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Benefits of Breastfeeding

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Benefits for Both Mom and Baby

While the decision to breastfeed is ultimately up to the mother and what works best for her and her little one, it is strongly recommended, as breastfeeding, even for a short period of time provides a host of health benefits for both mother and baby.

Benefits for the Baby

Provides Essential Nutrients

Breast milk is naturally made to meet the needs of your baby throughout the various stages of infancy. The first milk produced after giving birth, called colostrum, often is referred to as “liquid gold.” This is because colostrum is packed with essential vitamins and nutrients your baby needs. According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), your breast milk continues to change as your baby grows to meet his/her nutritional needs to support healthy growth and development.

Supporting Their Immune System

Along with providing your little one with essential nutrients, breast milk also contains antibodies that help your baby’s immune system to fight off infection. These antibodies are at the highest levels in a new mother’s colostrum.

Lowered Health Risks

Along with helping your little one fight off infection, the cells, hormones and antibodies present in breast milk also protect your baby from developing other health conditions. According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), breastfeeding your baby reduces the baby’s risk for the following health conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Leukemia (during childhood)
  • Childhood obesity
  • Ear infections
  • Eczema
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Lower respiratory infections
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Type 2 diabetes

Health Benefits for Mom

Lowered Health Risks

According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), breastfeeding can lower the mother’s risk of developing the following health conditions:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain types of breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer

Promoting a Healthy Weight

Breastfeeding after giving birth actually may help you to return to your pre-pregnancy weight. While more research needs to be done to find more evidence of this claim, many women have reported that breastfeeding has helped them to lose their pregnancy weight more quickly.

Maternity Services in Ohio

At Southwest General Health Center, we are prepared to work closely with you to have the most optimal birthing experience possible. Helping patients welcome new members to their families is one of the most joyous services we provide, and our compassionate staff is honored to play a role in this tremendous journey.

If you are considering breastfeeding, Southwest General's lactation consultants are available, one on one, at varied schedules, for basic information and answers to questions before and after delivery. Additionally, a mothers' support group is available for both expectant and nursing moms. For more information about breastfeeding services at Southwest General, including support, call the Lactation Line at 440-816-8397, weekdays.

To learn more about our services for expectant mothers or to schedule an appointment, visit our website.