Monday, September 24, 2007
Ian is 1 Year Old and We are Celebrating 1 Year of Breastfeeding
On September 6, 2007, my son celebrated turning one year old and I celebrated one year of breastfeeding. There were times when I didn't think I was going to make it, when I thought everyone must be lying when they said it was easier, but I made it. It took a few months, but once everything clicked, it was great! We plan to keep going as long as it is mutually agreeable. Nursing is so easy now, that I can hardly remember the tough times.
The pictures were taken by Brooke Bass during Ian's 1 Year Photo Session. Brooke took my maternity portraits and Ian's newborn photos as well.
Mothering Magazine just published 8 Reasons to Nurse Your Toddler in Kyla Steinkraus' article,"Extend Breastfeeding's Benefits" in the September/October 2007 issue (all quoted from this article):
1. Breastfed toddlers get complete nutrition. Research shows that fat and energy content increases after the first year.
2. Breastfed toddlers are physically healthier. According to research, the immunological benefits of breastfeeding actually increases during the second and third years of nursing.
3. Breastfed toddlers are emotionally healthier. According to Dr. Jack Newman,"The breastfed toddler is more independent in the long run because his independence comes from a deep-seated security that comes from breastfeeding."
4. Breastfed toddlers are smarter. Numerous studies show that breastfeeding promotes a higher IQ, including increased reading comprehension, math skills, and scholastic ability, even into adolescence. The fine motor and language skills of breastfed toddlers develop more quickly. According to Ginger Carney, a clinicial nutrition manager and lactation consultant at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee,"The unique coordination of the tongue, lips, and jaw during breastfeeding exercises the muscles used for speech."
5. Breastfeeding promotes your emotional well-being. The continued release of prolactin, the milk-making hormone, helps relieve stress and promotes feelings of calm and relaxation.
6. Breastfeeding reduces your risk of disease. The duration of breastfeeding is linked to lowered risks of ovarian, uterine and breast cancer.....diabetes.....and rheumatoid arthritis.
7. Breastfeeding acts as natural birth control. While not 100% effective, continued nursing can supress ovulation. (I still don't have my period back, of course, my back up method of birth control IS 100% effective as my husband is thousands of miles away!)
8. Breastfeeding makes parenting easier: teething, tantrums, skinned knees, etc.