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August is National Breastfeeding Month!

Posted on: 08/09/2013

National Breastfeeding Month

The United States Breastfeeding Committee has established August as National Breastfeeding Month – and with good reason. Although production of breast milk is nature’s mechanism for feeding our infants, breastfeeding rates continue to fall short of meeting the nation’s Healthy People Objectives for 2020.

According to WomensHealth.gov, breastfeeding has many benefits for mom, baby, and society overall.

Research shows that if “90 percent of families breastfed exclusively for 6 months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented. The United States would also save $13 billion per year — medical care costs are lower for fully breastfed infants than never-breastfed infants. Breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.” – womenshealth.gov

Did you know?
Breast milk changes over time to adapt to the needs of our growing infants. Early breast milk is rich in nutrients and antibodies and is produced to match the amount your baby can consume. However, as your baby grows, your breast milk changes into “mature” milk. Mature milk contains the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help baby grow.

Breast milk is easier to digest than formula. The proteins in formula are made from cow’s milk and it takes time for babies’ stomachs to adjust to digesting them.

Breast milk can fight disease. The hormones, cells, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness. Formula cannot match the unique chemical makeup of human breast milk. In fact, among formula-fed babies, ear infections and diarrhea are more common. Formula-fed babies also have higher risks of asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and lower respiratory infections

However, the benefits do not stop there. Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding saves time and money.  Formula and supplies can cost a lot of money each year, and breastfed babies are sick less often, which can save on healthcare costs as well. And, once you get the hang of it, there are no bottles and nipples to sterilize. You don’t have to mix formula or warm bottles. You can simply feed your baby right away, and as needed.

You can bond through breastfeeding and increase their sense of wellbeing.
Breastfeeding is an important way to bond with your baby. In addition, the skin-to-skin contact can boost your oxytocin levels, a hormone that has a calming effect on the body.

Breastfeeding can decrease your health risks. Breastfeeding is linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and postpartum depression.

Breast milk is an amazing gift from nature! While there may be some challenges with breastfeeding, you can see that the benefits are tremendous!

If you have questions or are concerned about your ability to breastfeed, please speak to your health care provider.  If you would like to make an appointment with one of our OBs, please call us at 614. 583.5552 or email us at contactus@cwc4women.com.

 

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