The recommended age to stop breast feeding is up to a mother and a child, however, a mother should consider a period not less than a year and at best two years in line with World Health Organisation (WHO).
I am going to discuss with you in this article some critical factors or triggers that will indicate when to stop breast feeding, I want you to follow through with this post to get the comprehensive information.
Breast feeding must certainly come to an end just like any good things.
Some women have predetermined the weaning time or period before delivery, however this may not be right at all times since every pregnancy and child are not always the same.
Breastfeeding is a win-win activity for the woman, the child and the entire family because;
Breast milk is a gold standard for child nutrition and it evolves in composition as the child grows to meet the baby’s nutritional needs beyond infancy. The breast milk that flows during breastfeeding reinforces the baby’s immune system thereby fortifying the health of the child.
Research has also indicated that the longer breast-feeding continues, the better is a mother’s health, when a mother breastfeed beyond infancy and/or 12 months cumulatively in life, the more is the reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
In as much that there are no health concern for the mother and child, the better is the prosperity and peace of the family and the nation.
There is no age at which breast milk is of no significant contribution to the health of a child, despite the strange stares and concern for a grown-up child still breast feeding. Worldwide statistic shows that babies are weaned at an average of between ages 2 and 4, while some cultures sustain breast-feeding till age 6 or 7.
Trigger factors that may signal when to end breastfeeding.
Ensure that your child is at least a year old, within this period your baby would have received love, bonding, natural immunity and would have tested solid/alternative food.
When your child has begun to refuse breast for a period of two weeks or more without any negative consequences.
When you do not feel like continuing again, this feeling may develop within some few weeks or years. According to Leigh Anne O’Connor, lactation consultant at LeighAnneOConnor.com, some kids can continue with breast feeding for years if the mom is comfortable with it.
When there are medical exigencies, early weaning may be required to attend to the health of the mother. Some medical procedures like chemotherapy or mastectomy for breast cancer may require that weaning be stopped or modified for the sake of the mother and child, medical advice should be sought.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months after birth — and breast-feeding in combination with solid foods until at least age 1.
Breast-feeding is recommended for as long as you and your baby wish to continue but I will advise you to consider the minimum threshold recommended by the WHO.
Please ensure that you give your baby nothing else but breast milk for the first six months (exclusive breastfeeding) of life. This will give your baby a healthy start in life.
Like I initially mentioned, when to stop breast feeding beyond infancy is an intimate issue that is up to the mum and child and the surrounding circumstances. You should feel free to take a wise decision.