Breastfeeding 101

Interesting facts about breastfeeding...

Breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can do to give your child the very best start in life. Breast milk provides the optimum nutrition for your baby. Despite their efforts, formula companies simply CANNOT duplicate the amazing benefits of breast milk. Breastfeeding your infant provides advantages to general health, growth and development while significantly decreasing risk for a large number of acute and chronic diseases, lower respiratory infections, ear infections and urinary tract infections. The American Academy of Pediatrics identifies breastfeeding as the ideal method of feeding and nurturing infants and recognizes breastfeeding as primary in achieving optimal infant and child health, growth, and development.

For Your Baby:

  • A number of studies show that there may be a possible protective effect of human milk feeding against sudden infant death syndrome, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, Crohn’s disease, allergic diseases and other digestive diseases.
  • Breastfeeding has also been linked to possible higher IQ levels.
  • Breast milk contains immunities to diseases and aids in the development of baby’s immune system.
  • Breast milk lowers the risk of baby developing asthma.
  • Breastfeeding protects baby against diarrheal infections.
  • Breastfeeding satisfies baby’s emotional needs. There is no more comforting feeling for an infant of any age than being held close and cuddled while breastfeeding.
  • Breast milk provides perfect infant nutrition.
  • Breast milk helps pass meconium. Babies are born with a thick tar-like substance called meconium in their intestines. Colostrum, or early milk, is designed to help move this substance through the infant’s body.
  • Breast milk acts like a natural tranquilizer and pain relief for baby. Breast milk actually contains chemicals that suppress pain (endorphins). Aside from this, the comfort a baby derives from being held close and suckling is remarkable.

For You:

  • Breastfeeding lessens postpartum bleeding. Women who breastfeed have an earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight. Baby’s suckling helps shrink mother’s uterus after childbirth.
  • Nursing helps mom loose weight after baby is born. Breastfeeding requires an extra 500 calories per day.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and pr-menopausal breast cancer.
  • Breast milk is FREE! It has been estimated that the cost of purchasing infant formula for the first year after birth was over $1,400 at today's prices.
  • Much nicer diaper changes. The bowel movements of breastfed babies smell mild and inoffensive.
  • Easier to clean spit up stains.

For You and Your Baby:

  • Breastfed babies require fewer doctor visits. Since breastfed babies are statistically healthier, they see the doctor less often. Breast milk is the perfect food for a sick baby. When a formula fed baby gets a gastrointestinal ailment they are usually put on an artificial electrolyte solution because formula is too hard for them to digest. Breast milk, however, Is easily digested and soothing to the intestines, so there is no need for expensive artificial electrolyte solutions.
  • Breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and baby.
  • Breast milk is always ready (no bottles to tote) and always the right temperature. Breast milk tastes better than formula. Human breast milk is remarkably sweet and light. Breast milk always has the right proportions of fat, carbohydrates and protein.
  • Breast milk has never been recalled.

Now that you are a mother...

What you do and what you ingest will be passed directly into your baby. Drugs, alcohol, smoking, and medications will be present in your breast milk if you are using these substances. Healthy, wholesome foods are best for you and your growing baby.

Jeffrey Harris