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.
- Benefits of breastfeeding
- What to expect in the first weeks
- How to prevent sore breasts
- Returning to work or school
- Breastfeeding an older baby
- 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.