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Understanding the Important Reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby

Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed your baby, but it doesn’t come easily to all mothers and babies. Many mothers have difficulties with latching and positioning, but the lactation consultants available at the obstetrics unit of Palms West Hospital can help families overcome these challenges. Sticking with breastfeeding through the challenging first few weeks is a worthwhile endeavor, since it offers unique benefits for both babies and mothers.

Benefits for Babies

After birth, the first milk that a breastfed baby receives is called colostrum. Colostrum is packed with essential nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby from infections. Colostrum stimulates the development of your baby’s digestive system. The regular milk that comes in a few days after birth also contains the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs to thrive. Breastfed babies might have lower risks of going on to develop childhood obesity, asthma, leukemia, lower respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), type 2 diabetes, and ear infections. Additionally, research suggests that children who were breastfed as babies may display better verbal intelligence than those who were not.

Benefits for Mothers

Breastfeeding also confers health benefits on mothers. It can support the healing process after childbirth and it may decrease the risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes in women. It may even help mothers shed the weight they gained during pregnancy, since breastfeeding requires plenty of calories.

Benefits during Emergencies

For new moms who live in areas that are prone to natural disasters, breastfeeding can be a life-saver. During a natural disaster, access to clean water and formula may be limited. Breastmilk is readily available from breastfeeding mothers and it’s always at the right temperature.

The New Life Center at Palms West Hospital offers a warm, secure setting in which to welcome your baby into the world. In addition to our medical services, our obstetrics team in Loxahatchee, FL, provides lactation consulting and breast pump rentals. For general information about our obstetrics or other medical services, you can speak with a registered nurse at (561) 345-7009.

Categories: Children

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