World Breastfeeding Week: Why Extended Breastfeeding Is A Must For Babies

First Posted: Aug 02, 2016 02:04 AM EDT

As many may have already known, breastfeeding can have a lot of beneficial effects on newborn babies. However, parents, experts, and others debate on whether or not breastfeeding an older child up to age five or six is a 'healthy' practice for the child. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding should be continued up to two years and beyond.

The Morning Bulletin reported that mothers who breastfeed their older child have been looked down on in many occasions, especially when they do it in a public place. Every now and then, articles about a mother breastfeeding her older child, up to age five or six, cause a havoc of reactions from many different people.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated: 'There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.'

The statement was made with good reasons. Even though a lot of Western people may not be accustomed to seeing children being breastfed, it does not necessarily mean that it is not biologically normal. In fact, many non-Western societies have an average breastfeeding period of about three years, and some even longer than that, Mail Online reported.

In an article published in The Conversation, Amy Brown, an Associate professor of psychology, Swansea University wrote that there have been studies suggesting that non-human primates stop breastfeeding their young ones around the time when the first permanent teeth comes out, which is about five or six years old in human children.

It has also been said that biological norms have health benefits, too, and breastfeeding is no different. According to, a pint of breastmilk during a second year and over will produce 94 percent of a vitamin B12, 75 percent of vitamin A and 60 percent of vitamin C endorsed intake. 

This means that breastmilk actually increases the defense fighting properties after the first year of life which can reduce the risk of illness for the child. Furthermore, it was also revealed that the longer a mother breastfeeds, the lower her risk of breast cancer is. Aside from their health, investigation suggests that longer breastfeeding can boost a child's educational opening and might even assist in their romantic and amicable development.

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