Breastfeeding your Baby

Breastfeeding Your Baby

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the best, most nurturing way of feeding your new baby – something special you can do for your child and you.

  1. Woman with long hair breastfeeding her babyBenefits of breastfeeding
  2. What to expect in the first weeks
  3. How to prevent sore breasts
  4. Returning to work or school
  5. Breastfeeding an older baby
  6. When you need to be away

Breastfeeding is best for your baby

  • Breastmilk has everything your baby needs to grow and be healthy.
  • Breastmilk is easy to digest. Your baby’s stools will be soft and easy to pass.
  • Breastmilk protects babies from ear infections, colds, allergies, diarrhea and constipation. Your baby will be sick less and have fewer doctor visits.
  • Breastfeeding helps baby’s eyes and brain develop.
  • Breastfed children are less likely to have diabetes or become overweight in later years.
  • Breastfeeding is great for mother-baby bonding.

Breastfeeding is good for moms

  • Baby smells sweet and diapers smell less.
  • Breastfeeding saves time. No messy bottles to fix at night, so everyone sleeps better.
    Breastfeeding helps you lose weight.
  • Breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease.
  • Women enjoy breastfeeding. Hormones your body makes during breastfeeding help you relax and feel close to your baby.
  • Breastfed babies are easy to take on trips. Just grab the diapers and go!
  • Breastfeeding saves money (no formula or bottle costs, fewer doctor bills and medication costs).
  • WIC moms may get extra food for the first year of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is good for your family

  • Breastfeeding families are happy knowing their babies are getting the best food possible.
  • Fathers and others are very important. They can:
    Talk and sing to baby
  • Cuddle baby
  • Take baby for a walk
  • Bathe baby
  • Read or tell stories

How long should I keep breastfeeding? The choice is yours.

  • Any amount of breastfeeding is good for you and your baby.
  • You can breastfeed as long as you and your baby want to. You and your baby benefit from breastfeeding beyond one year of age.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for a year or more.
  • The longer you breastfeed the easier it is to breastfeed.

Plan ahead for breastfeeding

  • Tell your doctor or midwife you want to breastfeed immediately after you deliver.
  • Tell the nurses NOT to give your baby pacifiers, water or formula bottles at any time.
  • Have the baby room-in with you in the hospital. Nurse the baby often and whenever she shows interest.
  • Try to manage your labor and delivery without medications (medications do affect babies and make them drowsy at the breast).

Breastfeeding is a special gift only you can give your baby.

Next: What to expect in the first weeks

Updated Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 09:10AM