Parents should breastfeed their children for two years or longer, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended within updated policy recommendations.
The report said pediatricians should support breastfeeding -- even after solid foods are introduced.
In addition to providing key nutrients research has shown links between breastfeeding and decreased rates of certain illnesses. That includes a lower risk for respiratory tract infections, obesity, ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome, the AAP says.
Breastfeeding beyond one year has also been associated with protection for parents. That includes a lower risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and breast and ovary cancers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. Beyond six months, breastfeeding should be maintained along with complementary, nutritious foods.