There always seems to be some sort of controversy surrounding how long women should breastfeed their babies for with some women making it about them and others about the baby. Now without taking a side I’d like to ask a really simple question, Who should breastfeeding really be about? Who relys more on breast milk? The child or the mother???
Mothers have get to choose whether or not they want to breastfeed and for how long but what choice has a baby to get adequate milk supply and with the right amount of nutients, in the grand scheme of things? I say when you can sincerely answer these questions without any form of bias do you begin to see just how breastfeeding is more about your baby and less about you.
“Breastmilk is an important source of energy and protein, and helps to protect against disease during the child's second year of life.”
A mother’s breastmilk contains all the needed nutrients in balanced proportions and sufficient quantities needed to promote her baby’s growth and development in it’s formative years.
Ideally, a child’s first 6-9months should comprise solely of breastmilk from his/her mother, after which if she decides to introduce solids it becomes a personal decision which is totally acceptable. The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends breastfeeding for a year, this is because breastfeeding your baby at least 9months before weaning would mean that your baby is well nourished and has been provided with the most valuable nutrients through the period of his fastest and most important brain and body development.
If you can wean then you most certainly can breastfeed your baby. You have a responsibility to ensure your baby gets only the best and luckily all that is contained in your breast milk. Beyond the emotional satisfaction a mother derives when she breastfeeds her child, the long term health benefits of breastfeeding is so worth it. Little wonder children who were well breastfed generally turn out smarter, more active and less susceptible to diseases.