Newborn feeding: Breastfeeding
Breastmilk is the perfect food for your baby. It has nutrients that are not found in formula.
There are many benefits of breastfeeding
- convenience: you do not need to prepare
- financial: your family can save up to $3,000 a year in formula costs
- public health: breastfeeding babies are healthier than babies who formula feed
- environmental: there is no clean-up or waste
- emotional: breastfeeding provides security, comfort and bonding.
Benefits for your baby
Breastfed babies are known to:
Did you know?
Breastmilk does not stain clothing and it produces less-smelly diapers than formula.
- have healthier immune systems
- be less likely to have ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, bronchitis, influenza and meningitis
- have decreased response to allergies
- have a lower risk for diseases such as diabetes, childhood cancer and asthma
- have a lower risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
- be less likely to be overweight or obese
- have fewer doctors' visits and hospital stays
- have higher IQs.
Any amount of breastmilk gives your baby's immune system positive effects, both short- and long-term. Breastmilk changes as your baby develops, making it the perfect food for growth and development. It is the only food your baby needs for the first six months.
Benefits for you
For you, breastfeeding:
After your baby is born, contact a lactation consultant and consider scheduling an appointment for a personal breastfeeding assessment.
- helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size
- helps reduce bleeding after birth
- can help protect against breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, anemia and urinary tract infections
- helps you lose weight
- releases hormones that help you relax and enjoy your baby.
You and your baby are partners in breastfeeding. You both are learning together. It is normal if it takes awhile for you to feel comfortable with breastfeeding.
Your baby may nurse well right from the start. Or, your baby may need more time before breastfeeding is well established. That means being a little more patient and making sure you are doing what you need to be physically comfortable during a feeding.
Getting some support and advice if you feel there is a problem can make breastfeeding go more smoothly.