How long do you breastfeed? How psychological negative effects of breastfeeding too long? Breastfeeding how long is too long? Breastfeeding is something that people think a lot about, and mothers also like to talk about. Long-term breastfeeding triggers strange thoughts in many people, but why? What exactly is long-term breastfeeding, and what advantages does it have for mom and baby? I would like to discuss this in this article and give you some more information about breastfeeding.
WHO recommendation on breastfeeding duration
The World Health Organization suggests breastfeeding for at least 24 months (first full, later in combination with complementary foods). Breast milk contains many nutrients, supports the immune system and is a great help, for example, if your child is ill and refuses to eat. Besides, your breast gives your child comfort, and it gets healthy faster. By the way, the WHO recommendation applies to all women worldwide. It is often mistakenly thought that this refers to women from countries that do not have access to clean drinking water. There is also no age limit. At what age, a woman breastfeeds her child does not matter.
How psychological negative effects of breastfeeding too long
Breastfeeding correctly: The disadvantages of long-term breastfeeding are controversially discussed. The focus here is less on the health aspect and more on the psychological consequences for the child. For mothers, long breastfeeding primarily means practical disadvantages.
How psychological negative effects of breastfeeding too long? The WHO recommends full breastfeeding for six months to reduce the risk of allergies, and then slowly starting suitable complementary foods. Beyond that, you can, of course, continue (partial) breastfeeding for as long as you and your child want. There is nothing to stop you from continuing to breastfeed, even a toddler who can already walk and talk. One of the most apparent disadvantages for mothers who choose long-term breastfeeding is public perception. In public and among friends, they face critical looks from fellow mothers who find it disturbing when infants are still breastfed at an advanced age. And is it at all healthy to breastfeed your child for several years, as some mothers do?
No psychological negative disadvantages of breastfeeding too long
How psychological negative effects of breastfeeding too long? As far as physical health is concerned, there are no disadvantages to long-term breastfeeding. Breast milk is considered healthy even at an advanced age, as long as a balanced, complementary diet is not neglected. Experts also believe that breast milk that is allegedly contaminated with harmful substances does not pose a health risk. The same applies to an increased risk of caries from breast milk – with adequate dental hygiene, long-term breastfeeding is not a problem.
However, it is disputed whether long-term breastfeeding has any disadvantages for the child’s mental development. While supporters emphasize that children who are breastfed for a long time can wean themselves from their mothers more easily later on, critics warn of a troubled bonding relationship between mother and child – reliable studies on this thesis have not yet been conducted.
How psychological negative effects of breastfeeding too long
While the disadvantages of long-term breastfeeding for the child’s health can neither be proven nor dismissed as false, mothers must expect that they will have to continue to exercise great restraint if they breastfeed their child for so long. The same restrictions apply to them during the entire breastfeeding period as during pregnancy: they must abstain from alcohol and limit their caffeine consumption. Medication and surgery can also be problematic under certain circumstances.
If the child does not want to take the breast milk with the bottle, a longer separation of mother and child is not problem-free for the time being. There is a question of the effects on the child’s development if it can only learn to be separated from the mother for a more extended period at a late stage. Disadvantages for the mother may, therefore, also arise when she returns to work.
Many mothers of babies and young children feel exhausted. Could it be that breastfeeding is to blame? Would weaning help the mother regain her strength? How psychological negative effects of breastfeeding too long? ?Although their environment often advises mothers to stop breastfeeding to feel fitter again, this measure rarely helps. Weaning itself is usually a great additional burden for mother and child. The mother then also misses the opportunity to quickly and effectively soothe her baby or toddler, accompany them to sleep, and strengthen their mutual bond through breastfeeding.
Does breastfeeding too long deprive the mother of nutrients?
One of the supposed assumptions about breastfeeding would deplete the mother is that breastfeeding removes nutrients from the mother. This idea is understandable since a fully breastfeeding mother produces an average of 800 ml of breast milk a day for her baby. Breastfed infants still meet an average of one-third of their energy needs through breastfeeding and can continue to drink several hundred milliliters of breast milk a day.
But, breastfeeding does not put any special strain on the mother’s body. Breastfeeding is not an exception, but the normal evolutionary state of a woman of reproductive age, which can last for years and, in the case of several children, even decades, without the mother’s health or her supply of nutrients suffering. If the mother eats a balanced and wholesome diet, she can supply both herself and her baby with all the nutrients they both need – just as she does during pregnancy. Nutritional supplements – usually except iodine supplements – are also not necessary during the breastfeeding period. A breastfeeding mother eats slightly more than a non-breastfeeding mother and in this way covers the increased need for calories and nutrients.
Does too long breastfeeding cause hair loss?
Some new mothers notice increased hair loss in the postpartum period and quickly conclude that breastfeeding must be blamed. They explain the hair loss by the supposed nutrient deficiency that is supposed to result from breastfeeding. How psychological negative effects of breastfeeding too long? But, there is no proof for this conclusion at all. Apparently, by far, not all women observe hair loss during breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding mothers are affected by somewhat increased hair loss just as often as breastfeeding mothers. Increased hair growth during pregnancy and temporary increased hair loss after birth may be due to hormonal changes. The studies on this are not conclusive. However, it is not advisable to stop breastfeeding to counteract the temporary increased hair loss after childbirth.
Breastfeeding how long is too long?
Regarding to Breastfeeding how long is too long?There is no proper definition for this. It is, instead, a subjective feeling. For some people, long-term breastfeeding is everything that goes beyond one year of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding how long is too long?
You will also get a sense for when you are considered a long-term breast-feeder. This can be, for example, when your child enters kindergarten or when the children in your environment are no longer breastfed. You have to decide for yourself and should not be influenced by your environment. Breastfeeding is not necessary if your paediatrician, parents or friends think that “it should be enough”. In any case, you need a lot of self-confidence when you are breastfeeding your child when he or she can already walk and talk. My Baby Refuses to Breastfeed is Breastfeeding over?
What are the psychological advantages of of breastfeeding too long?
If you decide to breastfeed your child for a long time, you will both benefit. Because there are a lot of advantages:
- intensive physical and emotional bonding
- fast calming at night
- Continue breastfeeding in case of bad complementary food
- there is always milk on the way
Babies who are breastfed for a longer time also have a lower risk of chronic diseases and overweight in childhood. There is also evidence that prolonged breastfeeding improves cognitive performance.
How long do mothers breastfeed their children?
Many mothers only make their milk bar available for a limited period because they want to get back to work quickly or simply feel uncomfortable as the baby grows older. It is an unfamiliar sight for the environment when walking and talking children “serve” themselves on mom’s breasts. But some mothers do not mind this at all. They still breastfeed their children at the age of three or four, some even up to elementary school age. If there are more offspring, the children are breastfed at the same time. This is called tandem breastfeeding.
No matter how long children are breastfed, long-term breastfeeding does not replace the introduction of complementary foods. After a certain age, babies and children must be given solid food. However, they can still be breastfed besides.
Regarding to How psychological negative effects of breastfeeding too long? I have only experienced beautiful and uncomplicated breastfeeding with my third child. I have always been one of those who can only imagine breastfeeding until the child starts to become mobile. But in the meantime, I am still breastfeeding my six-month-old daughter fully, and I don’t even think about stopping. In the beginning, I felt uncomfortable breastfeeding her in public, because unfortunately there are still looks. But with a specific technique to make it all discreet, we both get along super well, and for me, the main thing is that my baby gets full. I hope that society will eventually accept long-term breastfeeding and instead of “Is she still breastfeeding her baby?” just think of “How friendly, she’s still breastfeeding! That also applies to mothers who bottle feed. This should also be accepted.
What are your experiences with long-term breastfeeding? How psychological negative effects of breastfeeding too long? How long do you breastfeed your children or have you breastfeed your children? We would be happy about your experiences and tips in the comments.