Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing. It can be done anywhere, anytime and as long as mother and baby would like as there are no age limits for babies and children. Whether you’re pregnant, just had your first baby or are thinking about extending the breastfeeding experience, understanding the benefits of breastfeeding can help you make the best choices for yourself and your baby. Here’s what you need to know about breastfeeding in public and extended breastfeeding.
The pros of public breastfeeding
- You can feed your baby anywhere – One benefit of public breastfeeding is that you can feed your baby anywhere. Breastfeeding in public is legal in all 50 states. You don’t have to stay at home or only feed them when it’s convenient for you.
- You don’t have to pack bottles – The ability to breastfeed in public relieves you of the hassle of packing bottles. You take your milk everywhere with you and give your baby a meal whenever they are hungry.
The cons of public breastfeeding
While breastfeeding is a wonderful experience that creates a bond between you and your baby, it does pose some challenges. If you are met with either of the following situations, be encouraged that it is all right for you to breastfeed in public and to not take things personally.
- Unwanted staring – Breastfeeding in public may make other people stare at you or criticize you. If you want to accommodate other people’s feelings, consider dressing modestly and cover up when nursing.
- If you feel uncomfortable – If you’re not used to breastfeeding in public, practice nursing your baby with a cover at home, then gradually move on to feeding without a cover, then try it outside your home and, lastly, try nursing in a public place in order to feel more comfortable with the process.
The pros of extended breastfeeding
- You continue the special bond – Extended breastfeeding is the act of continuing to nurse your baby after he or she has turned 1 year old. It allows you to continue the special bond with your child. It is also a great way to make your baby feel loved and give them the nurturing they need.
- Balanced nutrition for your baby – If your baby is over a year, they will still benefit from nutrients in breast milk, such as protein, water, fat, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and other trace materials.
The cons of extended breastfeeding
While there are no disadvantages to extended breastfeeding, here are some things to consider if you are thinking about prolonging breastfeeding as a mom.
- Other people’s thoughts – If you’re worried about what people will say, remember that there’s nothing wrong with continuing your healthy relationship with your child. It is up to you, the health of your baby and your doctor how long you want to continue breastfeeding.
- It may not be easy at first – It may be harder to follow a breastfeeding schedule with your baby after they turn 1. However, if you prioritize and spend time with them every day, extended nursing will soon become easier.
At Bard & Didriksen Pediatrics, we understand the importance of breastfeeding and extended breastfeeding for you and your baby, regardless of your baby’s age. We are here to help and encourage you through this precious process, whether you’re just starting out or extending the journey. If you would like more information, or have any additional questions, about breastfeeding or extended breastfeeding, contact us today.