The Beauty of Breastfeeding Your Baby
Breastfeeding can be a wonderful experience for both you and your baby. There are numerous reasons why mothers choose to breastfeed.
We at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center are here to support you in any way we can. Listed below are some reasons why you may choose to breastfeed.
Benefits to Baby
- Nutritionally, there is no better food for your baby than your milk. It is most easily digested and provides your baby with all the nutrients he or she needs.
- Immune factors in your breast milk may protect your baby from certain diseases and Infections, such as asthma, childhood cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, and celiac disease.
- Babies who are breastfed may have a decreased risk of SIDS, obesity, allergies, and ear infections.
- Breastfeeding strengthens the muscles of the jaw for speech development.
- Breastfeeding enhances brain and dental development.
- Breastfeeding provides a positive bonding experience for baby, with skin to skin contact and closeness to mom.
Benefits to Mom
- Breastfeeding helps control mom’s bleeding after delivery of the baby. It also helps shrink her uterus back to it’s pre-pregnancy size.
- Breastfeeding decreases mom’s risk of certain diseases such as osteoporosis, ovarian and breast cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the more you decrease your risk.
- Breastfeeding provides a positive bonding experience for mom knowing she is meeting her baby’s emotional and physical needs.
- Cost and Convenience. Breast milk is free, saving families thousands of dollars a year. It is always ready at the right temperature and the right amount.
Benefits to Society
- Healthier children with fewer medical conditions decrease medical costs for families and society.
- Healthier children mean less work loss for parents and their employers.
- Breastfeeding means less plastic use and waste. When breastfeeding, there is less pollution from shipping formula.
- There may be additional reasons a mother will choose to breastfeed her baby.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding should continue until the child is at least one, with the addition of complementary foods after six months.
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