If you are pregnant, you may be asking yourself if you want to breastfeed your baby. There are many benefits to breastfeeding. Here are some facts from the American Academy of Pediatrics that may help you with your decision.
Human milk is uniquely superior for infants. Your body makes milk specifically for your baby and it changes as your baby grows. Breast milk provides complete nutrition for your baby for the first six months.
Research has shown that breast milk contains numerous antibodies and immune factors that protect baby against illnesses such as ear infections, diarrhea, bacterial meningitis, respiratory infections and urinary tract infections.
There are health and wellness benefits for mothers as well. Among other positive effects, women who breastfeed lose weight more quickly, have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer later in life, and may even have less of a problem with osteoporosis and hip fractures.
Breastfeeding is convenient and economic. The cost of buying formula can add up quickly, and with breastfeeding, there are no bottles to carry around and clean. When your baby is hungry, he or she won’t have to wait for you warm up a bottle to be fed.
Renown offers breastfeeding classes and forums. For a full list of classes, visit www.renown.org/childbirtheducation.
If you would like a private consultation with a certified lactation consultant, call The Lactation Connection at 775-982-5210 or visit www.renown.org/TheLactationConnection.
Contributed by Jean Hixon, Robin Hollen and Anne Franz