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Aug 23 2018

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month! The first week of August was World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), but people are celebrating the amazing benefits of breastfeeding throughout the entire month while continuously working to ensure that women have the support they need while they breastfeed.

Why is breastfeeding so important? There are so many reasons why breastfeeding is amazing!

(Photo Source: www.thealphaparent.com )

Babies who breastfeed are healthier. Breast milk is designed to be digested by your baby and is full of vitamins, antibodies, and protection for your newborn. Breastfeeding protects children against diarrhea and pneumonia, which are two of the leading causes of child mortality globally. When babies breastfeed, their risk of sudden infant death syndrome reduces by around 50%! Breastfed babies also have a better response to vaccines than formula-fed babies. Breastfed babies also have a lower risk of developing obesity into adulthood.

Breastfeeding is practical! Formula can cost anywhere from $4 - $10 a day, depending on which brand you choose and how much your baby consumes.
Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding! Studies have shown that mothers who breastfeed recover from childbirth much faster. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of mothers developing ovarian cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, or high cholesterol.
Breastfeeding your baby releases feel-good hormones such as prolactin and oxytocin that promote emotional bonding between new mothers and their babies. Oxytocin also works to help your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size. Being able to supply your baby with nourishment is also very empowering for women.

Knowing that you are helping your baby thrive and grow can give you a boost of confidence and remind you that your body can do wonderful things, which is especially important postpartum when a new mother needs all the reassurance and reminders she can get!

The most important benefit of breastfeeding is the connection you feel when you and your baby spend time together. You learn how to read your baby’s hunger and fullness cues. You receive maternal fulfillment. Your baby falls asleep easier after he or she nurses. There’s no better way to bond with your newborn than through breastfeeding. You can have skin-to-skin contact in a quiet environment while you nourish your child, who feels safe, warm, and has a full belly. There’s nothing better than that!

Click HERE to read about AHVN Director Kathy Pillow-Price's experiences while breastfeeding!


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