Reasons to consider breastfeeding after 2 years

Reasons to consider breastfeeding after 2 years

Breastfeeding brings a lot of advantages for a mom and her baby. These advantages continue with extended breastfeeding beyond 2 years old. Here are some great reasons why you should consider breastfeeding after 2 years:

An excellent source of nourishment

Many people believe that the nutritional content of breast milk is diminished after two years. However, pediatric experts clarify that this is not true. Although it’s composition will change as your baby gets older, it’s nutritional value is still superior to formula. Breast milk contains proteins, calcium, fat, vitamins, and minerals that a child needs for his growth and development.

Breast milk changes the composition of its nutrients based on the needs of a growing child.

According to experts, breast milk from mothers who have been breastfeeding greater than a year has an increased fat and energy content when compared to mothers who have been lactating for shorter durations.

A study has been carried out which took samples of breast milk from mothers who had been breastfeeding for 2 years. Results showed that this breast milk had higher levels of protein, lysozyme, Immunoglobulin A, and lactoferrin compared to samples derived from milk banks from donors who had breastfed for a shorter duration. The samples from mothers breastfeeding for more than 2 years also contained a reduced amount of zinc, iron, calcium, and oligosaccharides. This suggests that breast milk’s composition may change as the baby grows. 

Immune-boosting factors

According to Nutrition During Lactation, breast milk is an abundant source of antibodies throughout breastfeeding. In addition, some antibodies increase in number after the 2nd year of breastfeeding.

Breastfed babies past the age of 2 have a decreased occurrence of illnesses, shortened duration of illnesses, and lower mortality rates. A child’s immunity is developing as he continues to breastfeed. Most pediatricians agree that extended breastfeeding can decrease a child’s risk of upper respiratory tract infections and ear infections.

The WHO advocates breastfeeding in the treatment and prevention of childhood diseases. An increase in the breastfeeding rate could prevent up to 10 percent of all deaths from children under five years old.

Brain-boosting benefits

Researchers suggest that breastfeeding provides an additional boost to your child’s brain functioning. This is due to the omega-3 fatty acids, called DHA, that are found in breast milk.

A research finding revealed that by the age of 2, exclusively breastfed babies have increased development to certain parts of their brain. This was specifically observed in areas responsible for language, cognition, and emotional response. The researchers further noted that the longer the duration of breastfeeding, the greater the brain development in these children.
Soothing for your child

The breast is your baby’s place of comfort, even when he reaches toddlerhood. Breastfeeding is an ideal way to comfort your baby if he has a cold, is teething, or just not feeling well. Toddlers are more physically active, resulting in trips and falls along the way. Breastfeeding is an ideal way to soothe your toddler if he’s hurt. Breastfeeding a toddler can help ease out his transition from infancy to childhood.

Promotes independence

While most of us believe that extended breastfeeding will make our babies too clingy, some experts believe it will actually have the opposite effect as they get older. Breastfed toddlers may be more encouraged to explore on their own as they feel safe and secure at their mom’s breast once they have finished doing their thing.

According to Elizabeth Baldwin, author of “Extended Breastfeeding and the Law,” meeting your child’s dependency is a major factor that contributes to his dependence. Breastfeeding is considered a loving method to meet the needs of a toddler or young child. Young children will be able to outgrow their needs within their timeframe. When this happens, children will have a more secure independence.

Better health in the future

Breastfed babies and toddlers enjoy additional health benefits when they grow up. According to research, they are less likely to develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, type 2 diabetes, and obesity in the future.

Beneficial effects on mom’s health

The longer you breastfeed, the longer you will reap the benefits of breastfeeding. These include a decreased risk of ovarian, uterine, endometrial, and breast cancers.

Breastfeeding can also protect you from developing osteoporosis in the future. Even if your bone mineral density slightly decreases while breastfeeding, your body has the ability to regain any losses. According to the NIH, breastfeeding mothers often lose 3 to 5 percent of their bone mass during breastfeeding. This is usually recovered within a few months after breastfeeding has ended. This process happens with or without taking an additional calcium supplement.

According to studies, breastfeeding reduces mom’s risk of type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. Since breastfeeding burns extra calories, it may also help mothers lose some weight.

Stress-reliever

If breastfeeding can soothe babies, it can also calm a mother after a stressful day at work or at home. This is due to the breastfeeding hormones that create a relaxing effect while you nurse your baby. They also help get you to sleep more easily. Many mothers feel it’s more convenient for them to breastfeed their babies rather than prepare a bottle late at night.
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