21 Moms Talk About Breastfeeding Beyond One Year
There are many great reasons to continue breastfeeding for the long-term - And our moms chimed in to tell us why they made the decision to do so.
Considering Breastfeeding Beyond One Year? Our Moms Tell Us Why
Providing breast milk for your baby is often a common goal among new and expectant moms. While some moms may approach nursing with specific goals in mind and others prefer to leave their breastfeeding experience open-ended based on factors like supply, time, resources, and returning to work, it's important to remember that every drop counts. In fact, many moms have chosen to continue breastfeeding beyond one year - something Medela is committed to supporting through our breast pumps and accessories, so every mom can continue to provide her little one with breast milk for as long as she chooses.
We reached out to our social communities to hear it straight from our extended breastfeeding moms themselves. We asked why each of you continued breastfeeding beyond one year and received a diverse range of great, insightful responses. Here are 21 of our personal favorites:
- "I loved knowing my babe was getting protection crafted just for her!"
- "Because it's what felt right."
- "For the awesome health booster."
- "Connection and being proud of our journey! We just weren't ready to stop. 28 months!"
- "Because she didn't want to stop, and I love the closeness I get before and after work."
- "It seemed natural! My daughter was nowhere near ready to give it up and neither was I."
- "Health benefits! The second year they are exposed to so much more; it gave me peace of mind."
- "Can we please stop calling it extended breastfeeding past one year?"
- "Waited for baby-led weaning. When she was ready, so was I."
- "Immune system support."
- "Wanted to provide my daughter the best possible start for as long as it worked for both of us."
- "Because it's the healthiest option for my baby!"
- "Listening to your child is most important."
- "Flu season."
- "Because my baby wasn't ready to stop."
- "To keep my baby's immune system strong."
- "Convenient, the best milk option, continued bonding."
- "This is as much for her as it is for me. When she's ready, I will be too."
- "Health benefits, comfort for him, cuddles, and the bond!"
- "I didn't choose, my little one did."
- "Why not? I didn't have any expectations for starting or finishing. 3 years and 1 month!"
Why Does Breastfeeding Beyond One Year Matter?
Many of these responses touch on the valuable health benefits of breastfeeding, while others explain that deciding to wean was left up to your little one and he or she simply wasn't ready yet or that it just felt right to continue. Long-term breastfeeding has been shown to provide extensive immune support and nutrition as the composition of your breast milk changes over time to most optimally support your growing baby - especially as he or she begins eating complementary foods and enters toddlerhood. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding for longer than six months lowers your baby's likelihood of developing conditions like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, lymphoma, and Hodgkin's disease, while even helping to protect him or her from becoming obese later in life.
Deciding what your unique breastfeeding journey looks like is entirely up to you and your little one - no matter how long you are able to nurse and/or pump or what feeding methods work best for you both. Whether you decide that breastfeeding beyond one year is right for you and your baby or it simply isn't meant to be, any amount of liquid gold that he or she receives from you makes a positive, valuable difference! You are doing a wonderful job and Medela is here to support your full prenatal and breastfeeding experience.