal benefits for the rest of their live. Keep in mind that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for at least two years. Additionally, UNICEF’s research indicates that 50 percent of the breastfeeding mothers in the world will provide this important sustenance to their baby for a minimum of 23 months.
3. Decrease the Rate of Tantrums – As a baby begins to head into their toddler years, it is very common for them to begin throwing tantrums on a regular basis. However, as most extended breastfeeding mothers can attest, simply allowing their toddler to nurse for a few moments will soothe away most issues.
4. Independence – Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding for an extended period of time is believed by many researchers and psychologists to lead to a more secure and independent child. After all, when you provide your baby with an environment that feels safe and loving for an extended period of time, they are more likely to believe that you will always be there for them in the future. This sense of security can make it easier for a child to assert their independence without the fear of abandonment.
5. Reduced Risk of Cancer for the Mother – Breastfeeding is also beneficial for mothers. One of the best reasons to breastfeed until your baby is ready to stop is that it will help reduce your risk of contracting ovarian or breast cancer. Additionally, breastfeeding has been proven to lower the rate of obesity.
With all of the positive reasons to breastfeed past the first year, it is no wonder that so many women continue the process even after their baby has started to outgrow their nursing pillow. By embracing extended breastfeeding, you can give your baby the best possible head start in life.
Melanie Fleury nursed all four of her babies for varying lengths of time. She found that using a good nursing pillow like Mombo helped to keep the baby comfortable and helped to support her for longer nursing sessions. Getting to choose a cute fabric to match the nursery was an added bonus.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/motheringtouch/5204670541/
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