It's no secret that breastfeeding has amazing immediate benefits for both babies and mothers. It's basically broadcast anywhere there's information available. But what about as your child gets older and you stop nursing? Are there any ways breastfeeding affects your child later in life? If the suspense is too much to bear, I'll cut to the chase right away with a resounding "yes." The benefits of breastfeeding don't stop at six months, or a year, or whenever you decide to wean your baby. In fact, according to some experts, there really isn't an end in sight when it comes to long term effects of nursing.
Evidence for the immediate benefits of breastfeeding for both babies and moms is overwhelming— it lowers the baby's risk of getting sick, can help you loose the baby weight, and even fights off allergens and infections. But as your child gets older, the research on breastfeeding gets less prevalent. And while there is certainly a wealth of information yet to be uncovered about breast milk and its effect on a child's health, experts have long suspected that the benefits of breastfeeding doesn't stop when you do.
These six ways breastfeeding can help your baby well into childhood (and even adulthood) are staggering and well worth the energy, lost sleep and effort it takes to nurse your little one.