It’s hard for me to believe that my little baby is almost a one year old toddler, and as we are coming up on her first birthday I have been thinking of all that my baby and I have accomplished. Because when my baby was born almost a year ago, a new mommy and daddy were born too. It has been an amazing learning experience for all of us. Most of all though, I am proud of myself for attaining this 12 month breastfeeding milestone without having to give my baby any formula.
Whatever your breastfeeding goal may be, reaching that breastfeeding milestone is an accomplishment worthy of a little praise. So congratulations to all of you mothers out there who have succeeded in breastfeeding your baby- especially if you have made it past the first year. I am almost at the 12 month breastfeeding milestone (the goal I had originally set for myself when I was pregnant) and I have no plans of weaning yet.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, mothers should exclusively breastfeed their baby for the first six months and continue to breastfeed for at least the first year- the longer you can breastfeed, the better for both mother and baby.
Human milk is species-specific, and all substitute feeding preparations differ markedly from it, making human milk uniquely superior for infant feeding. Exclusive breastfeeding is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short- and long-term outcomes.
-American Academy of Pediatrics
On January 20, 2011, Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin released The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding because only 13% of babies are exclusively breastfed through their first six months.
One of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant and herself is to breastfeed…Given the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of mothers and children, it is critical that we take action across the country to support breastfeeding.
-Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin
The World Health Organization agrees with the AAP and even goes further by stating that mothers should continue to breastfeed through two years of age.
Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is the recommended way of feeding infants, followed by continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to two years or beyond.
-World Health Organization
Breastfeeding is still a very important part of my baby’s health and development, and it is still very important for her emotional development (as well as mine). We are doing well and don’t plan to quit any time soon. My baby and I are a rarity in America though; according to the CDC statistics only 22.6% of babies were still breastfeeding by their first birthday.
I want to challenge all you mothers out there to learn about the health benefits of breastfeeding and reach the 12 month breastfeeding milestone with your babies too. It really is an amazing journey, an experience that I would not trade for anything. Let’s change those statistics and improve the health of future generations.
Have you reached your breastfeeding goals? Brag on yourself and let us know. I would love to hear from you.