There are so many benefits of extended breastfeeding! I breastfed my first son only for a couple of months before giving up. I had just turned 18 and had no idea what I was doing. There weren’t as many resources available for me then. Smart phones weren’t really a thing yet and I didn’t even have my own computer. With my second son, I was determined to make it work and we successfully breastfed for 18 months! Luckily, now, there are thousands of resources to help you on your breastfeeding journey.
There is a lot of controversy, in the United States, especially, on extended breastfeeding. Extended breastfeeding is simply breastfeeding longer than Western society’s “normal” expectations.
Is extended breastfeeding for you?
Breastfeeding is something between you and your child. Whatever length of time you both feel comfortable breastfeeding for, go for it, mama! Don’t let people make you feel bad for providing nutrition and comfort for your child.
While breastfeeding does have it’s struggles, there are also some great perks!
5 Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding
- Saving Money – I am a fairly frugal mom. When I had my second child I knew already that we were going to have to find more ways to save money. I remembered spending $100 a month or more on formula for my first son and I was just not willing to pay that this time. Luckily, breastfeeding ended up working well for Layton and me, so we were able to save some $$.
- Easy Clean Up and Prep- While exclusively breastfeeding, I loved being able to just nurse Layton on demand. I didn’t have to worry whether or not there were bottles, milk, and formula in his diaper bag. We didn’t have to clean up bottles and nipples. I didn’t have to fumble around in the middle of the night trying to make a bottle. It is a huge perk! I would just wear Layton in my Ergobaby and latch him on while I was out and about.
- Closeness- Layton and I developed a closeness to each other that I just cannot explain. He came to me for comfort. Even though I’d be annoyed at times about not being able to leave by myself for more than a few hours, I wouldn’t trade what we have now for anything.
- Nutrition and Health Benefits- Breastfeeding is good for mom and baby! According to one of my favorite breastfeeding resources, Kellymom, breastfeeding continues to be a valuable source of nutrition and disease protection for as long as breastfeeding continues. Check out the link to her site for more information. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of many diseases in both mother and baby.
- Soothing- Breastfeeding almost automatically would calm and soothe my baby when nothing else would. He would see me start unlatching my bra and would know everything was going to be okay. It was also soothing for me a lot of times. I got to sit still and relax for a few minutes in the middle of a hectic day.
If you’re on the fence about continuing breastfeeding or if people are making you question whether you should or not, go for it! Only you and your baby can decide if long term breastfeeding is the right thing.
I hope that this helps you keep your sanity,
These are my personal opinions based on my experience with extended breastfeeding. If you purchase a product through a link I posted, I could receive compensation.