Long-term Breastfeeding: When Mothers Continue Breastfeeding Beyond The First Year Of Life

Breastfeeding infants is met with incomprehension and prejudice by many people. You will feel like a long-term breastfeeder if you are the only one around you who is still breastfeeding your child and the question always comes up how long you want to do it.

The Length Of The Breastfeeding Period – How Long Is “Normal”?

First of all, there is no recommendation for the length of breastfeeding. Depending on the society in which you live, you may feel that a certain length of breastfeeding is “normal”.

Breastfeeding Time Is Culturally Influenced

If children were allowed to decide for themselves, they would generally not wean until they were between two and four years old. In the vast majority of cultures, breastfeeding goes on for a long time – far longer than we are used to in Western countries. Here, we are used to mother and child both becoming autonomous as quickly as possible. The way to achieve this is, among other things, a breastfeeding relationship that is limited in time.

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Why Is The Duration Of Breastfeeding So Variable?

The answer is self-evident. If a mother breastfeeds her child before it is able to care for itself, it is doomed to die. In humans, it’s different: a baby can survive not only on its mother’s milk. There are sufficient food substitutes.

Social Weaning Decisions

When the woman wants to go back to work, or the child goes to daycare, many choose to wean earlier.

Fathers’ Influence

Breastfeeding is often an emotional issue. How comfortable do I feel about it? What does my partner say about it? The influence of the father on the duration of breastfeeding is observed in many cultures.

What Are The Advantages Of Long-term Breastfeeding?

Long-term breastfeeding always means a particularly intensive, physical bond between mother and child. It brings numerous health benefits.
Your child is optimally supplied with nutrients. Even after the first year of life, breast milk supports your child’s immune system.

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In the second year of breastfeeding, it even contains higher concentrations of certain antibodies. Defensive substances that the mother has already formed against infections benefit the child. In addition, children who are breastfed longer are sick less often.
The risk of allergies, infections, and obesity, is reduced.

Are There Disadvantages?

Long-term breastfeeding has few disadvantages. Most arguments against long breastfeeding are based on various prejudices. Opponents of a long breastfeeding period often argue that this would be too exhausting for the mother. However, this does not matter as long as the mother eats a balanced diet.

Does Breast Milk Still Have Enough Nutrients?

Many people fear that after a certain age, breast milk no longer contains enough nutrients. However, this thought is wrong, because breast milk, even with long breastfeeding, always adapts to the needs of the child. Of course, complementary food is also necessary from the second year of life.

PrejudicesAagainst Long-term Breastfeeding

Mothers who breastfeed their children for a long time are often subject to prejudice. Many outsiders think that long-term breastfeeding would spoil their child too much. Breastfeeding in public is also considered inappropriate.
Simply respond to criticism with confidence.

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The Psychological Side of Long-term Breastfeeding

All the prevailing prejudices can put tremendous pressure on a mother. Many are suddenly concerned whether long breastfeeding, could not harm the development of their child.

However, this must be questioned. No one has ever been harmed by breastfeeding. The National Breastfeeding Commission also emphasizes that the introduction of complementary feeding is not the same as weaning. The timing of weaning is still an individual decision.

Conclusion

On the one hand, breast milk is touted in our society as the best thing for the child, and on the other hand, some people never tire of viewing breastfeeding with suspicion – the baby could perhaps be overindulged by having free access to the breast.

The fact is, long-term breastfeeding is not harmful. There are no disadvantages as long as the children are gradually introduced to other foods. There is no upper time limit for breastfeeding.

With regard to the duration of breastfeeding, mother and child must follow their own rhythm.

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The best products for you and your baby.

Baby monitor

With a baby monitor, you can use your time flexibly, sleep peacefully at night and still know at all times that your baby is doing well.

Nursing pillow

A good breastfeeding pillow has several advantages, because it helps you not only to breastfeed, but also to fall asleep and is also suitable as a nest.

Diaper bags

A diaper bag offers you a lot of storage space, so that you have everything you need for your baby on the go - from the changing pad to the bottle.

Pucksack

A pucksack gives your baby the feeling of security, like in the womb, and thus supports a peaceful and restful sleep.

Bicycle trailer

Bicycle trailers can be used in combination with a baby seat shortly after birth. They are not only safer than child seats but also more comfortable.

Playpen

A playpen can be very practical in everyday life! Which model is suitable for your needs, you can read in my guide.

Baby bed

The first bed accompanies your child for years. Fortunately, there are beds that grow with your child. I have made for you on the search for the best baby beds.

Stroller

A stroller is a worthwhile purchase. But there are the most diverse models on the market. Find out which is the right one.

Radiant heater

Radiant heaters provide your child with the necessary warmth when changing diapers or after bathing.

Extra bed

Side beds are very practical and offer both mother and baby a lot of advantages, because for babies, especially in the first months of life, it is reassuring to be able to sleep next to their parents.

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