How Long to Breastfeed?

Further to the weaning issue. I just googled to find out what's the recommendation period to breastfeed a child. The first one is the Islamic way, based on the Book, whereas the second one I found was the WHO and UNICEF recommendation. Both give the same answer that mothers are recommended to continue breastfeeding the child for up to two years until two and half years of age.

I would like to share what has been written in the Quran regarding breastfeeding. Below is extracted from The Quranic Teachings and WHO websites. I hope they're useful for you because they really are for me. They gave me some kind of strength to continue nursing little Sheraz. It's been written there and science has proven it. I'm sure there must be a lot of benefits out of it.

The Quran has not ordained as to how long mothers must suckle the child. The individual circumstances would be the deciding factor in this respect. However, the Quran has said that it takes two and a half years for a mother to bear the burden of the foetus in her womb followed by the suckling of the child.

And We have enjoined on man doing of good to his parents; with trouble did his mother bear him and with trouble did she bring him forth; and the bearing (the burden) of him and the weaning of him was thirty months; ...

At another place the suckling period is described as two years.

And We have enjoined man in respect of his parents-- his mother bears him with weakness (and hardships) upon weakness (and hardship) and his weaning takes two years-- saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming.[31:14]

And the mothers should suckle their children for two whole years for him who desires to make complete the time of suckling; and their maintenance and their clothing must be-- borne by the father according to usage; no soul shall have imposed upon it a duty but to the extent of its capacity; neither shall a mother be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child, and a similar duty (devolves) on the (father's) heir, but if both desire weaning by mutual consent and counsel, there is no blame on them, and if you wish to engage a wet-nurse for your children, there is no blame on you so long as you pay what you promised for according to usage; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah and know that Allah sees what you do.[2:233].

Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. A recent review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Thereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.

Breastmilk is the natural first food for babies, it provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life.

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