LENGTH OF TIME
HOW LONG SHOULD I BREASTFEED?
You can breastfeed for as long as you and your baby want to.
One of the concepts La Leche League is founded on is that “Ideally the breastfeeding relationship will continue until the baby outgrows the need.”
The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend that babies be breastfed for at least two years.
“Review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for six months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up two years of age or beyond.” 1
As solids are introduced, usually around the middle of the first year, your baby will begin to shift his primary source of nutrition from your milk to other foods.
Human milk contributes to your baby’s nutrition and health for as long as your baby receives your milk. Many of the health benefits of human milk are dosely related, that is, the longer the baby receives human milk, the greater are the benefits. Breastfeeding also continues to be important to maternal health.2