If you are an expectant mother, or a breastfeeding mother, then you might have tons of questions in your mind regarding different things. It is quite difficult to find an exact answer to these questions as it might vary from one mother to another. It should be kept in mind that what works for you might not work for someone else. Still, we have a tendency to look up on the internet to find out the answers to the questions such as how long should you breastfeed your child. Some women prefer to breastfeed their children for a very long time. At the same time, others might prefer to bottle feed their kids. If you are a working woman, then you might find it quite difficult to manage breastfeeding because of your busy schedule. So, you might look for efficient means by which you will be able to start your weaning journey. At the same time, if you are a stay-at-home, then you might be able to breastfeed your baby for a long time without much difficulty. All these depend a lot on your individual situation, as well as convenience. So, without wasting further time, let’s get started with our discussion regarding breastfeeding.
See how long should you breastfeed
- As we all know, breastfeeding can be considered as a very positive experience for both the baby, as well as the mom. It helps them to establish a strong bond, and closeness with each other.
- Pregnancy, and birth can be extremely tiresome. The new environment might also be quite challenging for the baby. Through breastfeeding, both you and your baby will be able to experience a feeling of being safe.
- According to the World Health Organization, or WHO, it is highly recommended that you breastfeed your baby for up to the age of 2 years or more. Some people follow this timeline. But, at the same time, there are some who find it a bit long.
- Another organization, that is the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends that the new moms exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months of their life. After that, they must continue breastfeeding for at least a year.
- Again, this depends a lot on the individual preferences of the mother, and the child. If the other circumstances are favorable, then you should try to continue breastfeeding your child. And, if there are any issues, then you can slowly stop breastfeeding after six months.
- If you still do not want to breastfeed your baby that long, then you must try to do so for at least a few weeks. Even this short time period of breastfeeding will give your child immense benefits.
- It should be noted that when it comes to breastfeeding, different people might show up with different opinions. But, the final decision should always be taken by you. This is because only the mother knows what is best for the child!
Some important tips for new mothers
- If you want to know how long should you breastfeed, then you might also wonder about your baby’s feeding pattern. This can be considered as a topic which concerns a lot of new mothers. They might wonder if their baby’s feeding pattern is correct or not. As per reports, a child must feed at least eight times every twenty four hours. This pattern is observed during the first few weeks after birth.
- Though this is a generally observed pattern, it doesn’t mean that your baby will adhere to it. Hence, you shouldn’t worry about this feeding pattern, and try to feed your baby as per his/ her requirement.
- Some people might say that you are overfeeding your baby. But, it is not possible to overfeed a baby who is breastfeeding. Also, you shouldn’t worry about your baby becoming demanding, or spoiled if you feed them every time when they demand so. This is completely natural, and you must go with the flow without worrying much about these things.
- As we have already stated, the feeding pattern, as well as the feeding time will vary from one baby to another. Some might prefer frequent short feeds. On the other hand, some babies might like feeding for a longer time. You must understand your baby’s preferences, and then prepare accordingly.
- While breastfeeding, you must always allow your baby to finish the first breast. After that, you should offer the second one. This is very beneficial for both you and your baby.
- If you are facing any difficulty when it comes to positioning and attachment, then you must get in touch with a midwife, or a breastfeeding specialist. They will provide you with all the necessary guidance so that you can enjoy a smooth breastfeeding journey!
Know how to wean your baby….
- Now that we know how long should you breastfeed, let’s see how to carry out the weaning process successfully. It can be defined as a process by which you have to slowly and gradually switch your baby’s diet from breast milk to other food items.
- It must be noted that if your child is younger than 12 months, then you must give him / her infant formula milk instead of breast milk.
- On the other hand, if your kid is 12 months or older, then you should opt for plain whole cow’s milk. You can also try giving your child a fortified alert icon unsweetened soy beverage.
We have seen how long should you breastfeed. Breastfeeding is extremely beneficial for your baby, and it protects your child from a number of health issues such as Severe lower respiratory disease, Asthma, Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), Obesity, Acute otitis media (ear infections), Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting), Type 1 diabetes, etc. Breastfeeding is also very beneficial for the mothers, as it considerably reduces the chances of developing various illnesses such as High blood pressure, Ovarian cancer, Breast cancer, and Type 2 diabetes. Sometimes, certain medical issues might prevent you from breastfeeding your baby. These include issues such as HIV infection, or other such rare diseases.