Breastfeeding or breastfeeding a baby always raises certain doubts and questions to mothers, who find their answers as they get to know their baby more. How long to breastfeed or breastfeed the baby? Does breast milk have an expiration date for babies? How do you know if you have enough milk for the little one? How to wean a baby? When should complementary feeding be started? There are so many doubts that on some occasions they are resolved by the pediatrician and on others the common sense of each mother.
The World Health Organization reports, in this World Breastfeeding Week (WHO), that only one third of babies worldwide are breastfed in their first 6 months of life. Until when the baby should be breastfed and offered. A few days ago a mother sent us an email because she wanted to know the opinion of professionals or mothers in the same situation. She continued to breastfeed her two-year-old daughter at snack and before bed as a supplement to the normal diet for a child her age, and although she and her little girl liked to do it, many people insisted that I should take off his breast now.
When a mother breastfeeds her baby, it is a personal decision: work, comfort, fatigue, lack of time, etc., because the WHO recommends continuing breastfeeding up to 2 years or more, yes, not exclusively, already that from 6 months the baby needs more caloric intake and adequate nutritional needs. This organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 180 days of a baby's life for a full-term child with a good birth weight.
What is meant by 'exclusive breastfeeding'? It is understood not to provide the infant with any food or drink (not even water) other than breast milk, although they could be given drops or syrups, vitamin and mineral supplements or medications. Furthermore, the WHO informs us that breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure the health and survival of children. The administration of foods that do not consist exclusively of breast milk during the first six months of life contributes to more than one million infant deaths annually, but curiously those under six months fed exclusively with breast milk do not reach 40 percent, and many Sometimes it is not the mothers' own will, but rather the little support given to mothers and families to initiate and maintain breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding continues to offer an important nutritional contribution past the first year of life and has been associated with the reduction of chronic diseases in childhood and obesity. So in the case of this mother, I can only tell her that it is her sole decision because, although it is shocking to see a baby older than one year nursing, it is not at all harmful for him, in any case, it can be tiring or debilitating for the mother, if she does not take into account the extra care her body needs.
Mirna Santos. Copywriter
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