A Personal Testimonal to Extended Breastfeeding

I am often asked in class why anyone would want to continue breastfeeding after 6 months or a year. I understand this question, and can empathize with the "weird" factor that some students have alluded to. Before having children, toddlers are a species onto themselves- long gone are the they days of the immobile cherub. Now replaced with a walking, talking opinionated kiddo, and it's hard to imagine that they are still babies, and need not only the comfort, but the wonderful benefits of nursing.

This week was a shining example of why extended breastfeeding is so healthy and helpful. Our household was not immune to the norovirus visiting the Triangle. Matt and I were sidelined with chills, muscle pain, horrid abdominal cramps and dehydration. Throughout this excruciating illness, I continued to nurse Cora. Why?

Breast milk is miraculous. My two year old does not have a full functioning immune system just yet, and as my body fought these nasty cooties, it synthesized antibodies which were shared with Cora in my breast milk. How cool is that?

What's cooler? Mama doesn't have to be sick to produce power milk. Did you know that if baby is exposed to a bacteria or virus and nurses, Mom will produce antibodies that are ready for her baby by the next breastfeeding session?

Beyond the health benefits, nursing is also a wonderful respite to a high energy day. Taking a few moments to just hold one another and relax from a day of play and adventure sweet in itself. Extended breastfeeding is good for the mind, body and soul.