Adjusting to life with a newborn is a beautiful time in your life; it will be full of changes and new decisions you will have to make. One of the most personal decisions a new mother will make is whether to breastfeed. Here are some of the many benefits for mom and baby as you begin your research and breastfeeding journey.
Why Moms Choose to Breastfeed
Many mothers find fulfillment and joy from the physical and emotional relationship they experience with their child while nursing. Breastfeeding provides a unique experience for the nursing mother and the baby, creating an exceptional and powerful connection. Your partner, the baby’s siblings and other relatives can all appreciate the new member of the family by welcoming the baby in a loving way.
Benefits for Mom
Mothers who breastfeed recover from childbirth more quickly and easily. The hormone oxytocin, released during breastfeeding, acts to return the uterus to its regular size more quickly and can reduce postpartum bleeding. Breastfeeding has become a well-documented protective factor for breast cancer and lowers a mother’s risk of ovarian cancers as well. Some studies have found that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol. As welcome as all of these benefits are, most mothers put the feeling of maternal fulfillment at the top of their list of reasons for breastfeeding.
Many families find benefit in saving on formula costs and the fact that breast milk is free and will only cost mom some time and attention. Breastfeeding can reduce the family’s health care costs or missed time from work due to a baby’s sickness. Some moms choose to purchase accessories to help the breastfeeding process go more smoothly. Many insurance companies also cover the cost of breastfeeding equipment, such as pumps if a mom chooses to pump or needs a pump when returning to work.
Benefits for Baby
Breast milk is the food naturally designed to best meet the needs of human babies. It has all the necessary nutrients in just the right amounts and is easy to digest.
Research shows breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from SIDS, ear infections and upper respiratory issues, including wheezing, asthma and pneumonia. Babies also experience fewer allergies, urinary tract infections, vomiting and diarrhea. Research also shows that children who breastfeed for more than six months are less likely to develop diabetes, heart disease and obesity as adults.
Helps Protect Against Acute Illness
Your breast milk is especially beneficial to your baby when it comes to protecting against acute illnesses. The live cells, including white blood cells, antibodies, immunity-boosting properties and growth factors, can’t be matched and are specific to your baby’s needs. Breast milk can give babies a head start in preventing and fighting infections. Your breast milk acts as the perfect superfood, providing above-average nutrition that is ideal for optimum growth. Your breast milk will also naturally adjust to meet your baby’s needs as the child grows.
There can be a lot to learn when it comes to breastfeeding, and you are not alone. Children’s Physicians offers breastfeeding support for all mothers. Visit our website or call us at 402-955-5400 to learn more. You don’t need to be a Children’s Physicians patient family to use their lactation services.
Keep Learning with Us
Between our Parenting U video series and our Just Kids Health podcast, there are plenty of opportunities to learn more with our experts.
Parenting U Video Series: Children’s Hospital & Medical Center offers a 100 percent virtual Parenting U video series covering popular topics such as Preparing for Your Newborn, Mastering Potty Training and Effective Timeout Techniques. Click here to see our list of topics to register.
Just Kids Health Podcast: With the Just Kids Health podcast, Children’s pediatric experts are here to answer your questions and weigh in on hot topics—to help you keep your child healthy, safe & strong. We’re here for you. Listen in.