The Many Benefits of Breastfeeding Beyond 6 Months

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Doctors Advocate Breastfeeding

Doctor’s have long advocated the benefits of breast feeding, but if you can continue nursing your baby up to a year or more, you are giving them myriad benefits. Unfortunately, many mothers abandon breast feeding their child long before their first birthday. Negative comments, busy schedules, the inconvenience and many other reasons interfere with a mother’s ability to nurse for as long as possible. The women who do, however, manage to keep breastfeeding their child for at least a year are giving their child a variety of benefits. The following are some of the benefits to breastfeeding for at least six months to one year.

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Allergic Reactions
Many mothers are quick to encourage their babies to eat solid foods far sooner, in fact, than their tiny bodies and digestive systems are ready. By nursing for at least the first six months, you can greatly reduce the risk of your baby having an allergic reaction to solid foods or formula.

Reducing Chance of Getting Breast Cancer
Modern medicine hasn’t quite figured out why yet, but nursing your baby for at least six months greatly reduces your chance of getting breast cancer, especially if there is breast cancer in your family. A study done in 2009 showed that women who breastfed reduced their chance of getting premenopausal breast cancer by 60 percent. In addition, the longer you breastfeed, the more you reduce your risk of getting breast cancer. Breast feeding for any additional pregnancies can also reduce your risk.

Avoid Extra Expenses
Formula is expensive; even generic brands of formula can significantly add to the weekly grocery costs. By breastfeeding, you can avoid up to $1500.00 in formula costs. Breast milk is free and as long as you maintain a healthy diet, your supply of milk should continue.

Prevent Infections
Breast milk contains vital antibodies that can ward off infection in your child. If you’ve ever had a baby with an ear infection, then you know how painful it can be for them. By breastfeeding, you’re greatly reducing the chance of your baby getting an ear infection. The longer you can breastfeed, the more immunity you’re passing on to your child. Breastfeeding can reduce your child’s chance of getting anything from a common cold to cancer.

Best Possible Nutrition
Breast milk contains all the nutrition your baby needs for the first year and beyond. By switching them to formula or solids, you’re taking the chance of them not getting all the nutrition they need, or the right kind of nutrition. This can lead to obesity in young children, and improper eating habits.

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