We know it’s not easy, so this season we want to thank all the moms out there who are doing their best to breastfeed their babies as long as they can. So, how long should you breast feed?
Moms are constantly asking me this question and well, it’s one I can’t provide an answer for. What I can do is ensure you have some resources to help guide your decision. According to UNICEF, the United States Breastfeeding Committee and other national and international organizations, exclusive breastfeeding should continue until about 6 months of age (http://www.childinfo.org/breastfeeding.html).
Need more sleep? “Parents of 3 month old infants reported that those who were breastfeed in the evening/night slept an average of 40-45 minutes more than parents of infants fed formula.”
“Another study determined the risk of the baby becoming overweight was reduced by 4% for each month of breastfeeding.”
“Breastfeeding 18 months or more was associated with a significant decrease in ovarian cancer risk (compared to not breastfeeding). For each month of breastfeeding the relative risk decreased 2%.”
“For each additional year of lactation, women had a decrease in the risk of Type 2 Diabetes of 14-15%.”
“Women who breastfeed for a year or more are 10-15% less likely to develop metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors that occur together increasing the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke and Type 2 Diabetes.”
“Women’s BMI (body mass index) was 1% lower for every 6 months they breastfed.”
One friend said she used to sing herself “You’re Gonna Miss This” (by Trace Adkins) to get her through her super tired or emotional nights. The song lyrics talk about all those special moments which may seem difficult at the time are the moments you wish didn’t go by so fast. What has helped you stick to your goal?
Cadwell, K., & Turner-Maffei, C., Editors. (2012). The Lactation Counselor Certificate Training Program Course Manual, 2012-2013. East Sandwich, MA: Healthy Children Project, Inc.