Full Term Breastfeeding Is The Most Beneficial Thing We Can Do For Our Children
Full term breastfeeding isn’t as commonly heard as “extended breastfeeding”, however it is more accurate. The term “full term breastfeeding” describes a natural, expected term, while the latter makes it sound like we are extending an end date that doesn’t actually exist.
Full term breastfeeding is the practice of nursing until the child naturally weans, which typically happens anywhere between the ages of 2 and 7 years old. Somewhere in history, the idea of nursing a child above bottle-feeding age became something of a concern. It is not. Many experts view the ages of 4 or 5 years old to be the average ages of weaning worldwide. Given that the average age is 4 or 5, that would tell us that going over that age to, say 6 or 7, would be normal, as well.
Full Term Breastfeeding Is Beneficial
Breastfeeding benefits don’t go away because your child reaches a certain age. There are nutritional benefits always, as your milk is custom made to what your child needs. Your milk still holds it’s antibiotic effect. This can be so helpful once your child is up and moving about everywhere, constantly exposing themselves to the germs in the world. My 8 year old has only been truly sick a handful of times in her life, and they never lasted long. I definitely contribute this to the amazing healing powers of breast milk!
Plus, breast milk is the best at hydrating your sick child, if they happen to catch something.
What Full Term Breastfeeding Is To Me
For me and my children, full term breastfeeding has been a savior. With two children on the Autism spectrum, with their own sets of difficulties, it has really saved our sanity. In my last post, I touched base on what it’s like to nurse a toddler with SPD (sensory processing disorder). But, the benefits of breastfeeding special needs kids definitely extends beyond toddler age. I nursed my older daughter until she was about 6.5 years old. Being able to cuddle up and get “nee-nee” (what she called my breasts) was super helpful whenever she had a meltdown or got overwhelmed. Nothing has calmed my overstimulated children down faster than some milk-n-snuggles.
Full Term Breastfeeding Is Normal
In the 103 months that I have breastfed my children, I have never once considered it to be abnormal. When the American Academy of Pediatrics, World Health Organization, UNICEF and nature tells me that my child still should be nursing at 2 years old, I follow it. When my instincts and my child both told me that she, at 6 years old, still needed to nurse every now and again, I followed that. Your child won’t nurse forever. There is a point when they will stop knowing how to suckle and latch on. They grow up. That day absolutely will come. Until then…enjoy this time with them. They are only your nurslings for so long. Fulfill their needs until they need no more.
Some great info about full term breastfeeding or “extended breastfeeding” http://www.llli.org/ba/feb01.html
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Latest posts by Lee Moffitt (see all)
- Breastfeeding When You Are Sick: Selfless, Difficult, And Amazing - January 26, 2017
- Full Term Breastfeeding And The Reasons I Love It - December 29, 2016
- 5 Reasons I Love Nursing My SPD Special Needs Toddler - December 15, 2016