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Extended breastfeeding: benefits for child and mother🤱🏽

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

So I get questions daily about breastfeeding, from Moms, dads, grandparents, supporters and non supporters of breastfeeding.

Todays question I thought was worth sharing!

“what are the benefits of breastfeeding for more then 1 year?”

Well here’s my response:

Firstly The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests at least until one year, and the World Health Organization(WHO) suggests 2 years or longer.

Breastmilk changes to the needs of the baby. Immunological effects of breastmilk will assist in lowering the length and protecting a child from virus and bacteria when baby is exposed to more people, and germs. (There are elements in human milk that destroy Ecoli, salmonella, shigella, streptococcus, pneumococcus and many other bacteria.) Allergies (food and environmental) are also diminished in a child that extends over 1 year.

Breastfed children have better skin vision and brains, the longer they breastfeed the more DHA they receive giving more benefit.

The nutritional factor is also still there. It doesn’t change to water over night .

“In addition to a significant contribution of fat requirement, in the second year of life, just 15 ounces of breastmilk provides:

  • 29% of energy requirements

  • 43% of protein requirements

  • 36% of calcium requirements

  • 75% of vitamin A requirements

  • 76% of folate requirements

  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements

  • 60% of vitamin C requirements”

– Dewey 2001

Emotional benefit , soothes, assists in a gradual transistoon to childhood. Children run on their own timetables, so the key to helping that child achieve independence and is allowing the child to wen per their own dependency needs(Baby led weaning) plus the trauma of forcing a child to wean when they are not ready COULD be associated with future issues... imagine the closeness you have with a certain person from day one you have something that you guys do and then they RIP that huge part of your relationship away and won’t give it back but you don’t get a reason why, or understand why it’s being taken away.

For the mother the benefits are bigger. natural contraceptive, emotionally beneficial, breastfeeding also decreases the chances of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer, and lowers risk even more for the longer they breastfeed(also decreases cancer risk for child in long term). Decreases risk of developing osteoporosis for mother.

Side note, did you know that primates breastfeed their offspring until they start erupting their first permanent molars? This is adjusted to about 6 years in modern humans, suggesting that throughout our recent evolutionary past (up until the last 100 years extended breastfeeding was the norm) the active immunities provided by breastmilk were normally available to the child until about this age. Formula wasn’t available😱

If you have questions or have other topics you’d Love to discuss, comment below or email me at Megan.b@dairyfairylactationma.com.

Happy Feeding! 🧚‍♀️

Megan

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