Breastfeeding

To make the most informed choice about this important decision, we encourage you to attend a breastfeeding class during your pregnancy and talk to your doctor about choosing to breastfeed.

Benefits

Benefits of Breastmilk

  • The nutrients found in breastmilk and the special benefits these nutrients provide cannot be copied by formula.
  • A mother's first milk is the perfect starter food for babies. It is made in breasts during pregnancy and begins to change into mature milk a few days after the baby is born. Colostrum is like baby's first immunization.
  • Colostrum acts as a natural laxative.
  • Not only is breastmilk a unique combination of fats, sugars, minerals, proteins, vitamins and enzymes -- all customized to promote brain and body growth for an infant – breastmilk changes to meet the baby's growing needs.
  • Breastmilk is always fresh, perfectly clean, just the right temperature, instantly available and the most natural and nutritious food for the human baby at the lowest cost.

Breastfeeding offers benefits for baby, mom, and the community.

Benefits for Mom

Breastfeeding is also healthy for mom.

Good for you

  • Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding helps the uterus shrink to the way it was before pregnancy and it reduces the amount of blood loss after delivery.
  • Breastfeeding mothers usually resume their menstrual cycles 20-30 weeks later than formula-feeding mothers.

Bonding
Breastfeeding provides a special bond between you and your baby.

 

What breastfeeding is really like

Throughout your pregnancy, changes occurred that prepared them to produce an adequate supply of milk. Babies who are born at term, after 37 weeks, are also ready. They have practiced sucking on their fingers and fists and have swallowed amniotic fluid before birth.

But it's not as easy as it looks. In the beginning, you and your baby will have to work together to learn how to breastfeed.

Your nurse and/or lactation education counselor can provide individual assistance while you are in the hospital. A lactation education counselor will answer your questions and provide the information, assistance, and reassurance you need and help is available.