Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Breastfeeding benefits both mom and baby
Time Magazine recently showed a mother nursing her 3 year old son on its front cover generating quite a bit of controversy. Some felt Time was just going for the “shock factor”, others felt it inappropriate for a child that age to still be nursing while others expressed that it was up to the woman as to when she felt it was the right time to stop nursing.
There is no specific time a mom should stop and we support a longer period of nursing -- but we do agree that Time created quite a heated discussion over the depiction.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has revised its policy on breastfeeding as being a public health issue rather than a lifestyle choice. The policy recommends that babies are solely breastfed for their first six months of life. Iron-enriched foods can be introduced into baby’s diet during the next six months.
Breast milk provides the following advantages for babies:
• It provides antibodies to strengthen a baby’s immune system, giving them a good defense against contracting infections and a number of diseases later in life including juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancer before the age of 15.
• It prevents malnutrition caused by over-dilution of infant formula.
• It delays introduction of sugar into their system.
• It is extremely cost effective and convenient.
• Babies receive essential nutrients that are not in formula.
• Diarrheal disease is three to four times less likely to occur.
• Decreases risk of SIDS
• Reduces number of ear infections
• Babies will have less cavities over their lifetime
• Researchers have found evidence that suggests breastfed children develop fewer psychological, behavioral and learning problems as they grow.
• Cognitive development increases
• Breast fed children were on average more secure with themselves, more mature and more assertive.
For moms, breast feeding provides the following advantages:
• More calories are burned during lactation helping moms to lose all the weight they gained during pregnancy.
• The hormone oxytocin is released causing the uterus to return to its normal size quicker.
• Moms reduce their risk of developing osteoporosis later in life
• Moms reduce their risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. For those who nurse for two or more years reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by 24%!
• The bonding between a nursing mom and her child is stronger than ANY other form of contact.
For many moms, it takes about a month for their milk to fully come in causing many moms to give up trying to breast feed. Lactation nurses as well as our own nursing staff can assist you with any concerns you may have during this transitional time. For first time moms, this is an entirely different experience and we understand you may have concerns or questions.
For moms who are returning to work, they can continue to nurse by pumping their milk during their lunch hour. Nursing provides optimal nutrition for your baby so we do strongly recommend that you consider extending the duration that you breast feed. When the time is right for you and baby, we will be happy to assist you with weaning and transitioning them to a bottle or cup.