Breastfeeding beyond the 1st Year
Breastfeeding beyond the 1st Year!
Besides being the optimal source of nutrition for your baby in their first years, breastfeeding has obvious psychological benefits for both mother and baby.
At birth, infants see only 12 to 15 inches, which is the distance between a nursing baby and mother’s face. Studies have found new babies as young as one week prefer the smell of their own mother’s milk. Many psychologists believe the nursing baby enjoys a sense of security from the warmth and presence of the mother, especially when there’s that skin-to-skin contact during feeding. This wonder food available across every nation that can prevent and fight infection. Requires no packaging, readily available on demand and hey, relatively cheap (depending on your lifestyle), it is a sustainability dream come true.
Welcome to breast milk…
Decades of scientific research have again and again cited breastmilk as the healthiest option for babies. Many governments have approved the World Health Organization resolution calling on countries to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and to limit the promotion of milk substitutes; breastfeeding remains political. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the baby first six months and then to continue breastfeeding for two years and beyond. We know that the health benefits of breastfeeding in the first 12 months are everywhere. However, what happens to the quality of breast milk after your little one first birthday?
Do breastfeeding loose its nutritional content ?
No matter how long you and your little one continue to breastfeed the nutritional, immunological and developmental benefits remain. In fact the science of breastfeeding and breast milk research is still ongoing. Researchers are discovering even more benefits breastmilk has to offer. We may never see them all in this 20th century!
Just know that as long as your little one continues to breastfeed your milk will continue to provide significant nutrition and immunity factors. What’s more, the composition of your breast milk will continually change to meet the developing needs of your infant. Know that, in your baby’s second year they are required just about 500mls a day of breastmilk which will provide:
29% of energy requirements
43% of protein requirements
36% of calcium requirements
75% of vitamin A requirements
76% of folate requirements
94% of vitamin B12 requirements
60% of vitamin C requirements
(Source: Dewey KG 2001, Nutrition, growth and complementary feeding of the breastfed infant. Pediatr Clin Nth Amer 48:87-104.)
According to a study from the World Health Organization published in The Lancet, breastfeeding could prevent 823,000 infant deaths and 20,000 maternal deaths every year, worldwide.
Of course, some women cannot breastfeed or may choose not to, and that is a very safe option because the formula is a safe and healthy alternative option. Other parents of bottle-fed babies may feel a little left out, do not despair, always cuddle your infant closely when feeding with good eye to eye contact. It reassures your infants.
” CBS News medical contributor Dr. Tara Narula explains that formula feeds have been around since the 1920s. That although formula milk has evolved to meet the composition and performance of breast milk, it’s never going to meet breastmilk exactly, but the manufacturers have to meet recommended nutrient requirements, so know that all formula milk have similar compositions of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, mineral, water, and fat.”However, no formula milk have the antibodies!
So nursing is not just to feed your baby. It is reciprocal interactions to your baby’s needs and cues; it’s a source of warmth and comfort.
The joy for a new mother is: Breastfeeding is good for new mothers as well as for their babies. There are no bottles to sterilize and no formula to buy, measure and mix. Even better, it is easier for a nursing mother to lose the pounds of pregnancy because breastfeeding uses up extra calories!
Breastfeeding stimulates the uterus to contract back to its original size. Breastfeeding can have a calming effect for you at the end of a busy day. A nursing mother is forced to get needed rest. She must sit down, put her feet up, and relax every few hours to breastfeed. Nursing at night is easy as well. No one has to stumble to the refrigerator for a bottle and warm it while the baby cries.
So the next time someone questions you, Try not to let their opinions and comments sway you. Breastfeeding beyond the baby’s first birthday is normal. Be confident in your decision to continue to breastfeed and enjoy the benefits for as long as you and your baby choose.
Do not forget to offer some of these amazing facts.