6 months and beyond: Long-term benefits of breastfeeding

Breast milk boosts your baby’s health now and in the future – and producing milk has lifelong benefits for you too. Discover the protective effects of long-term breastfeeding in our video

6 months and beyond: Long-term benefits of breastfeeding

Did you know the World Health Organization recommends feeding your baby breast milk up to two years and beyond? Extended breastfeeding can support your baby’s growth and brain development, lessen the likelihood of infections, and provide lifelong protection against type 1 diabetes and obesity. And the benefits aren’t all for your baby. The longer you produce breast milk, the less likely you are to suffer from cancers of the breast, uterus and ovaries, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. We tell you the amazing truth about breast milk’s benefits after six months, and why every breastfeeding mum should consider it.

References

World health Organisation. [Internet] Health Topics: Breastfeeding: 2018 [Accessed: 08.02.2018].

Bener A et al. Does prolonged breastfeeding reduce the risk for childhood leukemia and lymphomas?. Minerva Pediatr. 2008;60(2):155-161.

Bowatte G et al. Breastfeeding and childhood acute otitis media: a systematic review and meta‐analysis. Acta Paediatr. 2015;104(S467):85-95.

Horta BL, Victora CG. Short-term effects of breastfeeding: a systematic review on the benefits of breastfeeding on diarrhoea and pneumonia mortality [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2013. 49 p.

Lund-Blix NA et al. Infant feeding in relation to islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes in genetically susceptible children: the MIDIA study. Diabetes Care. 2015;38(2):257-263.

Horta BL, Victora CG. Long-term effects of breastfeeding-a systematic review. [Internet]. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2013. 74 p.

Belfort MB et al. Infant feeding and childhood cognition at ages 3 and 7 years: effects of breastfeeding duration and exclusivity. JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(9):836-844.

Forestell CA, Mennella JA. Early determinants of fruit and vegetable acceptance. Pediatrics. 2007;120(6):1247-1254.

Uvnäs-Moberg K et al. Self-soothing behaviors with particular reference to oxytocin release induced by non-noxious sensory stimulation. Front Psychol. 2015;5:1529.

Peters SAE et al. Breastfeeding and the risk of maternal cardiovascular disease: a prospective study of 300 000 Chinese women. J Am Heart Assoc. 2017;6(6):e006081.

Victora CG et al. Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect. Lancet. 2016;387(10017):475-490.