Check out the pros and cons to breastfeeding past 12 months. It seems to be more common or well known these days that breast milk is still beneficial for children past 12 months. They call this ‘extended nursing’. It is no secret that breast milk has nutrients and minerals that just can’t be replicated by formula. They can try but it just isn’t the same. Like all things, though, there may be downsides.
Pros and Cons to Breastfeeding Past 12 Months
Western culture seems to be the only one that has viewed extended breastfeeding as abnormal. If you decide to continue to breastfeed past your little one’s first birthday, you will most definitely be dealing with comments and dirty looks from strangers but maybe even friends and family. Use this opportunity to educate them, they may just not know the benefits of extended breastfeeding.
For starters, if this is something you and your child enjoy, then why stop? It is not harming anyone. In fact, it is very beneficial to both. Your child may be going to daycare or just having play dates, in which he will be more exposed to sickness and illness. Because you are breastfeeding, he will be sick less often than his non-breastfeeding buds.
You actually have benefits too! Because you continue to nurse, your risk of breast and ovarian cancer is lowered. One other (possibly) little known fact is that breastfeeding can delay your period. I say ‘can’ because everyone is different. Nursing your child is a source of comfort, for both of you. Picture the mom walking her crying, inconsolable child around. Then picture you nursing your upset child. He is content right?
There can be some downfalls to breastfeeding past 12 months, but it is all a matter of opinion really. Like I have said before, you will have to deal with stares and comments from others who just don’t understand. For some reason, we as a culture think that when a child hits his first birthday that is the absolute measure of when nursing should stop. It is a personal choice. People might say that your child is too attached to you. I still do not know why that is a bad thing. I want my children attached to me, in the sense that they know they can come to me as a source of comfort and safety. Extended breastfed children actually show more independence and self-esteem than others.
The bottom line is that extended breastfeeding is a very personal choice. One only you can make for the benefit of you and your baby. Or you can choose to not make that decision and stop whenever you feel comfortable.
Is extended breastfeeding something you are thinking about doing? Maybe you have seen some moms doing this and you wanted to know the pros and cons to breastfeeding past 12 months? Share your personal stories with us below! Moms all need to stick together!