Saturday, November 08, 2008

Ending breastfeeding Part 2

It goes without saying that babies get their best nutrition from breastmilk. The thing that many people don't realise is that breastmilk should continue to make up the major part of your baby's diet for the first year of life, even after the introduction of solid foods.

Most parenting books are written on the assumption that once you introduce solids, then the breastfeeding will be coming to an end. Biologically speaking, human babies should be getting their mother's milk along with other foods until they indicate they are ready to wean completely. Breastfeeding can continue for as long as mother and baby like.

There is no time at which breastmilk deteriorates in quality or contains reduced amounts of important nutrients. Breastmilk is a living fluid, containing millions of active cells, passing on mother's immunities and antibodies and giving your baby the right balance of age-appropriate nutrients, building your baby's brain, body, immune system and satisfying many emotional needs. It is an amazing fact that breastmilk changes in order to meet the needs of your growing child.

And breastfeeding is about so much more than just the milk. It keeps your baby close to your heart, both literally and figuratively. Weaning your baby at a young age ends those special close times you have when breastfeeding, and changes the way you respond to your baby's needs. Breastfeeding is a wonderful tool for comforting and even for helping your baby to fall asleep. Warm milk, mother's arms, close to her heart, snuggling together, why be in a hurry to end that?

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