7 Things You Didn’t Know About Breastfeeding

Author: Activate Allen County

February 21, 2016

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So you’re trying to decide between choosing to breastfeed your child, or give them formula. This can be a difficult decision for some families. It is important to find out as much as you can about your options so you will be well-informed when it comes to decision time.

Did you know that breastfeeding is beneficial to both mother and child in many different ways? It creates a strong bond and offers many health benefits. Here are a few things you may not have known about breastfeeding and why it might be the best decision for your child.

Breast milk contains antibodies.

Human milk helps boost the infant’s immune systems and protects them from bacteria and viruses. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of respiratory tract infections, ear infections, bacterial meningitis, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, infant diarrhea and common colds and cases of flu.

Fewer healthcare visits.

In comparison to never-breastfed infants, exclusively breastfed infants tend to need fewer healthcare visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations resulting in a lower total medical care cost.

The mother benefits.

Breastfeeding creates a reduced risk of ovarian cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and premenopausal breast cancer. The longer she breastfeeds, the higher the benefit. In fact, it has been found that a woman who breastfeeds for 8 years has nearly a 0% risk of breast cancer.

Your baby can smell you.

Newborns have a strong sense of smell and know the unique scent of your breast milk. That is why your baby will turn his or her head to you when he or she is hungry.

Breast milk doesn’t only come out of your nipple.

One breast (usually the right) will produce more milk than the other, but there are approximately 15 to 25 milk ducts in each breast that make milk, and several pores in each breast where milk comes out of, not just the single hole in your nipple.

You don’t run out.

Many women are concerned they won’t produce enough milk, but the body produces plenty and the child doesn’t consume it all. On average, babies remove 67% of the milk mama has available—they eat until fullness, not until the breast is emptied.

More sleep for the infant and mother.

Human milk contains substances that promote sleep and calmness in babies, resulting in an easier night’s sleep and an average of about 45 minutes of more sleep per night when compared to those who formula feed.

Breastfeeding can offer both mother and child health benefits as well as great bonding time.

There are lactation consultants available throughout the community for consulting and helping with the process as well as giving more knowledge on breastfeeding, including at WIC, LaLeche League Lima and all area hospitals. Learn all you can about your options, you won’t regret it later.