For many women, having a baby can be one of the most exciting and joyful experiences in their life. A new baby, however, can bring many questions about providing excellent home care. To keep your baby as healthy as possible as he or she grows, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the maternity hospital at Good Samaritan strongly recommend that new mothers breastfeed their babies for at least six weeks after birth and that, ideally, breastfeeding continues for twelve months. This natural practice can benefit both you and your developing baby in the following ways:
- It contains more nutrients than formula
Human breast milk contains many vitamins and nutrients that cannot be found in store-bought formulas. When breastfeeding, the baby ingests essential growth factors that promote healthy growth, as well as immunoglobulins that fight off viral and bacterial infections.
- It is easier for the baby to digest
Formulas can be difficult for a growing child’s gastrointestinal system to digest and may lead to stomach upset. Human breast milk contains a specific balance of easy-to-digest proteins that are less likely to result in digestive problems.
- It is always available
If you are breastfeeding, you have food for your baby always available to you.There is no need to visit the store for more formula or spend time preparing it before your hungry child can drink.
- It is good for your health
Breastfeeding is not just good for your child’s health—it also improves your health and wellness. As a child is breastfeeding, hormones are released that promote mothering behavior and improve mother-child bonding. These hormones also help to reduce the uterus to its normal size more rapidly. Breastfeeding may also help to prevent breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
The Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose offers a variety of programs to help new mothers with the breastfeeding process. Our trained lactation consultants can answer any questions that you may have about providing the best possible care to your child—simply call (888) 724-2362 today for more information.