Monday, January 12, 2009

In honor of Cecilia's upcoming first birthday...

I came across this post on the benefits of extended breastfeeding and thought I'd share. It is nice to see all the benefits listed together in one spot! The lists hits so many of the reasons I nursed Caroline for years and why I will continue to nurse Cecilia until she naturally self-weans. Some of the reasons to continue nursing a baby past 12 months of age are:

  • At one year of age, a baby’s immune system is functioning only at 60 percent of the adult levels. A child’s immune system is not fully functioning at adult levels until six years of age. Nursing toddlers grow better and have better resistance to infection.
  • In particular, secretory IgA, an immunoglobin, appears to remain low for the first 18 months of a child’s life, so breastfeeding is an important source of this immunoglobin. Breastmilk contains IgA, IgG and IgM to augment a child’s immune system until it is functioning at optimal levels. Human milk still contains nutrients, growth hormone factors and immunoglobins after the infant is one year of age.
  • From the wonderful site “Human milk expressed by mothers who have been lactating for >1 year has significantly increased fat and energy contents, compared with milk expressed by women who have been lactating for shorter periods. During prolonged lactation, the fat energy contribution of breast milk to the infant diet might be significant.”
    – Mandel 2005
Read more here!

1 comment:

Mike Gellatly said...


i've actually had a pediatrician tell me that nursing past 15 months is just for the mother. basically if you nurse past that point you're being selfish and not letting go of your baby, b/c it's no longer benefiting them. it was all i could do to remain calm.