How breastfeeding benefits you and your baby
I’d like to let you know about some of the benefits of breastfeeding and offer some resources for breastfeeding moms. Before we get started, though, I want you to know that this is not meant to make you feel like you have to breast feed or that you failed if you stopped or didn’t want to breast feed.
I am a lactation consultant, a pediatrician but most importantly, a mom. I breast fed both my boys and I am not going to lie, it was hard. I called it a labor of love. There were many days and nights where tears were shed over the laughing pump or the spilled milk or the still hungry baby. All of that is normal, and it does get better, but it’s not easy.
Here are some of the benefits of breastfeeding for baby
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a policy on breast feeding which can be found on their website, but this is a list of the most recognized benefits of breast feeding. It is known to protect against a variety of diseases and conditions in the infant such as:
- blood infections
- respiratory tract infections
- necrotizing enterocolitis (infection of the intestines, found most often in premature babies)
- ear infections
- urinary tract infections
- serious infections in preterm infants
- type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- lymphoma, leukemia, and Hodgkin’s disease
- childhood overweight and obesity
There are also maternal health benefits to breastfeeding such as
- decreased postpartum bleeding and faster recovery of the uterus
- decreased menstrual blood loss and increased child spacing (lactational amenorrhea)
- earlier return to prepregnancy weight
- decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers
So, for those that choose to breast feed whether exclusively or a little, the benefits are there.
Now what if you need help?
There are a number of lactation consultants in the Orlando area, including myself who are ready and willing to help with feeding issues. If you’d like to request an appointment with a pediatrician, call 321-8HEALTH (321-843-2584) to find a pediatrician near you or request an appointment online.
There are also great resources for breastfeeding mothers at The Breastfeeding Education Center at Winnie Palmer Hospital. You can make a private appointment with a lactation consultant (insurance accepted) or attend one of several prenatal or postpartum classes or support groups.
Call the Breastfeeding Helpline at 321-THE-BABY (321.843.2229) with your questions or to schedule a private consultation.
Good Luck on the journey of bonding with your new baby!
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