Many new mothers have one question in their mind and they are confused whether long term breastfeeding is good for the child or not. Long term breastfeeding means nursing your child even after he or she has completed one year of age. In many countries it is common and unquestionable to feed a child over one year. There are many benefits of long term breastfeeding and it is not only for the child but also for the nursing mother.
Duration of nursing of a child depends on the family and cultural traditions. Previously mothers used to breast feed their children to four or five years of age and that was considered normal also. However, today there are many limitations and most probably it is the decision of the mother whether she wants to feed her child after one year of age or not.
Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding
Have a quick look at the advantages of breastfeeding baby for longer time.
- Extended breastfeeding reduces risk of allergies, asthma, obesity and some types of cancer in the child.
- Breastfeeding makes the child healthier, stronger and at the same time smarter too.
- It helps in absorption of nutrients and supports brain growth.
- It helps boost up the immune system of the baby and keeps the mother healthy too.
- The child gets complete nutrition and antibodies that are helpful for the normal growth, immunity and energy.
- It soothes the child when he needs emotional support from his mother or gets hurt.
- When the child is sick or unwell, breastfeeding gives comfort and relief to the child.
- Helps the child to become more self confident and independent in future.
- Improves eyesight, dental health, gives better hearing and provides better digestive system throughout life.
- Breastfeeding helps the mother cover the blood loss during pregnancy and also helps in the shrinking of the uterus.
- It helps strengthen the bonding between the mother and the child.
- Breastfeeding also help women to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Should You Go for Long Term Breastfeeding?
If you are a mother of an infant and you are unable to decide whether you should go for extended breastfeeding or not, you should rethink and see whether it is right for you or not. Remember, it is completely your decision and if you find that everything is right and it is working with you and your child, you should continue with it.
Many doctors believe that long term breastfeeding is like an investment for the future of your child. Also, it depends on the comfort level of the mother and the child in addition to the health and emotional benefits for the child. There are other factors that contribute and support the decision of whether or not you should continue breastfeeding your child after he completes one year.
Take into Account
Here are some points which will help you to decide if you should consider long term breastfeeding.
- The physical health of your child
- Your health
- Emotional need of the child
- Your emotional need
- Emotional need of your partner
- Your stress level
- Economic and social circumstances
Go through the benefits and advantages of long term breastfeeding and take into account the points. These will help you take the right decision. Remember, it completely depends on you and your child and the final decision is definitely yours. The only problem that a mother faces is to wean an older child and it is a very difficult task.
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- The Indiaparenting Team