“Still breastfeeding your daughter? She’ll be breastfeeding until she’s 18!”
“Breastfeeding at this age? Haven’t you got something better to do?”
These are just some of the comments that I heard on my 4-year breastfeeding journey.
Yet, breastfeeding beyond infancy is actually the norm, and not an exception to the norm.
According to a study, in the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
- 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
In one study of 250 toddlers in Kenya, solid food intake increased after weaning, but not enough to replace all the fat, vitamin A, and niacin that the child had been getting via breastfeeding (Onyango 2002).
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continues throughout the first year of life and that:
“It has been estimated that a natural weaning age for humans is between two and seven years. Family physicians should be knowledgeable regarding the ongoing benefits to the child of extended breastfeeding, including continued immune protection, better social adjustment, and having a sustainable food source in times of emergency. The longer women breastfeed, the greater the decrease in their risk of breast cancer.”
So why am I breastfeeding our 4-year old and in public too? Just click play and discover it all in this video today.
Don’t forget to leave your comments and thoughts on breastfeeding below!
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Scientific sources: https://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/ebf-benefits/
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