CNN While the medical benefits of breastfeeding for helping newborns fight infections and helping pre-term infants get stronger are fairly well established, the long-term impact is much less so. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. More Videos Breastfeeding Story highlights Study finds some short-term cognitive benefit to breastfeeding Differences between breastfed and non-breastfed children lost by age five.
The Short- and Long-Term Benefits of Breastfeeding
Benefits of breastfeeding - NHS
An updated position statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics cites several studies in arguing that all mothers should try "exclusive breastfeeding for about six months. On the surface, it may seem surprising that breastfeeding could be the contentious issue it often is. It benefits infants' health in so many ways. But for the new mothers who decide they cannot manage it or who are unsuccessful in their efforts, breastfeeding can be a source of feelings of failure and frustration. Two recent studies, taken together, offer a more balanced picture of an area of motherhood that too often resembles a battleground. The American Academy of Pediatrics has just issued an updated statement on the value of breastfeeding and the use of human milk. At almost the same time, a British study provides a clear-eyed look at the reasons why women decide not to breastfeed and finds it is time for breastfeeding recommendations to acknowledge the realities that may lead mothers to decide against the practice.
7 Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding
The benefits of breast milk for babies are numerous. Lower rates of childhood obesity, decreased incidence of asthma and even better brain development are all linked with drinking more of mother's milk in infancy, and despite decades of research and promising marketing claims, the formula industry has not caught up to mother nature in the milk department. But even if technicians could develop a better food for infants, researchers are now realizing that skipping the lactation phase would be problematic for mothers' health. In fact, not breastfeeding after giving birth seems to put women at higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other serious health conditions.
Pediatricians recommend breastfeeding until baby is at least a year old -- but many moms keep going beyond that. Discover the pluses of extended breastfeeding. As the mother of eight children and a certified lactation counselor, Robin Elise Weiss knows just about everything there is to know about breastfeeding. When she was nursing her own children, she opted for "extended" or "full-term" breastfeeding, meaning she let each one nurse as long as he or she wanted.