Thursday, August 6, 2015

Breastfeeding doesn’t only benefit baby – it benefits mommy, too!

Every new mom knows the decision about whether to breastfeed her baby is an important one. But many new moms are not aware that while breastfeeding offers benefits for the baby, there are benefits for her, too. Before you make a decision about breastfeeding, check out these facts.

What are the benefits of breastfeeding your baby? Breastfeeding:

  • Provides great nutritional value. Colostrum, the “first milk” produced, is rich in nutrients and antibodies. Mature milk is made up of the perfect formula of fat, sugar, water and protein for your baby.
  • Protects against numerous childhood illnesses and infections.
  • Lowers risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Lessens chance of developing Type 1 diabetes and some allergies.
  • Creates physical and emotional bonding with mother.
  • Breastfed children are less likely to become overweight or obese.
  • There is a correlation between breastfeeding and better cognitive development in school-age children.

What types of illness and infections does breastfeeding protect against?

  • Asthma
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Ear infections
  • Eczema
  • Gastrointestinal challenges, specifically NEC, or necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Leukemia (childhood)
  • Lower respiratory infections
How do moms benefit from breastfeeding?

  1. Improved healing and less blood loss after giving birth.
  2. Better weight loss after having a baby.
  3. More opportunities for emotional bonding with baby.
  4. Lowered risk of postpartum depression.
What health conditions may breastfeeding lower risk for in moms?
  • Certain types of breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
What are the economic benefits of breastfeeding?

According to the government's MedlinePlus website:
  • Breastfeeding can save hundreds of dollars per year that might otherwise be spent on infant formula.
  • Better overall health of breastfed infants could mean less need for medical services.
  • Healthier breastfed infants could result in parents who take fewer sick days to stay home and care for ill infants.
  • Fewer premature deaths of breastfed infants could mean a savings associated with the funeral costs as well as lost workdays for parents.
Reasons women don’t breastfeed:
  • Mom works outside the home. Check out this link for workplace solutions. 
  • Believes it will be too time-consuming. In fact, breastfeeding can be a quick and easy solution to feeding your baby. 
  • Baby has health challenges. Speak with your doctor or health care provider.
  • Mom has health challenges and/or takes medication. As is the case if your baby has health challenges, consult with your doctor or health care provider in this case. 
While breastfeeding may seem challenging at first, experts agree it can actually become easy once you develop a routine. Consider:

  1. There are no bottles and nipples to sterilize.
  2. There is no need to purchase, make and mix formula.
  3. No bottles to warm.
  4. Breastfeeding allows you to feed your baby immediately.

Where can you find help and support?

There are many types of assistance and support available regarding breastfeeding. Visit this site for information regarding help and support.

Breastfeeding offers numerous health, economic and emotional benefits to both baby and mom. With the help and support available, new moms should consider this method of feeding and relish the benefits it provides!

Live Healthy. Live Smart.

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