Priscilla Morton from North Carolina shared with DailyMail.com that she currently breastfeeds her three-year-old son and also gives her six, 10, and 12-year-old children breast milk in a cup, claiming that it helps protect them from getting colds. While health officials suggest breastfeeding for at least a year due to the benefits it provides for the baby’s immune system and development, there isn’t a clear consensus on when to stop breastfeeding, making it a medically ambiguous issue.
At the age of 39, Ms Morton, who wasn’t breastfed as a child, made a personal decision to nurse all of her children for as long as possible. She acknowledges that strangers often stare when she breastfeeds her children in public, so she uses a sippy cup for her eldest child.
Other mothers, like Sharon Spink from the UK, who breastfed her daughter until the age of eight, and Sheryl Wynne, who breastfed her boys until they turned five and six, claim that it strengthened their bond with their children.
Extended breastfeeding is more common in many parts of the world, but less prevalent in the US, where most women stop breastfeeding after approximately six months. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 83 percent of babies born in the US in 2019 were exclusively breastfed for the first few months of their lives.
A mother’s breast milk is a baby’s primary source of nutrition and provides antibodies against pathogens for which they cannot be vaccinated. For example, breast milk from vaccinated women contains antibodies against the coronavirus, which are passed on to the baby, as stated in a report published in JAMA Pediatrics.
However, the evidence regarding the specific protections and benefits of a mother’s milk, such as long-term cognitive performance, is conflicting and subject to ongoing research.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding rates decline significantly by the time babies reach six months old. Less than 56 percent of American babies are breastfed at all by that point, and fewer than a quarter of them are exclusively breastfed.
Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that mothers breastfeed their child for at least a year.
For More on this story visit Daily Mail