Anthropologically speaking, human babies should be breastfed for at least two years. In our current culture, however, normal breastfeeding is cut short. Mothers are constantly being challenged regarding the value and practicality of breastfeeding, but social pressure to stop nursing reaches a new peak once a baby turns six months of age and beyond. In this session, we will address common areas where families face criticism from society and health care providers, including the nutritional value of breastmilk over time, introduction of solids, teething, dental caries, sleep issues, and weaning. Mounting evidence of the benefits—for mother, baby, and society—of normal breastfeeding duration, including the social and emotional advantages, will be presented. Finally, possible solutions will be proposed for helping families sustain normal breastfeeding. Currently, normal breastfeeding in our culture is the exception, not the rule. We can help change that fact!
Identify six challenges to breastfeeding a baby past six months in our culture.
List five benefits to families of breastfeeding a baby more than six months of age.
Identify strategies to help families sustain normal duration of breastfeeding.