Did you know that breastfeeding a child over two constitutes a source of nutrition and illness protection for the duration of breatfeeding? Or that the antibodies and immune factors in breastmilk increase during the second year of a child’s life and during weaning, keeping her away from the doctor’s office, emergency and hospital rooms? Because breastfeeding helps with jaw development, doing it beyond a year reduces the risk of braces later in life, which equals less visits to the dentist. What about that breastfeeding for as long as possible makes a child smarter and makes him less predisposed to developing allergies? Or that breastfeeding beyond the first year of life provides a child with a great source of protein, fat, energy and most vitamins? Pretty cool stuff right? But it doesn’t end there.
Did you know that breastfeeding longer than a year decreases the risk of childhood leukemia, improves adult cardiovascular health for women nursed as babies, decreases the risk of childhood and adult obesity and also reduces the risk of childhood type 1 diabetes?
Did you know that in mothers who breastfeed, the risk of breast, ovarian, uterine and endometrial cancers are reduced by breastfeeding? Or that breastfeeding protects against osteoporosis, reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and decreases the insulin requirements in diabetic women?
So, by breastfeeding during infancy and toddlerhood, I’m meeting my child’s needs for not only nutrition, but also for comfort and closeness, which helps her achieve independence and transition into childhood securely and confidently. I prefer that my child has memories of being loved, nurtured and comforted from the warmth of her mother’s breasts than from a sitter, the soft touch of a blanky or the plastic taste of a pacifier. Did you know that by planting the breastfeeding memories in her head, perhaps those will be the ones teaching her how to breastfeed in the future? For these reasons and more, I breastfeed my preschooler!