As as mother, you’re faced with a lot of conflicting information about the best parenting methods. From potty training to screen time, everybody has an opinion on what to do. And when it comes to breastfeeding, the debates about what’s “right” can get downright nasty.
All the controversy leaves a lot of new moms wondering: How long is it actually appropriate to breastfeed a baby? On a recent episode of The Doctors, a viewer asked whether it’s still beneficial to breastfeed after a year. Dr. Nita Landry and Dr. Sonia Batra gave their expert opinion.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, moms should aim to breastfeed for the first 12 months. However, there’s no reason to stop there, Dr. Landry explained.
“If it’s good for mama and it’s good for baby, then keep going,” Dr. Landry advised. “The World Health Organization says up to 2 years, and if you look at literature worldwide, babies are weaned on average between 2 and 4 years of age.”
Not only is breastfeeding nutritious for your baby, but it can also help decrease the incidence of breast cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer in moms.
Breastfeeding also boosts your baby’s immunity. The breast milk transfers illness-fighting antibodies from mama to baby.
“I nursed my older one for 13 months,” Dr. Batra said. “And everybody was like, ‘She’s a year! Why are you still nursing?'”
But despite people’s assumptions, there’s absolutely no harm in breastfeeding for 13 months, 2 years, or even longer.
“Shame on the people who judge mothers for breastfeeding past 1 year,” Dr. Landry declared.
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