This controversial picture on the cover of Time Magazine has sparked a huge debate. The BBC covered it here.
This is an interesting story, and a controversial one at that. The breastfeeding debate is huge, and the extended breastfeeding debate is even bigger.
Breast milk does provide the best nutrition for a baby. It is full of nutrients to support the needs of a growing child, essential (omega 3) fats for brain development and antibody’s to support the immune system.
As the baby weans their nutritional needs can be met through food – therefore is there any reason/nutritional benefit to continue breastfeeding longer than ‘necessary’, which is considered usually to be longer than one to two years? As there is little scientific evidence to support the benefits of extended breastfeeding in the developed world (research shows the benefits of extended breastfeeding in the developing world but this is a different scenario entirely whereby their nutritional status is lower, and their access to nutritious food is lower) the question arises why do some mothers continue to breastfeed their children above a certain age.
However, does the lack of scientific evidence to support extended breastfeeding make it wrong?
I’d love to know your thoughts!