How Long should a Mother Breastfeed her Baby?
Breastfeeding is important for the baby, and mothers should continue with it as long as they and their baby want to. It is a personal decision based on how the mother feels emotionally, as well as her personal situation.
The World Health Organization suggests a mother should breastfeed for at least six months. This will allow the baby to have a healthy start in life. Once the baby can eat solid food, the mother should continue breastfeeding the child.
The support of the spouse, family, and friends will make breastfeeding easier for the mother. Some mothers experience a lot of pressure from the people around them to stop breastfeeding. However, the mother alone should make the decision and should not be pressured into anything.
In the first couple of days, the baby will be breastfeeding around the clock. The baby will cut back on feeding over time. The first few weeks are tough for mothers, and those who get through the ordeal are happy that they stuck with breastfeeding.
Going back to work should not stop the mother from breastfeeding her child. Many women found ways to continue giving breast milk to their babies by combining bottle-feeding and breastfeeding. That will take careful planning from the mother that includes storing breast milk for later use while away from home.
Breastfeeding allows a mother to develop a bond with the baby. That’s why it is advisable to keep breastfeeding as long as possible. Breastfed infants also have the tendency to be healthier, develop better communication skills, and have greater cognitive functioning. Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding including lower risks of breast and ovarian cancer, and less likely to develop postpartum depression. There’s no reason why mothers should stop breastfeeding before the child’s sixth month.