Practical Benefits of Breastfeeding Past One Year

Updated on March 9, 2018

Breastfeeding Past One Year.

Many moms count down the days or months until their baby is ready to wean from breastfeeding. Especially if you have more than one child to look after, breastfeeding presents many challenges to a busy mom. Research overwhelming shows that “breast is best,” but it is not always the easiest way to provide nutrition for your little one.

In the US, those mothers who do breastfeed generally have a goal of making it either to the six month or one year mark. Many experts tout the benefits of breast milk during these growth periods. It is much more rare here than in other countries for a mother to continue nursing past one year, partly because not many medical professionals talk about the benefits of going beyond a year, and partly because it has become less socially acceptable to do so. For all sorts of reasons, women are often encouraged to stop breastfeeding after this milestone, and are not properly educated about the benefits that continued breastfeeding can offer both their baby and themselves.

In other parts of the world, breastfeeding well into toddler-hood or beyond is considered normal. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding up to two years old and beyond, and this is practiced far more widely in other countries than it is in the US. Research shows that the benefits of breastfeeding continue as long as nursing continues, which is reason enough for many women to continue breastfeeding after one year. However, there are several benefits that are not so obvious, which we’ll cover here. These benefits focus on emotional and practical reasons for breastfeeding to continue a little longer.

Bonding with your baby as they continue to grow.

Sometimes it may be stressful when your baby is hungry and you’re the only one that can console them because you’re the only one who has what they want, but the bond formed from breastfeeding can offer emotional benefits to both baby and mom. According to La Leche League, Babies wean naturally, and when they aren’t forced to independence through bottle feeding too early, they actually become more independent as an older child. This bond also is beneficial to mom—there is something about being needed by that little human that makes mom feel special, loved, and important.

Preparing and washing bottles takes time.

Baby crying at 2am? It takes only a few seconds to wake up, take baby out of the crib, and lift up your shirt. Baby will usually fall back asleep after five to ten minutes of nursing, and typically don’t even fully awaken during this time. Taking the time to prepare a bottle allows too much time for the situation to escalate, and to risk a long night of crying and convincing baby to go back to sleep.

Pumping may get old, but can be considered “me time” you’re guaranteed to have uninterrupted.

If you are a working mom and breastfeeding after one year, you’re more than likely hauling a breast pump to work with you every day. Many moms loathe pumping, but some really look forward to having a “time-out” for a few minutes where they can take a break, uninterrupted. This is sometimes the only time throughout the entire day that a working mom can sit down without worrying about a phone call, e-mail, older child, etc. asking for something. You can use this time to relax.

Weight loss related to breastfeeding is shown to be more sustainable if weaning is delayed.

Although not the case for all nursing women, many lose weight while breastfeeding. Most of the pounds come off during the first few months post-partum, but studies show that the weight is more likely to stay off the longer you continue nursing.

Breast Milk is free.

Formula is expensive. Babies can have cow's milk after one year, which costs less than formula, but is still not free. Breast milk doesn’t cost anything. Even in cases where the mom is malnourished, most women are able to produce enough milk their baby needs, and by one year your child will be eating solids for additional nutrition anyway.

Of course, breastfeeding after one year, or breastfeeding at all, is your choice, and no one should cause you to feel that you made the wrong choice one way or the other. There are also benefits to weaning, such as no longer having to worry about pumping and making feedings on the go more convenient as baby can now manipulate a bottle. These are merely some of the benefits to continued breastfeeding that are often overlooked.

How long do you plan on breastfeeding?

How many months do you plan on breastfeeding your baby?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • I haven’t breastfed in three months, but I still produce milk. Could I start over again and breastfeed when my baby is a year old?

    Yes, you can! Just try feed at regular intervals for consistency. After a few days, the milk will come back.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)