Extended Breastfeeding. Is it the Norm?

extended breastfeeding

When I nurse my kids, I had no idea that I was doing what they call “extended breastfeeding”.

It's basically nursing your child for more than a year. I nurse all of my babies for at least two years, only because they seem so little at one year of age (which is the date my husband set for me to stop breastfeeding our kids).

I actually nurse them over two years of age, that’s just the age when I start to wean them. And if you’ve ever weaned a toddler, then you know that it doesn’t just happen overnight!

There are a lot of benefits of extended breastfeeding, including all the fun you’ll have while nursing your toddler!

If you do plan on nursing your baby past one year, or, if when they turn one, you realize they’re still so little and you don’t want to wean them just yet, just know that you'll be in the majority.

The majority of the mothers on our planet Earth nurse their babies, with no hesitation, past one year of age.

Extended breastfeeding is totally normal. So normal that my 7 year old son asked to nurse (although he’s been completely weaned since he was 2 ½) after constantly seeing his brothers nurse, who were 2 years old and 5 months at the time.

I stared at him in complete disbelief, while he looked back at me with a big smile across his face. I would expect a toddler to revert back to nursing after a new baby is born, but not a 7 year old! So what did I say?

I said come on.

And proceeded to pull my shirt up (and then there were 3!). He then said “I’m just kidding”. (whew! what a relief!) Although he still wanted to see how it tasted because he said he couldn’t remember nursing.

So I gave him some of his baby brother’s expressed milk. He said it tasted a little like coconut milk, but he never asked for any again. Although I would've happily pumped him some every now and then.

That’s just how beneficial it is to your body.

What’s so funny to me is how people hoop and holler about how you should give your children milk because “milk does a body good, blah blah blah”, but they look at you funny when you actually give your baby milk…..breast milk that is.

Oh, okay I get it. Cow's milk is for humans, human milk is not for humans. Got it!

Let’s go over some of the benefits of extended breastfeeding:

Being able to comfort your child in a way that is familiar to them when they are sick, hurt, afraid or tired

It reduces your risk of getting some cancers, such as breasts cancer and ovarian cancer

It reduces your risk of getting diabetes- And if you already have diabetes, extended breastfeeding can reduce the amount of insulin you need.

Your baby will get sick less often- And even when they do get sick, it’s not that bad and the duration is very short.

Oh and don’t forget that they say breastfed babies are smarter.

The benefits of extended breastfeeding for you and your baby, and just breast milk itself, are so great that scientists and researchers will never know all of them.

And your breast milk is still just as nutritional after your baby has been drinking it for 2 years, as when they were drinking it at 2 weeks.

So if you want to breastfeed your baby past the age of one, go ahead. You’re in good company!

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