The other day I saw my mother -in-law sticking a spoon of tea into my 2 month baby’s mouth. I managed to stop her in the last second. She then took a sip and dumped the tea because she didn’t like it. Please! Why would you want to give anything to my exclusively breastfed baby! It is widely believed that breastfeeding has many benefits, particularly if you nurse exclusively and for longer than 6 months.
BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING:
Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for both mom and baby:
- Breastfeeding protects your baby from a long list of illnesses
- Breastfeeding can protect your baby from developing allergies
- Breastfeeding may boost your child’s intelligence
- Breastfeeding may protect your child from obesity
- Breastfeeding may lower your baby’s risk of SIDS
- Breastfeeding can reduce your stress level and your risk of postpartum depression
- Breastfeeding may reduce your risk of some types of cancer
BENEFITS OF EXTENDED BREASTFEEDING:
- Breastfeeding toddlers get sick less often than their peers.
- The strong connection your child feels with you while nursing will foster independence, not make him overly dependent or clingy as some may have you believe.
- If you travel a lot, breastfeeding is a lot easier than carrying around milk or worrying about having to buy any at your destination.And when you’re staying overnight in a strange place, the comfort of your breast may be the best way to ease your child’s fears and make him feel more secure.
RISKS OF EXTENDED BREASTFEEDING:
Newest research suggests that failing to start weaning on to solid food (they are not talking about formula milk) before six months appears to raise risks for the baby. Evidence that was unavailable when the WHO made its recommendation to breastfeed for minimum 6 months suggests that babies exclusively breastfed for 6 months have a greater chance of iron deficiency anaemia, “known to be linked to irreversible adverse mental, motor or psychosocial outcomes.”
Other evidence, they say, suggests that babies not introduced to certain foods earlier than six months may have a higher incidence of food allergies. “Countries where peanuts are used as weaning foods have low incidences of peanut allergy (Israel, for example),” they write.
The third potential issue is coeliac disease. The numbers of children developing coeliac disease rose in Sweden following advice to mothers to delay the introduction of gluten into their child’s diet until after six months, and it fell when the recommendation reverted to four months.
So, maybe my mother-in-law is right?
DID YOU OR DO YOU INTEND TO BREASTFEED FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS? PLEASE SHARE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW 🙂
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