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Prolonged breastfeeding: when to stop breastfeeding?

Prolonged breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is not just a way to nourish the baby, but it is an experience full of emotions and benefits for both of you. Breast milk is a complete and perfect food for the new-born, providing all the nutrients it needs to grow and develop healthily. In addition, breastfeeding offers a number of health benefits for the mother, such as reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

When to stop breastfeeding? There is no universal answer

The choice of when to stop breastfeeding and start weaning the baby is a personal decision that must be made by the mother in agreement with her baby and the paediatrician. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding for at least two years, but many mothers choose to continue breastfeeding beyond this period. It is important to know that there are a number of benefits related to prolonged breastfeeding.

The benefits of prolonged breastfeeding:

  • Reduced risk of infections: Breast milk contains antibodies that help protect your baby from respiratory, gastrointestinal, and ear infections.
  • Lower risk of allergies: Breastfeeding can reduce your risk of developing food allergies, asthma, and eczema.
  • Cognitive development: Breast milk contains nutrients that support the baby’s cognitive development.
  • Mental health: Breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of postpartum depression in moms.
  • Mother-baby bond: Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between mom and baby and fosters a sense of security and love.

Breast milk does not lose its nutritional value over time

Breast milk is a complete and perfect food for the new-born. It contains all the nutrients it needs to grow and develop healthily, including protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, breast milk contains antibodies that help protect the baby from infection. Contrary to popular belief, breast milk does not lose its nutritional value over time. On the contrary, breast milk continues to provide the baby with all the nutrients it needs even after the first year of life. In addition to nutrients, breast milk also contains antibodies that help protect your baby from infection. These antibodies are especially important in the first few months of a baby’s life, when their immune system is still developing.

Weaning: a gradual and natural process

Weaning is a gradual and natural process that marks the transition from breastfeeding or bottle feeding to solid feeding. This process doesn’t happen overnight, but it does require time and patience on the part of mom and baby. On average, weaning can begin around 6 months of baby’s life, when their digestive system is ready to digest foods other than milk. However, every baby is different, and some babies may be ready for weaning before or after this age. The first step of weaning is the introduction of fruit and vegetable baby food. It’s important to start with just one ingredient at a time, to see how your child reacts. After the baby has familiarized himself with fruit and vegetable meals, other foods can be introduced gradually and it is important that the foods are cut into small pieces or blended, to prevent the child from choking. Weaning is an important time for the baby, because it allows him to discover new flavours and textures. It is important for the mother to be patient and support the baby in this process.

When to wean your baby?

Some mothers choose to wean their baby gradually, introducing new foods into their diet. Other mothers prefer to wean the baby more quickly, stopping breastfeeding faster. There is no one method that is better than the other, the important thing is that the mother and the child are happy and serene. The choice to breastfeed or wean your baby is a personal decision that should not be influenced by external pressures. Mom needs to feel supported and not judged, no matter what choice she makes.

Here are some tips for moms who are thinking about weaning their baby:

  • Talk to your paediatrician: Your paediatrician can help you assess whether your baby is ready to be weaned and can give you advice on how to proceed.
  • Start gradually: introduce new foods into your child’s diet one at a time, to see how they react.
  • Be patient: Weaning can be a long and frustrating process, but it’s important to be patient with your baby.
  • Don’t force your baby: If he is not ready to be weaned, do not force him. Wait some time and try again.
  • Trust your instincts: you know your baby better than anyone and you know what’s best for them.

Conclusion

Breastfeeding is a precious gift for mom and baby. The choice of when to wean is a personal decision that must be made calmly and without external pressure. The important thing is that the mother and the child are happy and serene. Nurture with love and experience motherhood in your own way.

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