Quoting Lorrilove:" I totally get that some parents like to like their child self ween, and they like to nurse... To each ... [snip!] ... For me the health benefit is out the window, its mostly of a comfort thing in my eyes.. Which is totally fine. Just my thought."
It's not "just your thought". It's completely wrong.
As a nursing toddler reduces the frequency of feedings, the antibodies contained in the milk is found in higher concentrations. These antibodies foster the continued growth of the child’s immune system, a benefit that many mother’s think only lasts into infancy.
There's your answer to that.
And a few other facts:
Continuing to nurse your child after one year has many physical benefits for both the child and mother. Breastfeeding prevents against many forms of long term illness, such as ulcerative colitis, diabetes, asthma, Chron’s disease, obesity, and high cholesterol in the adult life on a long-term nurser. This means that a mother’s dedication to having an extended nursing relationship with their child helps prevent them from illness long after they are done weaning naturally. For mothers, long-term breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer, in addition to helping prevent the onset of osteoporosis.
It has been found that children who extended nurse and wean naturally are more secure. While some will argue that nursing beyond one year builds a relationship that involves too much dependence on the mother, general psychology tells us that because a child is nurtured during the most vulnerable times of their infancy in the most natural way, they grow to be more independent, confident, and secure.
Not only are the psychological benefits of extended nursing present when discussing comfort and stability in the breastfeeding toddler, but numerous studies show that breastfeeding often results a higher IQ and increased abilities in many areas. Examples include reading comprehension, mathematics, and scholastic ability that continues to be demonstrated through out adolescence. Perhaps this is in direct correlation with the complete nutrition that breastfeeding provides a child with a large percentage of the minimum daily requirements of many vitamins, key nutrients, and minerals. They include protein, calcium, vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, and an amazing 94% of the daily required intake of B12 for a child between the ages of 12 and 24 months. (Steinkraus, 2007).
According to research, the immunological benefits of breastfeeding actually increase during the second and third years of nursing. The antibodies in breastmilk that protect a newborn against pathogens, viruses, and bacteria are still present in the milk of mothers nursing their toddlers. Literally thousands of antiviral, antibacterial, and antiparasitic factors are found in human milk, protecting against hundreds of infections and diseases, including E. coli, pneumonia, strep throat, Salmonella, influenza, rotavirus, rubella, West Nile virus, mumps, measles, diabetes, meningitis, and many childhood cancers such as leukemia. These immunological factors remain present whether the nursing child is three months or three years old.
Numerous studies show that breastfeeding promotes a higher IQ, including increased reading comprehension, math skills, and scholastic ability, even into adolescence. In one study, breastfeeding was associated with a 4.6 higher mean in three-year-olds' intelligence. The fine motor and language skills of breastfed toddlers also develop more quickly. According to Ginger Carney, a clinical nutrition manager and lactation consultant at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee, "The unique coordination of the tongue, lips, and jaw during breastfeeding exercises the muscles used for speech." In other words, the act of sucking promotes oral development, which enhances language skills.
The Benefits for You
Breastfeeding promotes your emotional well-being
The continued release of prolactin, the milk-making hormone, helps relieve stress and promotes feelings of calm and relaxation. The hormone oxytocin, which stimulates milk let-down, inspires loving, nurturing feelings, and is often called the bonding hormone. In addition, nursing releases endorphins, the body's natural opiates, into the brains of both mother and child.
Breastfeeding reduces your risk of disease
The duration of breastfeeding is linked to lowered risks of ovarian, uterine, and breast cancer. Women who breastfeed for 24 months have a 25 percent lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer. The length of breastfeeding is also directly linked to a lower risk of diabetes: one study found that for every year of lactation, women with a birth in the prior 15 years reduced their risk of Type 2 diabetes by 15 percent. In another study, breastfeeding for at least two years reduced a woman's risk for rheumatoid arthritis by 50 percent.
Breastfeeding acts as a natural birth control
While not 100 percent effective, continued nursing helps suppress ovulation. Of course, if you aren't ready for another baby, you'll definitely want to use some sort of other protection as well. But here's an added perk: Your period usually won't return until a few months after your baby is weaned. Amanda Aaronson, a mom from Mountainville, California, calls her breastfeeding amenorrhea 'fabulous.' She says, "My daughter is almost 19 months old and I still haven't had a postpartum period."
Breastfeeding makes parenting easier
Kirstie Farrar, a Willington, Connecticut mother nursing her 28-month-old son, calls breastfeeding her 'secret weapon.' She says, 'It's the one thing I can fall back on when nothing else is working. It can tame any tantrum at any time, and virtually never fails to convince a sleepy but resistant toddler that napping really is a good idea!
Nursing soothes the aching gums, skinned knees, bumped heads, and tantrums that come with toddlerhood. Toddlers experience a roller-coaster of big, messy emotions from moment to moment, and reconnecting with the close, physical touch of nursing reminds them of your love and support during those difficult times. While mothering a toddler is an amazing journey, it can also be intense and demanding. A few moments of calm, quiet nursing throughout the day can reenergize both of you. It is also a great way for mothers who work to squeeze in extra bonding time. Beth Cooke, of Lafayette, Oregon, mom to 18-month-old Megan, says, "I am a working mother, so it is nice for Megan to be able to reconnect with me at the end of the day or before I go off to work."
Many women never imagined themselves nursing walking, talking, little human beings. I didn't. But when the "accepted time" came to wean my son, I realized that this special bond I shared with Caleb was too precious to end so soon. He needed it. I needed it. As Erin Winters reflects, "I never expected to be breastfeeding a toddler... many of my perceptions and thoughts about breastfeeding changed once my baby arrived." Kirstie Farrar adds, "I wouldn't have thought I'd be nursing a 2 1/2-year-old. My pre-mom self would have thought it was weird, but now it seems like the most natural thing in the world." Your own toddler couldn't agree more. http://www.mothering.com/community/a/extended-breastfeeding
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that “Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child… Increased duration of breastfeeding confers significant health and developmental benefits for the child and the mother… There is no upper limit to the duration of breastfeeding and no evidence of psychologic or developmental harm from breastfeeding into the third year of life or longer.” (AAP 2012, AAP 2005)
Cannot link this one for some reason http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/ebf-benefits/#mother
- The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends that breastfeeding continue throughout the first year of life and that “As recommended by the WHO, breastfeeding should ideally continue beyond infancy, but this is not the cultural norm in the United States and requires ongoing support and encouragement. It has been estimated that a natural weaning age for humans is between two and seven years. Family physicians should be knowledgeable regarding the ongoing benefits to the child of extended breastfeeding, including continued immune protection, better social adjustment, and having a sustainable food source in times of emergency. The longer women breastfeed, the greater the decrease in their risk of breast cancer.” They also note that “If the child is younger than two years of age, the child is at increased risk of illness if weaned.” (AAFP 200
- The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine affirms breastfeeding beyond infancy as the biological norm. “The average age at weaning ranges anywhere from six months to five years… Claims that breastfeeding beyond infancy is harmful to mother or infant have absolutely no medical or scientific basis,” says Arthur Eidelman, MD, president of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. “Indeed, the more salient issue is the damage caused by modern practices of premature weaning.” The global organization of physicians further notes that “Human milk contains nutrients, antibodies, and immune-modulating substances that are not present in infant formula or cow’s milk. Longer breastfeeding duration is further associated with reduced maternal risks of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart attack.” (ABM 2012)
Andddd there's a million more but I think I've proven to you that your thoughts were wrong and why it is beneficial past 1 yrs old.