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Can Mothers Decide How Long to Breastfeed?

Breastfeeding comprises of many important factors in the growth of a baby. Breast milk provides the necessary nutrition and antibodies that a baby needs to adjust to this brand new life. It also helps the baby strengthen in terms of physical, emotional and social aspects.

The bond of a baby and the mother is also developed during breastfeeding. How is it formed? If you decide how long to breastfeed, that can determine the strength of a mom and baby.

Keeping all that aside, breastfeeding and weaning the baby are both the start and end of a family decision that should be made together. It is also extra special for the mother if there is support from the whole family.

How Long to Breastfeed and Why?

Most mothers breastfeed their babies. There are some that only breastfeed for a while. There are some moms who never started at all. It would most likely depend on their preferences.

But how long to breastfeed actually? What is the most needed time to breastfeed?

According to the WHO/UNICEF, advice that mothers can breastfeed for two years, should the breastfeeding mothers wish it. There are some health organisations that recommend that a mother can breastfeed for up to six months and decide for themselves if they would wish to continue.

For the first few weeks of consistent and proper breastfeeding, there are many benefits that happen for you and your baby.

Continuous breastfeeding throughout the day would be good for your milk ducts. As for your baby, breast milk is immunizing and improving their digestion. Breast milk to a newborn baby is like a shield of armor against germs and bacteria and viruses.

When a baby is a newborn, they are more prone to diseases and sicknesses. Some babies even end up getting hospitalized if they are not breastfed.

A few months of breastfeeding the baby, say four to six months, helps in keeping the baby free of infections and inflammations. The baby’s digestion may also be capable of accepting other ingredients in their system.

Breastfeeding your baby for months periods of time increases your chances to avoid breast cancer and help keep your baby far from inflammations. It is also said that breastfeeding for more than 4 months to 6 months help in contraception.

Breastfeeding the baby for almost a year to a year helps the baby improve their growth and development better than other non-breastfed babies. These are the stages that require thriving and nurturing the development of a baby’s brain.

Breastfeeding your baby for more than a year is one of the assurances you can do as a mother. You are assuring your bond and relationship with your child.

This is also assuring your baby’s health and immunization against illnesses.

What Is the Ideal Age for My Baby Before I Stop Breastfeeding My Baby?

It is entirely up to you, as a mother, to breastfeed your baby. Some moms only breastfeed for four to six months. Some moms breastfeed for 18 months. Some mothers breastfeed all the way through to two years of age of the baby.

The reason mothers prefer to breastfeed until their babies turn 18 months to 2 years old is because of the cost it would save. Keep in mind the benefits their babies will get, too, and the convenience of assuring their babies’ are well looked after.

Extended breastfeeding is not as rare as you think. It would be a great thing to associate with other mothers regarding this idea as well.

How Long to Breastfeed Before Weaning

While you are almost done breastfeeding and deciding when to stop, it wouldn’t be as easy for your baby. It is important to consider your baby’s attachment to breastfeeding. If you are wondering about how long to breastfeed before weaning, you have to prepare well for it.

how long to breastfeed

Image From Irina Murza

Tips on how to wean your baby:

Weaning is the process of making your baby let go of breastfeeding. This is the time the baby lets go of breast milk and must start to eat other more nutritional food.

The unofficial first tip on weaning is ‘have patience’. Imagine being a baby on the path of breastfeeding – it’s all you’ve known, it’s almost the first thing you learned. It would be hard to let that go, wouldn’t it?

  1. Start to expose your baby to different foods and healthy liquids. Let their taste buds explore new and different flavors. This will slowly take the baby’s attention away from breast milk.
  2. Change their environment and activities. There are triggers that babies will realize they want to breastfeed – certain seats, certain scenes, certain moments that remind them. Change their surroundings, and try to give them a baby cup of healthy liquids when you’re supposed to breastfeed.
  3. If your baby is starting to adapt to different mannerisms and habits, you can encourage it further to distract them. Depending on how long to breastfeed and wean, your baby will need extra distractions to not get into the mood of breastfeeding again.
  4. Set dates and bonding moments between you and your baby. In times when you should be nursing your baby, change it to outdoor time with your baby. Set up an activity that would be both fun and distracting for you and your baby.

So, how long to breastfeed before you start weaning your baby? I hope this post helped you come up with a decision on the matter of breastfeeding your little angel.

Anything you would like to suggest? Please, leave your comments below!