Benefits of Breastfeeding
Why is breastfeeding best?
With the upcoming arrival of your new baby, there are many decisions to be made. None more important than deciding which form of nutrition is best for you and your baby. Numerous government and private industry associations today recognize and promote the importance of exclusively providing breastmilk to babies in the first twelve months of life.
Best for Baby:
- Research shows that breastfed infants have fewer and shorter episodes of illness.
- Breastfeeding is the most natural and nutritious way to encourage your baby’s optimal development.
- Colostrum (the first milk) is a gentle, natural laxative that helps clear baby’s intestine, decreasing the chance for jaundice to occur.
- The superior nutrition provided by breastmilk benefits your baby’s IQ.
- Breastfeeding is a gentle way for newborns to transition to the world outside the womb.
- The skin-to-skin contact encouraged by breastfeeding offers babies greater emotional security and enhances bonding.
- The activity of sucking at the breast enhances development of baby’s oral muscles, facial bones, and aids in optimal dental development.
- Breastfeeding appears to reduce the risk of obesity and hypertension.
- Breastfeeding delays the onset of hereditary allergic disease, and lowers the risk of developing allergic disease.
- Breastfeeding helps the baby’s immune system mature, protecting the baby in the meantime from viral, bacteria, and parasitic infections.
- Breastfeeding increases the effectiveness of immunizations, increasing the protection against polio, tetanus, and diphtheria vaccines.
- Breastfeeding protects against developing chronic diseases such as: celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and childhood cancers.
Lack of Breastfeeding Increases the Risk to the Infant of:
- Ear infections
- Childhood diabetes
- Gastrointestinal and diarrheal infections
- Childhood cancers
- Respiratory infections
- NEC (necrotizing enterocolitis)
Mom's Place offers FREE breastfeeding education and services to WIC mothers and their breastfed babies.To make an appointment, call (512) 972-6700. For our toll-free Breastfeeding Hotline, call 1-800-514-MOMS (6667).
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