Posts Tagged ‘nursing past six months’

Oh, You’re STILL Nursing?

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

oh, you're still nursing?Breastfeeding is a beautiful, amazing gift. It’s not always easy. It can come with pain. I’ve gone through thrush, mastitis, nipple shields, and bite marks. Many moms desire to nurse but it doesn’t work out. So, I don’t take a moment I nurse my son for granted.

But lately, friends, family, and even medical professionals have asked me, “Oh, you’re still nursing?” It’s almost as like once your baby approaches age 1, they expect you to be done. It is normal to not be done, mommas.

For me, I am getting closer. Levi is almost 16 months old, and he is only nursing in the mornings. Is it a habit? Maybe. Do I care? No. I relish in the wee-morning hours when it’s just the two of us awake and he just wants mommy. He smacks his lips and looks up at me and says, “more” in his sweet little baby boy voice.

There are many benefits to nursing past one year for a toddler. Some of them are:

  • Nutrition and disease-fighting goodness
  • Great gains in cognitive development for toddlers who breastfed
  • Aids in social development of older infants and toddlers

And don’t forget about mom! Here are some of the benefits for us, ladies:

  • Delayed return of fertility
  • Decreased risks of certain cancers (breast and ovarian)
  • Aids in weight loss (for some)
  • Can reduce the likelihood you develop cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis

For me, those benefits are worth sticking it out for a little while longer. Some moms nurse babies well into toddlerhood, and I say, “You go girl!” While I wish I could do that with my Levi, I have a feeling we will be done in the next few months. I am just not sure he is my last baby.

So if someone gives you a hard time for nursing an older infant or toddler, just remember they aren’t your boss. Educate them on the benefits, if you feel up to it. Share the amazing stories of bonding and love you get to experience with your child. If some people in your life aren’t supportive of this choice, it’s your choice whether to engage with them on the subject or begin enforcing a boundary. You don’t owe anyone anything.

Remember, you are supermom. You decide what is best for you and your baby, and if “boobie milk” is part of your toddler plan, then let it be.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana where she lives, writes, and nurses a 15 month old little boy with lots of teeth.

Benefits of Nursing Baby Past Six Months

Friday, May 30th, 2014

The Benefits of Nursing Past Six MonthsMany women start out on a nursing journey after their child is born but quit soon after. For some, it is a health reason or personal choice that stops nursing. According to breastfeedingbasics.com, 77 percent of mothers nurse at birth, but less than 47percent are still nursing at 6 months, and only 25 percent continue past 1 year. But what about those women who are still nursing when baby is older? There are many benefits to nursing baby past 6 months, even after they have started eating solids.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.”  While we all know breastfeeding is best for baby, what are some of the benefits baby’s receive the older they are from nursing?

  • Continued immune benefits from mother’s milk
  • Easy way to comfort an older infant and soothe to sleep if needed
  • Breast milk is best for children who may be allergic or have a low tolerance for formula or cow’s milk.
  • Positive influences have been shown on baby’s social and intellectual development in many studies.

Nursing past 6 months is beneficial for moms, too!

  • Delayed return of fertility
  • Lowers risks of breast and ovarian cancers
  • Lowers risks of cardiovascular disease
  • Helps moms who are still losing baby weight

The benefits outweigh any stigma you may feel about nursing a baby who can walk or talk. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine states that “breastfeeding past infancy is the biological norm.” Around 6 to 9 months, getting my daughter to sleep at naptime was a struggle. It was so nice to have a way to soothe and comfort her while calming her down for naptime. During her first 13 months of life, she was never sick. After weaning, we had three ear infections at 15 months back to back.

The benefits of nursing are endless. Keep on nursing and keep on giving your baby their best start, whether it’s a start at life, a start at crawling, or a start into toddlerhood. You can do it!

Karyn Meyerhoff lives and writes in Northeast Indiana. She can’t wait to nurse her son!