Extensive & Exclusive Breastfeeding Beyond a Year - Updated
***NEW*** THE EE BREASTFEEDER FORUM - Private community support for the mom whose healthy, vibrant toddler's exclusive and extensive preferential nourishment is mother's milk. Information found at the end of this article. ***
As a mother of seven children, there is one thing I can say very confidently. All children are different. Each one has different needs. I breastfeed all of my children exclusive up to a year and then extensively until 18 to 24 months. I remember when I decided it was time to incorporate solids into my first born's meal. Quite simply, she couldn't seem to get enough milk and my body was taxed because of it. Accepting solids into her diet was smooth and easy. There was no fussing, no fighting, I knew she (as well as myself) was ready for the change.
I have different variations of the same story for the babies that came afterwards. However, my last baby is fourteen, almost 15 months and is still exclusively breastfed. While she has a mouth full of teeth, she has shown some interest in food but prefers her "nursty" to a meal. She drinks no other liquids, shows no interests in cups or what comes out of them. I have a cupboard full of BPA-free, training cups that she has never used. Her only interactions with cups are to use them as a teething ring.
While she snacks on grains every now and then, she's yet to have a solid meal. I spoke to my husband about it and suggested we incorporate solids. We took into consideration the fact that she's content, happy and very healthy. Her weight gain is steady and good. My body shows no ill for supporting myself, as well as a baby that's 15 months in age. There is really no good reason to start her on solids, other than the fact that I would like to nurse a little less. She nurses for an hour or so at a time. Even more so when she's going through a growth spurt. It can get a bit tiring. So it's good to be reminded why extensive and exclusive breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your baby.
- Second-year milk is similar to first-year milk nutritionally.
- Breast Milk continues to be a good source of protein, fat, calcium and vitamins in its second year.
- Immunities in breast milk are known to increase in concentration as babies get older.
- Long-term breast feeding can prevent allergies
- Breast milk is 88 percent water
- Saves money (no specific food items to add to my shopping list!)
- Breast milk is a renewable, sustainable resource!
- Breast milk is hygienic
I can be a busy bee. There have been times when I get annoyed to have to sit down to feed. BUT I am totally and completely in love with breastfeeding! To nourish, grow and protect my children's health by nursing, has been one of my greatest pleasures in life!
Are you breastfeeding extensively AND exclusively? I would absolutely enjoy a comment from you!
Update: Baby Girl nursed exclusively until she was nearly two years of age. Just before her 2nd birthday, she showed an interest in food. Incorporating solids into her meal was a natural, stress-free occurrence. Baby girl is now 37 months old, she eats three square meals a day, drinks a variety of beverages, including cow's milk on occasion and still breastfeeds at least three hours a day. She is happy, healthy, heavy and spunky!
Suggested Supplements for Breastfeeding Moms:
Miessence Certified Organic InLiven Probiotic Superfood. The result of 20 years of research; 13 strains, 26 organic whole foods.