Friday, 23 November 2012

Breastfeeding to two, and beyond.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) advocates breastfeeding for at least two years. (WHO link)

The Health Service Executive (HSE) in Ireland advocates breastfeeding for at least two years. (HSE link)

My daughter, AKA "E" AKA "Ruffian child" recently turned two, so I like to think I have now achieved the minimum goal. I plan to let her wean when she is ready. She's a smart kid. She'll know when that is. At the moment it is helping her immune system, her brain development and her emotional development.

So many women in Ireland don't breastfeed at all, and others only do so for a very short amount of time. So breastfeeding up to two years, and beyond, while in line with official recomendations, is actually very unusual in Ireland.

Nevertheless, I like to think of the guidelines as a minimum, that we have now achieved. We'll see how long we continue, and whether society's attitude to breastfeeding, extended or not, changes as time goes on.

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