Today, there are many opinions about how long you need to breastfeed. Some doctors advise at least six months. Some moms say that you need to feed up to three years. And other parents are confident that after the introduction of complementary foods, breast milk is no longer useful for the baby.
So how old do you need to breastfeed a baby, and what is the risk of breastfeeding for too long?
Some statistics: until what time are modern mothers breastfeeding, and why?
Not one word has been said about the benefits of breast milk. And nobody doubts its value for the baby’s health. Mom's milk is not only food for a little man, it's also his immune defensebecause, unlike a mixture, it is a lively food, saturated with enzymes and hormones of the mother.
At the moment most mommies are fed up to a year, or, in extreme cases, up to one and a half. Because it is to this age that a woman goes to work and returns to a full-fledged social life.
Of course, there are extremes always and everywhere. For example, some mothers are sure that it’s not worthwhile to breastfeed for a long time, because many parents raised their children in mixtures, and nothing terrible happened.
Such a bias occurs because:
- Breastfeeding, especially at the beginning, hurts. Tender breasts are not ready for such mistreatment - for babies literally dig into the nipple. Not all mothers withstand such a test, and go to the mixture.
- Breastfeeding involves many problems. For example, frequent expressions, lack of free time and full binding of the mother to her child.
- Some women do not get lactation., and therefore they have been using infant formula from birth.
According to statistics,about 27% of women either do not breastfeed at all, or breastfeed early. But lately, this figure has been rapidly declining, as people are increasingly striving for everything environmentally friendly, wholesome and natural.
In France, for example, women deliberately refuse breastfeeding. and only 69% of pregnant women start feeding in the maternity hospital.
In the Soviet Union, a woman had to be a drummer, and then a good wife and a tender mom. The postpartum leave at that time was only 30 days, the ladies went on maternity leave on the eighth month, and in the day nursery they were still in diapers. therefore Soviet women breastfed children practically did not feed.
The other extreme is prolonged feeding: I mean feeding more than 3-4 years. By the way, in pre-Soviet Russia, peasant women fed children up to 7 years. First, because the pregnancy came one after the other and lactation did not stop. Secondly, there was no time for weaning. So the grown children were put to the chest before school.
Now children after three years are breastfed with very few women.
In favor of long breastfeeding women give the following reasons:
- Children grow up healthier. They do not suffer from allergies and colds.
- Softer adaptation of the child to the adult world. The kid quickly gets used to the kindergarten. It is easier for him to find contact with his peers, because he did not survive the stress of excommunication at an early age.
- Such children are not obese. in adolescence.
- Prolonged breastfeeding contributes to the full maturation of the gastrointestinal tract.Breast milk gives support to the baby’s stomach and protects it from early gastritis and ulcers in the future.
- Breastfeeding has a positive effect on the formation of bite.
- Practically all the muscles of the lower part of the face are involved in sucking the breast.that in the future will protect the child from speech problems.
- It is useful to breastfeed girls for a long time. This lays the foundation for breastfeeding in their subconscious.
- When sucking, the child reflexively calms down., take the load off the immature baby brain. This feature enhances the intellectual and creative ability, as a result - a higher level of IQ and increased stress tolerance.
What is the risk of long-term breastfeeding?
There is an opinion that to feed a child after a year, and even more so after three, is not that not helpful, but even harmful. For example, many claim that long-term feeding is harmful to the health of the mother.
- First of all, because the reproductive function does not resume for a long time. Even if menstruation has come, this does not mean that the body has completely restructured and is ready for a new conception.
- Secondly, because the child "sucks the strength out of the mother". Indeed, in the formation of breast milk, all the nutrients and trace elements necessary for the baby are taken from the mother’s body, and the “leftovers” go to the mother. And not always these "remnants" is enough for a normal adult life. Therefore, by the age of three years of feeding, under the condition of inadequate nutrition, many women begin to lose hair and crumble their teeth.
A few more negative effects:
- Long-term feeding is a conditioned reflex. It is vital that it is necessary only during the first 15 months of life, and then it is already a habit that will make it harder and harder for a child to grow out of it.
- Psychological discomfort and condemnation of others. "Such a big one and asks Titya" - the neighbors are indignant. This is a nursing woman, even if the feeding itself does not cause discomfort.
- Breast deterioration. Every woman worries because of the loss of her sexuality, and the child’s abnormal behavior in the breast, when she pulls and pulls the nipple, can spoil the shape of the mammary glands.
- Impossible to lose weight. And this is true if you have all the time for two.
Until what age is optimal to continue breastfeeding - expert advice
- According to the recommendations of pediatricians and therapists - the minimum breastfeeding period should be between one and a half and two years. Feeding up to three years is possible. 4-5-6 summer breastfeeding is a matter of personal choice. But there is no medical evidence for its use.
- Decide how much to feed your baby - This is a question concerning only his mother, and, as a last resort, his father. But not grandmothers, other relatives, friends and neighbors.
- Remember, if someone starts to disprove your personal point of view on this issue, then Ask for scientific and medical evidence of their opinions. - and believe me, they will not be able to do this.