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Health Department Notes

Breastfeeding gives babies a healthy start in life

Most people think of breastfeeding as something just between mom and baby. The truth is, breastfeeding is a special time for everyone.

Breastfeeding gives mom, dad, grandparents and the entire family a reason to be proud and become part of the new baby’s life.

It is natural for a mom to feel unsure about breastfeeding at first. After all, maybe she has never breastfed, or maybe she tried to before but it didn’t go well. You can provide a mom with loving support so she will feel confident breastfeeding.

Most women can breastfeed – regardless of a mom’s age, breast size, and schedule. Breastfeeding often, avoiding bottles and pacifiers in the first few weeks, and finding a comfortable breastfeeding position are keys to success. Learning how to breastfeed takes time and patience. Encourage a new mom to ask her health care provider questions, attend breastfeeding classes, or both – especially if she has any doubts or concerns about how breastfeeding is going. Breastfeeding can work, with a little loving support.

New mothers need support with breastfeeding and help with child care and household chores. Dad and other family members can cuddle, bathe, diaper, or play with baby. Families can show the breastfeeding mom how proud they are of her. This is a very important time in a baby’s life.

Breastfeeding gives babies a healthy start in life. Research proves it, again and again. Breast milk helps babies brain grow and is easier for them to digest, causing fewer upset stomachs. Breastfed babies get sick less often. Breastfeeding reduces baby’s risk of respiratory and GI infections, eczema, diabetes, obesity and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In other words, breast milk is the perfect food for babies.

Breastfeeding is good for mom, too. Breastfeeding moms produce a special hormone that helps her relax and feel close to her baby. Breastfeeding after birth helps moms recover from childbirth faster and it also reduces her risk for breast cancer, ovarian cancer and diabetes.

Support a breastfeeding mom and be proud you are helping her do something good for the baby, for herself and the entire family.

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