Extended breastfeeding is something I’ve wanted to do accomplish for a while now. With my first and second sons my goal was one year. You all probably know that I didn’t make it with my first, being just short about 7 weeks. I did nurse LA for one full year, but he was also transitioning to cow’s milk a few weeks before his birthday and he self-weaned at exactly one year. Since that time my goal was to nurse our next baby for 14+ months.
It is recommended to exclusively breastfeed for at least six months, and to breastfeed in combination with foods until baby is one year old. In years past, many people would have thought breastfeeding past 12 months was too long. In today’s world, I am happy to say that among breastfeeding mamas and beyond, extended breastfeeding is becoming more accepted and more widely practiced. I would love to nurse Addy for 18 months, but I am sticking to my goal of 14 months and will then take it one day at a time after that. Fourteen months is not when I plan to quit, you see, it’s just my goal for a minimum amount of time nursing her.
Reasons I want to Extend our Breastfeeding Journey
One reason I want to breastfeed past one year is that Addy’s birthday is in the winter and she’s in daycare a few days a week. It’s easy to pick up viruses during cold and flu season and breastfeeding continues to be a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues. Protein, fats and many vitamins are passed to baby/toddler through breast milk and it is an important source of vitamin A in the second and third years of life. Others reasons extended breastfeeding is beneficial:
- Breastfeeding contributes to your child’s INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT
- Breastfeeding contributes to your child’s MENTAL and SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
- MOTHERS also benefit from breastfeeding for a longer duration
As a selfish reason, I personally love the bond I have with Addy and I love nursing her to sleep and spending those quiet moments with her in the nighttime hours. It’s something only I have with her and I cherish those moments and I’m just not ready for them to end.
How long did you breastfeed or do you plan on breastfeeding your little one? What’s your main reason for the number of months in your breastfeeding goal?
Be sure to check out Courtney’s thoughts about weaning at Joy of Momma Joyner! We would love to hear your thoughts with either a comment or a blog post! You can link up below if you write about this topic and you can get the InLinkz code