Extended breastfeeding is considered anything past one year. Obviously, I've hit that mark and surpassed it with both of my boys. I'm sure outside of a few in my BaltimoreMommies.com and La Leche League social circles, people think I'm nuts for continuing past a year.
Well, the World Health Organizations recommends that children be breastfed until they are THREE. Yeah, that isn't a joke... They recommend three.
Babies' brains almost triple in size from birth to two years. Breastmilk provides a good supply of DHA, which will help my child's brain develop better. He's already a smarty-pants ;) Breastmilk also contains IGA, which helps keeps kids from getting sick by coating their intestinal lining. Yeah, I know... my kids have been sick for almost a month. Milk Dud got a milk version of the thing his older brother had. I blame my breastmilk ;) Breastfeeding helps their teeth align properly and helps with obesity when kids get older. It also provides significant amounts of nutrients to their diet.
Guess what, it benefits me, too. A study showed that for every year a woman breastfeeds, she reduces her breast cancer risk by 4.6%. It also reduces your risk of ovarian, uterine and endometrial cancers. My risk of osteoporosis is reduced as well. Type 2 diabetes risks are lower, so maybe I will even out the fact that I'm at increased risk for it due to my gestational diabetes.
So, don't ask me why I am still nursing. I just am :)