Breastfeeding Information

August is National Breastfeeding month.

BreastfeedingSoutheast Women’s Center offers information, facts and tips about breastfeeding a baby.

There are some extenuating circumstances that don’t allow breastfeeding to occur for some mothers. For one, it takes a lot of patience and dedication to get into the a perfect flow. As well, various issues can arise that are beyond the mother’s control, and therefore the baby has to be formula fed.

For those who want to try to breastfeed their child, take a look at some information about the benefits of breastfeeding.

Colostrum

Colostrum is the first milk produced during pregnancy and just after birth. Known as “liquid gold,” colostrum is a thick liquid that is deep yellow in color and rich in nutrients and antibodies that protect your baby from infections.

Colostrum helps your newborn digestive system grown and function. Because of how tiny a newborn’s stomach is, your baby only gets a tiny amount of the liquid gold at each feeding – but that tiny amount is all he/she needs because of how rich it is!

By the 3rd to 5th day after birth, colostrum will change into mature milk. Milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, protein and water to help baby continue to grow. Although thinner than colostrum, it still contains the nutrients and antibodies you baby needs for healthy growth.

Health Benefits to Breastfeeding

Breastmilk is unique and changes to meet your baby’s needs The cells, hormoones and antibodies found in milk protect from illness. A lot of research has been done to suggest that babies who are breastfed lower the risk of developing a variety of illness, including, but not limited to:

  • Asthma
  • Childhood Leukemia
  • Childhood Obesity
  • Ear Infections
  • Eczema
  • Diarrhea and Vomiting
  • Lower Respiratory Infections
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Type 2 Diabetes

Health benefits aren’t only for baby; there is also plenty of health benfits for Mom, too!
Breastfeeding a child lowers the risk of:

  • Certain Types of Breast Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Type 2 Diabetes

Breastfeeding has also been known to help Moms lose their baby-weight, too. Although research is still being done, many women believe that breastfeeding a baby helped them get back to their pre-pregnancy weight quicker.

Other Benefits to Breastfeeding

Although at first breastfeeding can be a little time consuming and difficult, and require a little more effort than breastfeeding, once settled into a good routine life is easier with breastfeeding. Think about it, no measuring formula, no mixing formula in the middle of the night, no bottles or nipples to have to wash, and no running to the store when formula runs out!

Speaking of not having to run to the store, that brings us to the next point – breastfeeding doesn’t cost any money. Did you know, between formula and supplies, it can cost well over $1,500 a year? Imagine how much you could save if you breastfeed! As well, babies who are breastfed may also be sick less often, keeping healthcare costs lower, too.

Lastly, as the most rewarding of all, breastfeeding keeps mother and baby close. Physical, skin-to-skin contact is very important to newborns, as it helps them feel more comforted, secure, and warm,. Physical contact is not only important to baby, but to mom, too. Skin-to-skin contact boosts oxytocin levels, a hormone that helps breastmilk flow and can calm the mother!

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