Wow! Have you made it to the 1-year mark breastfeeding?
Congratulations! That’s amazing.
(If this isn’t you, and you just happen to be doing research, come along for the ride. We’ve got great information for you ;))
So you’re wondering if you should keep going, right? It’s been a long 12 months, but it’s also been good. Baby is growing and healthy, and you know it’s supposed to be beneficial for them…but what are the benefits of breastfeeding past 12 months? Well, there are benefits for baby, and there are benefits for you. Check it out!
Benefits for Baby:
- Increased Immunity for baby
According to the Mayo Clinic, breastfeeding past 1 year helps to continue boosting your child’s immune system. The cells, hormones, and antibodies in your breastmilk will continue to have a positive impact on your baby’s immune system, no matter how much they’re drinking every day.
- Nutritional Benefits for baby
For a while now, your baby has been having solid foods and it’s only going to continue! But breastmilk is considered the gold standard for infant nutrition. So continuing this, in addition to their diet, will only benefit them.
- Emotional Support
For many 1-year-old breastfed babies, breastfeeding becomes a comfort for them (as well as for mom!). Continuing past the one-year mark offers just another way to continue supporting the emotional needs of your child, as well as their physical ones.
Benefits for Mom:
- Reduced Risk of Certain Diseases
Breastfeeding has been shown to help reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer in women. Longer-term breastfeeding (longer than 12 months), has been shown to boost the reduction of this risk over the course of a woman’s life. It can also help reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes (Source).
- Continued bonding and emotional comfort
Breastfeeding long-term is a great way to continue bonding with your baby, as well as connecting with them emotionally. It’s true they won’t be little forever, and this is a special way to bond with them for as long as you can or are able to.
Want to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding for moms? Check out our post “Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom” for more information!
Breastfeeding is such a personal journey. It’s different for everyone: has its ups and downs and is as challenging as it can be rewarding. Whether you choose to continue breastfeeding past the 12-month mark or not, you’ve made it this far. And that in and of itself is an amazing feat!