So I’ve finally received my first blogging request (and it only took fourteen months ). Sara wanted to know what research I was talking about when I said it was recommended to breastfeed until the age of two. If you ever have a topic you want me to write about, feel free to comment on any of my posts. I’d be happy to fulfill your request!
Let me tell you what each major (and reputable) organization says. This information is taken directly from this site. (No, it’s not me, but I do share a name with a great resource!)
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that “Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child… Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother… There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer” (AAP 2005).
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that “As recommended by the WHO, breastfeeding should ideally continue beyond infancy, but this is not the cultural norm in the United States and requires ongoing support and encouragement. It has been estimated that a natural weaning age for humans is between two and seven years. Family physicians should be knowledgeable regarding the ongoing benefits to the child of extended breastfeeding, including continued immune protection, better social adjustment, and having a sustainable food source in times of emergency. The longer women breastfeed, the greater the decrease in their risk of breast cancer.” They also note that “If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned” (AAFP 2008).
A US Surgeon General has stated that it is a lucky baby who continues to nurse until age two (Novello 1990).
The World Health Organization emphasizes the importance of nursing up to two years of age or beyond (WHO 1993, WHO 2002).
Scientific research by Katherine A. Dettwyler, PhD shows that 2.5 to 7.0 years of nursing is what our children have been designed to expect (Dettwyler 1995).
What do you think of this information?