Breast milk is a food that is suitable and needed by the baby during the first 6 months of life. Exclusive breastfeeding until a 6 month old baby has been recommended by many world health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). After the age of the baby is more than 6 months, the baby will be weaned or fed and the mother can choose to continue breastfeeding or stop it. However, it is recommended to continue breastfeeding.
How good is the age of the child to be given ASI?
Breast milk is the best food for babies until they are 6 months old. After the age of 6 months, breastfeeding alone cannot meet the nutritional needs of the baby. Therefore, at this time the baby must be weaned while still being breastfed. Well, when should children stop being breastfed?
The answer is the mother herself. Mother who understands the condition of her and her child. Mothers can continue breastfeeding until the child is one or two years old. In Indonesia alone, the Indonesian Ministry of Health recommends continuing breastfeeding until children are two years old, according to a reference from WHO. However, you can continue breastfeeding if you and your child are not ready to stop breastfeeding. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the health impact you and your child can receive.
How long you continue breastfeeding is your decision, the most important thing is that you have succeeded in giving the baby exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the beginning of a healthy life for babies because breastfeeding can have long-term effects, up to adult children.
One more important thing is that you keep giving baby food that can fulfill its nutritional needs because breast milk alone is not enough after the baby is over 6 months old. Keep giving baby food that contains complete nutrition, consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
What are the benefits of continuing breastfeeding after 6 months?
Continuing breastfeeding can be a way to maintain close relationships with your child. For your child, breastfeeding is not just to fill his stomach, but more than that. Breastfeeding can provide comfort to your child. In addition, continuing breastfeeding after children over 6 months old can also help children digest their first solid food. The benefits of breastfeeding, however, cannot be replaced with formula milk.
Breastmilk is also still providing immunity, nutrition and vitamins in children at this time. Thus, children who continue breastfeeding are less likely to get sick than children who have not received breast milk. When children are sick, breast milk can also be an easy source of food for children to receive.
How do you stop breastfeeding?
You can stop giving ASI to your child at any time according to your needs. This decision all depends on you. It's not easy because there are many factors that influence your decisions, such as physical and emotional factors. However, this should be done gradually.
The first step you can do is let the baby finish the time to arrange it in full, after that offer him small portions of food. At this time, ASI is still the main food source. Over time, your child will be better able to eat well. You can find out from changes in feces. At this time, it is best to offer him food before he asks to suckle.
You might also want to replace breastfeeding with formula milk. However, this change must be done gradually, along with your child's growth and food intake. You must introduce the milk bottle to the child first, so that the child can receive formula milk well. You can start introducing children with milk bottles that contain formula milk while still giving them breast milk alternately. Giving both of them makes this transition work better.
You can't immediately stop breastfeeding because your breasts are still producing milk. Stopping breastfeeding directly will only cause problems in your breast, such as breast swelling or mastitis, because breast milk is still being produced. Stopping breastfeeding gradually can give your child time to adapt to new changes and also give your body time to no longer produce milk.
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