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Yes, I'm Still Breastfeeding!

April 02, 2018

Ali Mulikov/Shutterstock

I wanted to share my experience with breastfeeding as I am sure many mothers can relate to what I have to say. I recently reached a new milestone in breastfeeding. Our daughter turned two years old last month, and yes, I am still nursing. Ever since six months of age, I have been encouraged by many women in my circles to wean our child. After she turned one, well, this practice was largely frowned upon. Recently, I was told by a veteran mother that there is no benefit to breastfeeding after the first few weeks! Such statement, I know not to be true, but I did not want to offend with my comments of the contrary. That said, I believe we have come a long way from the old adage “breast is best”. So I wanted to take a moment and speak to the many benefits to baby and mother. Did you know that a mother’s breastmilk is so special for it is tailored to meet the needs of your growing infant?

Breastmilk contains special fats namely DHA and ARA which are necessary for nerve tissue growth, and studies have shown that there are higher concentrations of DHA in breastfed babies and even higher concentrations in infants who have been breastfed for longer terms. Breastfed babies also present higher blood cholesterol which is a good thing for babies as it is vital at this stage for their brain development. There are also many proteins, vitamins, and minerals found in breastmilk which are absent in cow’s milk or infant formulas. It is key to note that “breastmilk changes as baby grows” meaning the “vitamin and mineral content of colostrum (your first milk), transitional milk (first-week milk), and mature milk is formulated just right for your baby’s rapidly changing needs.” 

(Source: The Baby Book, Dr. Sears et al)

Other benefits for children include the following (but not limited to):

  • improved digestion
  • fewer ear infections by up to 300%
  • lowers the risk of diabetes and obesity
  • increased immunity
  • reduces the risk of lymphoma by up to 800%
  • reduces the risk of SIDS by up to 500%

And there are benefits for moms who breastfeed including:

  • reduces the risk of breast cancer by as much as 25%
  • reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by as much as 20%
  • reduces the risk of Osteoporosis by as much as 400%
  • reduces the risk of developing postpartum anxiety and depression 

(Source: The Breastmilk Feeding Advantage, Medela Canada)

Some of these benefits were very striking to me especially given our family's health history. Also, when it comes to the health of our daughter, we have noticed that she has not had any runny noses, ear infections, cold/ flu viruses, and cuts teeth with little to no fuss. My husband and I attribute this blessing of health largely to God's design of breastfeeding, and we encourage other breastfeeding moms to stick with it! It is also my hope that in time more people will become more educated on the subject before making discouraging remarks to young breastfeeding moms. 

(Image: Alik Mulikov/ Shutterstock)

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