5 Benefits Of Continuing Breastfeeding For An Extended Period

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Parenthood is a magical journey in which you bring a child into your life and see them grow into wonderful human beings. While both parents have distinct roles in nurturing and protecting the child, the mother is blessed with breastfeeding abilities that help create a bond between the two. It might seem exhausting to feed the child right after the tedious process of childbirth, but ask any new mom; they look forward to it. While it is imperative to breastfeed your child for the first 6 months, some mothers prefer to continue doing it even after the child has been introduced to solid foods (1). This brings several health benefits both for the mother and child. Read on to know them all.

1. Boosts Immune System

Boosts Immune System

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White blood cells that are part of the immune system are abundant in breast milk (2). This suggests that nursing for an extended period can help improve your baby’s immune system. Because your breast milk may be customized for your baby’s requirements, it can also include the necessary antibodies to destroy many illnesses. In addition, your breast milk quality improves over time, so the more you breastfeed, the more health advantages your kid will receive from it (3). However, even if you quit breastfeeding, you’ll still reap the benefits. Regarding overall health and illness prevention, breastfeeding for at least a year is beneficial for both mother and child alike.

2. Benefits Brain Health

A child’s cognitive functions and sophisticated behaviors can be influenced by the development of their microbiome (4). A baby’s developing microbiota benefits from the nutrients provided by breastfeeding (5). Breastfeeding has been associated with more extraordinary intellect in certain studies; although this is simply a connection, many other variables contribute far more to a child’s IQ (6). Breast milk, on the other hand, has nutrients like DHA that can help your baby’s growing brain (7). So the more you extend the breastfeeding period, the higher the chances of your child becoming a genius!

3. Balanced Gut Microbes

Balanced Gut Microbes

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Breastfeeding impacts microbiota, which is critical to the growth, nutrition, and immune system (8). In addition, breastfeeding can offer digestion bacteria to the baby’s growing microbiome. Breast milk has a wide range of helpful germs for your baby’s bacterial ecology (9). In other words, the longer you breastfeed, the better your child’s microbiota will get. Also, it has been observed that if the baby’s stomach is upset, they may want to stop eating regular food and get the nutrition from breastmilk alone.

4. Improved Sleep Patterns

Breastfed infants are better able to regulate their sleep and wake cycles (10). The breast milk’s chemical makeup changes during the day; thus, the concentrations of particular substances might vary. Adults emit melatonin, which controls sleep; however neonates don’t produce this hormone at night (11). Your baby’s sleep and colic will improve due to the presence of this hormone in your breast milk. The more you feed your baby before sleeping chances are they will sleep undisturbed.

5. A Well-Balanced Diet Is Essential

Well-Balanced Diet Is Essential

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Long-term breastfeeding alters your milk composition significantly. To meet your baby’s ever-changing nutritional requirements, your body automatically adds components in the milk as the child grows. Studies reveal that breast milk has more fat and calories after a year of nursing, which might have a significant and good impact on your child’s nutrition (12). According to recent research, women who breastfeed their infants for an extended period exhibit more maternal sensitivity. Mothers who have a close relationship with their children can better understand their children’s signals and adapt their own conduct.

Breastfeeding for extended periods can benefit both the baby and the mother. Here are some added benefits to breastfeeding for a more extended period.

  • Losing weight may be aided by breastfeeding if it is continued for more than six months (13).
  • According to one research, women who breastfeed for longer than 12 months have a decreased risk of heart disease (14).
  • Breastfeeding over a lengthy period has been linked to stronger bones in later life (15).
  • The lower risk of rheumatoid has been related to nursing for more than a year (16).
  • The contraceptive effects of prolonged breastfeeding are possible (17).
  • Ovarian cancer risk is decreased in women who breastfeed for an extended period (18).
  • Reduced risk of diabetes is linked to continued breastfeeding (19).

So now that you know how rewarding breastfeeding is, you will continue doing it for long spells. However, it is essential to understand that the choice still depends on you and your lifestyle. For example, if you have a hectic schedule, you can opt for pumping your milk or doing something more suitable to create a balance. So which of these points came off as a surprise for you? Let us know in the comments section!

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