Benefits of Breastfeeding

There are so many decisions to be made while you are pregnant, from choosing your prenatal care provider at the beginning of your pregnancy to choosing a pediatrician for after the birth of your baby. Of course, there is picking the crib, the car seat and maybe even moving to a house or an apartment that is larger. And then you also need to pick a name for your baby. While I’m not trying to overwhelm you, I do want to present the fact that choosing whether or not to breastfeed your baby is just as important a decision as any of those previously mentioned.

Breast milk was designed as the ideal food for your baby and, though the makers of formula have done their best to replicate it, breast milk and its benefits cannot be replaced. First of all, the yellow clear liquid your body produces during the first few days of your baby’s life, called colostrum, is incredibly high in white blood cells and helps provide antibodies for your baby to prevent many infections. The more colostrum your child receives the better. As the colostrum changes over to milk it will provide the exact amount of fats, proteins, vitamins and carbohydrates your baby needs. Due to the amazingly high nutritional quality of breast milk, breastfed babies are well known to have less difficulty with allergies, asthma, and even eczema.

From a practical standpoint, there are also numerous benefits to breastfeeding. Breast milk is always ready and the right temperature, which is especially convenient for those late night feedings. Because it is always readily available and produced by your body, it doesn’t cost you anything either! While breastfeeding, your body will naturally relax and also cause your baby to relax due to the hormones your body produces while you are nursing. This time of togetherness and relaxation promotes bonding between you and your baby. Also, so many women are concerned about getting back into shape after the birth of their child, and breastfeeding will assist in this effort.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends strictly breastfeeding for the first six months of your baby’s life. Even if you don’t feel you can breastfeed for that long, any length of time will provide benefits for your baby.

Women’s Center in Kettering, Ohio

Women’s Center-Kettering is a pregnancy resource center (visit website) that offers support and solutions for unexpected pregnancies to women in the Kettering, Centerville, Dayton and surrounding areas. Women’s Center-Kettering provides women with free pregnancy tests, ultrasound scans, prenatal vitamins, consulting on pregnancy decisions and an educational and material assistance program. To contact Women’s Center-Kettering call 937-643-4673 or email info@womenscenterohio.com. You can make an appointment online by visiting www.womenscenterohio.com.

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