Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why nurse past a year?

These are some of the reasons why I continue to nurse my baby, now 22 months old. I manage to do this in spite of working 3/4 time out of home.


Human babies are designed to nurse until at least 2.5 years.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for AT LEAST a year; a year being the minimum recommended.

The WHO recommends for AT LEAST two years, noting that not doing so increases the health risks to the infant.

Some 80% of brain development occurs during the first two years. Recent studies are also pointing out the affect of nursing duration on behavioral development. Wouldn't you want to give your baby the best nutrition possible during this critical time?

Nursing is tied to decreased disease risk for women. The longer you do it, the more the benefit. A total win-win.

Here are some sites with helpful information for learning more about the benefits of extending nursing past the first year:

Handling criticism about breastfeeding

Nursing After the First Year

Not Just for Babies: 10 Good Reasons to Breastfeed Your Toddler


Our nursing schedule at 21 months is:

after dinner

He's dropped a couple sessions since earlier in the year. I'm always confused when women post online to say they are only nursing 2-4 times a day -- I don't see how that is possible without purposeful nudging but then again my little one does love nursing.

1 comment:

Catherine Illian said...

I really appreciate your site and found it so helpful when conceiving my son Jack-- through acupuncture/diet/ lifestyle changes--
I also really appreciated your posts on birth and parenting and other baby related things-- this recent one is no exception-- I would be interested to hear your thoughts on extended breastfeeding and fertility-- I have an 18 month old and we are still nursing-- about twice a day-- which I think is great for both of us. I have no real plans to stop-- anytime soon== but we would really like to have another one at some point-- and breastfeeding makes that much harder-- thanks!