9 Great Reasons to Breastfeed After 12 Months

A friend came to me today to tell me that she had received some negative comments about breastfeeding past infancy, which is beyond 12 months for most people.  She asked me to give her something that she could use to defend herself when these people approached her and tried to undervalue her efforts with continuing to nurse her daughter at 20 months.  Since these comments are so common and people are so misinformed here are nine great reasons to continue breastfeeding beyond 12 months :)!

  1. Eating a piece of broccoli has the same nutritional value when you are one year old as when you are 10 years old, why would breastmilk be any different?
  2. Children who are breastfed beyond 12 months get sick less often and when they get sick it is for a shorter amount of time.
  3. Many studies now show correlation and causation between breastfeeding and IQ.
  4. Breastmilk can provide 30% of the nutrition needed by children between 12-23 months of age!
  5. Immune factors like immunoglobulin A in breastmilk are present in higher amounts after 12 months!
  6. Breastmilk’s content of healthy fats and proteins significantly increases after 12 months in order to meet the needs of the child.
  7. Breastfeeding duration is related to good mental health, positive social development and early development of independence and good self-esteem.
  8. Moms benefit too!  The risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer, uterine cancer and endometrial cancer goes down for every year of breastfeeding.
  9. Moms have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease for each year that they breastfeed and they are also able to maintain a lower weight in the long term.

A few more facts below! (click for bigger picture)

I hope to expand on this post soon by adding more detail, more great reasons to continue breastfeeding, and links to reference research and articles from which I obtained this information :).  Keep on nursin’ mamas :D!

If you need breastfeeding help, please contact your local support group, La Leche League or Nursing Mothers Counsel. You can also email me at melisa@ilovebreastfeeding.com.

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