Benefits of Breastfeeding

By: Sarah Martinelli

Breastfeeding is the ideal nutrition for your baby. The proteins in human breast milk are easier for your baby to digest than the cows milk protein found in artificial human milk (formula).

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding until 6 months of age followed by continued breastfeeding as food is introduced for 1 year or longer as long and mom and baby are both comfortable.

breastfeeding momBenefits of breastfeeding for mom:

  • Helps lose weight gained during pregnancy (you burn up to 500 calories per day making milk!)
  • Saves money (1 can of formula costs $25-$30.)
  • Saves time (No mixing formula in the middle of the night or washing bottles.)
  • Breastfeeding has been correlated with reduced risk for breast and ovarian can-
    cers.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for baby:

  • Reduced risk for ear, respiratory, and intestinal infections.
  • Reduced risk of asthma and skin allergies.
  • Reduced incidence of obesity later in life.
  • Reduced incidence of SIDS.

babyCommunity Resources to Make Breastfeeding a Success

Despite all the benefits to breastfeeding it is important to recognize that you will face challenges along the way. Being aware of resources available to you can help you overcome those challenges.

  • Arizona 24-hour breastfeeding hotline for breastfeeding questions: 1-800-833-4642. Staffed by nurses and board certified lactation educators.
  • Arizona WIC for nutrition education and breastfeeding support
  • La Leche League of AZ—free mother-to-mother breastfeeding support

Resources used: Breastfeeding Programs (2013) http://www.azdhs.gov , What’s in Breast Milk (2013) http://americanpregnancy.org , From the AAP Policy Statement: Breast Feeding and the Use of Human Milk. PEDIATRICS Vol 129 No 3 March 1, 2012.

 

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