Jean Hixon, Robin Hollen and Ann Franz
Lactation Consultants, Renown Children’s Hospital
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, backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics that might help you make up your mind.
Human milk is uniquely superior for infants. Your body makes milk specifically for your baby and changes as your baby grows. Breast milk provides complete nutrition for your baby for the first six months.
Research has shown that breast milk also contains numerous antibodies and immune factors that make your baby more resistant to illnesses such as ear infections, diarrhea, bacterial meningitis, and respiratory and urinary tract infections.
There are health and wellness benefits for mothers, too. Among other positive effects, women who breastfeed lose weight quicker, 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, too. The cost of buying formula can add up quickly, and with breastfeeding, there are no bottles to carry around and clean. And when your baby is hungry, he or she won’t have to wait until you warm up a bottle to be fed.
For more information on breastfeeding, including a variety of breastfeeding frequently asked questions, visit the Renown Children’s Hospital online resource library on renown.org.