The following is a student blog post by Linsey Groth
My Baby is 1! Should I Continue to Breastfeed?
It’s the afternoon of your tiny person’s 1st birthday party. You bought the best decorations. You invited the whole family. She just had cake for the first time in her life (and it’s all over her still). Everyone has cleared out and all that work you did on this giant party done. You sit down to nurse your baby girl, and realize that this is a whole new chapter. Should you still be breastfeeding? Is it still the best thing for her? She’s so content nursing! Is there a reason to take that away from her?
The answer is yes, it is still amazing for her. And no, there is no reason to stop nursing if you are both still content and happy doing so. The benefits that you have enjoyed for the past year nursing still apply. Nursing will still make that hurt knee and elbow feel better when she falls on the cement. Nursing will still sooth her when she is afraid in the middle of the night. Nursing will still help you reconnect with her when you have been away. It is still good for her: physically and psychologically.
Leading authorities on breastfeeding, such as La Leche League International and the American Academy of Pediatrics, affirm that breastfeeding past one continues to provide your child with nutritional benefits, as well as continues to protect them against sickness and helps build a strong immune system. In fact, as your child gets older and begins to eat more nutritionally dense food, therefore nursing less often, your breastmilk begins to change to give them what they do need, immune factors. Toddlers who spread out feedings begin to get more antibodies in each nursing session, keeping them well even when siblings are bringing home cold after cold from school.
You may wonder if you are keeping your child from becoming the productive member of society that you hope they will be, because they won’t learn to be self sufficient. It is actually quite the opposite. Your continued nursing also continues to nurture your little one and help them build self confidence. They are having their needs met and you are letting them know that you care about their wants and needs. This helps to build them up at a young age. They will naturally start wondering off into the world, completely dependent from mom, when they are ready, and be much more confident at that time.
So when Aunt Janie starts asking you next week, “Isn’t it about time you weaned her?”, feel confident in your answer when you say “We aren’t there yet.” It won’t hurt a single person in your life, even if they don’t understand. You and that sweet toddler are the ones that matter Mama!
“Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk.” Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics, 01 Mar. 2012. Web. 17 July 2017.
“What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding My Toddler?” La Leche League International. N.p., 9 Jan. 2017. Web. 17 July 2017.
My name is Linsey Groth. I am a Mother, Wife, Doula, and La Leche League Leader. My children are my priority and I my goal is to help as many Mama’s as possible feel they have made the best decisions for their children as they can, whether that be in their birth or breastfeeding journey.
All student article posts are the expressions of the student who wrote them. We do not take responsibility for the content, these are done as part of the educational experience and we try to encourage students to use their voice and learn to connect with clients through blogging and social media.
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