I’m going to be talking about extended breastfeeding and also,the benefits of extended breastfeeding. I touched upon this recently in a “Day in the Life” video and so many of you commented saying:could I make a full video about this subject? So that’s what I’m doing here today and I’ll also link in the description all of my previous breastfeeding videos.
Because I have made a breastfeeding tips video which nearly has a million views now. And, I also had health visitors email me to say: they actually use that video to send to new mothers that they’re looking after. And, I’ve also made a tips video about how to breastfeed in public and also, a video about weaning from the breast to the beaker because that is what I did with my children.
So, I’ll link those down below but I really wanted to make this video because I’ve talked the other day about how I was still breastfeeding Jackson who is 18 months old and I had a few negative comments on that video. And I, I don’t know It just really got to me and I feel like I have a small platform here. If there is anything I can do to normalize breastfeeding and make women feel better about their choices to breastfeed then I would really like to do that.
Because when I was a very new mother and I ended up breastfeeding Fraser, I remember I got to about nine months of feeding him and then the questions started to come from family members, friends, you know “When are you going to stop?” I even had a health visitor say to me: that if I carried on feeding him past seven months, that I would be doing it completely for myself. There was no nutritional benefit to him and that is completely wrong.
So, I really want to share with you some benefits and also, just talk to you about my journey through extended breastfeeding. I never thought I was going to be some kind of”Earth” mother that I kind of am. You know, as soon as I got pregnant I was like yoga, hypno birthing, home birth,breastfeeding for, you know, over a year etc. So I never thought it would be like this but it’s something that has come naturally.
So, yeah, I think I’ll just share my story with you and yeah, a few of the benefits. And this is also a collab with my good friend Katie Ellison. We were talking about breast feeding and also, stopping breastfeeding recently. And she said that she was going to make a video all about how she was weaning her son Ren, who was 23 months at the time, she was weaning him off of the breast. So, she had it quite difficult in the beginning but she has got through it and she has made a video talking all about her experience of, you know, breastfeeding for 23 months and then how she got him to stop. I definitely going to check out her channel after you’ve watched this video. I love her channel and I love her little family;they are adorable. I always wonder why she doesn’t have more subscribers than she does because I personally love her videos. I love her “Day in the Life”, especially.
I also always feel with these type of videos that I need to say a little disclaimer at the beginning, and that is that whether you choose to bottle-feed or breastfeed your baby that is completely up to you. I would hate for anyone to watch one of my videos about breastfeeding and feel bad that they didn’t for longer or that they couldn’t or it just didn’t work out. I think whatever you have chosen to do to feed your baby was the right decision. This is just what has ended up working out for me and what I have found easiest. And I also understand that Extended breastfeeding, by the way,is anything over one year.
So, I can understand why that could also be quite limiting. You know, you kind of have to be around and if you go back to work early,or if you have a life, it’s quite hard to carry on extended breastfeeding. But for me, pumping never worked out so I have just, kind of, had to be around. And luckily, that has ended
up working out for me. I personally find it funny when people think that breastfeeding is weird because that is what breasts are meant for. Although, society has sexualized breasts,they are actually for one thing and that is to make milk for our babies. If you actually think about it, us as adults drinking cow’s milk is more weird because whoever thought of that was a good idea,must have been into some freaky stuff.
With all three of my boys,I have ended up breastfeeding for a year and a half. With my first son Fraser, I breasfed for a year and then once he hit one, I stopped telling people that I was still breastfeeding because I would only feed first thing in the morning and last thing at night. And I was embarrassed that I was carrying on but for me, it’s always been so easy in the middle of the night. It solves teething, illness, it’s portable when you go on a holiday, it’s sterile. So, I have started so, so easy that it’s kind of become this secret weapon when I have a baby. If anything is wrong I know I’ve got that, or if I’m on a plane or anything like that.
So I have really enjoyed it but I know some people do extended breastfeeding until they’re like three, four, five. For me, it has stopped at 18 months. By then, my children have been walking around and talking and with Caleb, especially, he actually walked up to me once and said “Milk” and I was like “Okay, I think it’s time to stop. “Just personally for me, that’s how I felt. But again, if you choose to breastfeed for longer that is completely, you know, normal.
So, the first benefit is that it does provide nutrients to your baby and lots of people will tell you that it doesn’t once they are a year and up. But they will still get protein, that calcium, vitamin A, fats, nutrients, and your immunity as well. I think once a baby is on to three full meals a day, they obviously have less breast milk. But the way I would like to explain it to you is if you were to sit down and have a full plate of spinach, it will be packed full of nutrients. But then, if you were to sit down and have a smaller plate of spinach, it will still have all that nutrients in it but a smaller portion.
So, although, they would be having less breast milk when they’re older it doesn’t mean there are less nutrients in the milk; I hope that makes sense. The second benefit is that boosts your baby’s immune system even if they are past the age of one,they will still get your immunity and babies that breastfeed even if it’s extended breastfeeding,have lower illness rates and mortality rates as well. And it will also help them long after you have stopped breastfeeding, too. The third benefit of extended breastfeeding is that it can make the mom healthier. We all know that in the early days, breastfeeding can help you get that flat stomach back and help to kind of bring everything back in. But it can also reduce the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer as well.
There have been so many studies done on this online,so you can check it out if you want to,but it is also cumulative. So if you have breastfed three babies for six months each,it will mean that over your lifetime you have breastfed your baby for a year and a half. So you will have the benefit of like lowering the risk cumulatively; I hope that makes sense. So for me, like if I breastfed each baby for a year and a half, I would have breastfed for– How long is that? Oh my God, I’m so bad at math . I would have breastfed for four and a half years?! Oh my gosh!
So that will reduce my risk as well, and I’ve found one study online. I will link down below if you want to check it out as well. But in this study, it said that: “Women who breastfed for 13 months were 63% less likely to develop ovarian cancer and women who had breastfed for over 31 months were 91% less likely to develop ovarian cancer. “The fourth benefit is that it boosts brain development and it’s not just because of the nutrients but also, the bonding experience. And also, because when you breastfeed you have to change sides each time and it said that babies will look around and see things from different perspectives. And so, if you do bottle-feed your baby it said make sure that you don’t always feed on the same side, that you change the sides and the ways that you feed them even if it is with a bottle.
The fifth benefit is that it is soothing for your baby. It makes you stop as a mom, sit down and hold your baby and feed them. As I mentioned earlier it is my secret weapon. If he is ever ill or teething I know that will instantly soothe him. Or if he’s ever in a stressful situation he’s hurt himself or something like that,that will instantly calm him down. And my sixth benefit is also quite similar,it is also calming for the mother as well. As busy moms, it is so easy to caught up in chores,siblings, housework, everything that’s going on.
So for me, it’s like a really nice chance to have to sit down with my baby and feed him. And I really look forward to it, I really enjoy it. I mean in the early days sometimes when you’re out in the buggy and you’re like “Aw, I’ve gotta sit down. “But now, it’s just this really special thing that we do every evening. I’m actually in the process of stopping breastfeeding. So, we don’t feed in the morning at all, anymore. But I really look forward to our evening feed. And my seventh and final benefit to extended breastfeeding is probably the main reason that I have fed for so long,and that is it’s just so convenient. serum dermayu
I find it so much easier than a bottle and formula and even that’s why I didn’t get on with pumping because, again, it’s a bottle and it’s sterilizing and all that kind of stuff; get it to the right temperature, etc. I just think it is the quickest thing to just quickly feed your baby like that. If it’s the middle of the night,or again, like I said if you’re on a plane or out in a park or anything, I don’t know–I just find it so simple to just have that on tap and I think that’s why I’ve just carried on for so long. Especially, there always seems to be something coming uplike a holiday where I don’t know what the milk will be like when we get to that country,or you know, I just find it so, so convenient and that is why I have loved it so much!