Benefits of Breastfeeding
There are many decisions you'll make as a parent, beginning from the moment your child is born. Few decisions take place as quickly after birth as the decision of how to nourish your baby. There are many factors to consider when making this decision. We will address several of them here.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breast milk as the best and most comprehensive nutrition for infants. The AAP says that whenever possible, babies should be breastfed exclusively for the first six months. After other foods have been introduced, the AAP encourages mothers to continue to nurse (breastfeed) until the baby is at least a year old, and as long after that as both mother and child are willing.
Breast milk is good for babies – and for mom, too – for many reasons:
- It provides natural antibodies that help your baby resist illnesses, such as colds and ear infections.
- It may reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in the first year of the baby's life.
- Breast milk is usually more easily digested than formula, so babies often experience less gas and constipation.
- Some research shows that breastfed babies have higher levels of cognitive function. So breastfeeding may increase your child's intelligence.
- Studies show that breast milk may help children by reducing the risk of being overweight in childhood, or of developing asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, leukemia, lymphoma or Hodgkin's disease. (WebMD)
- Women who breastfeed have reduced risks of breast cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, or heart disease.
- Breastfeeding also provides a powerful bonding experience for both mother and baby.
But not mother’s breastfeeding experience is a smooth one. Some mothers may experience complications that make it difficult to breastfeed. CBHA has available a breastfeeding counselor that is a valuable resource in providing breastfeeding education and support to answer questions or assist in working through many of the common complications that breastfeeding mothers experience. Don’t hesitate in contacting CBHA if you are having difficulty in your breastfeeding experience. We are here for you every step of the way . . .