A growing body of research shows breast milk is the ideal food for your baby. It contains a natural mix of nutrients, designed to protect your baby from common childhood illnesses, all while helping him grow into a strong, healthy toddler.
Studies suggest that nursing can decrease your child's future risk of obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, childhood leukemia, and other forms of cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health, breastfeeding offers many benefits to your little one.
- Breastfed infants have fewer deaths during the first year and experience fewer illnesses than babies fed formula. Expressed breast milk provides these same benefits.
- Some of the nutrients in breast milk also help protect an infant against conditions like diarrhea, middle ear infections, and certain lung infections.
- Some recent government-supported research also suggests that breast milk contains important fatty acids (building blocks) that help an infant's brain develop. Two specific fatty acids, known as DHA and AA, may help increase infants’ cognitive skills.
But the positives don't end there. There are big benefits for Mom, too. Breastfeeding doesn't cost a penny. Since there are no bottles to prepare or wash it saves time, and you don't have to worry if the milk is the right temperature; it's always perfect!
Even better, breastfeeding can help you drop your pregnancy pounds faster, lower stress and may even protect you from cancer. Mom's health benefits also include the following:
- A baby's sucking mechanism makes a mother’s body release a hormone that signals her uterus to contract and get smaller.
- The closeness of mother and child during breastfeeding gives an emotional boost to many women.
- Some research suggests that mothers who breastfeed their babies have fewer episodes of post-partum depression.
- There is evolving evidence to indicate that certain types of cancer (such as breast, uterus, and ovarian cancer) occur less often in mothers who have breastfed their babies.
At Good Samaritan Hospital, we believe every birth is a special one. That’s why we have designed our birthing center to meet the individualized needs of you and your family – and installed state-of-the-art technology to ensure a safe delivery. We encourage you to take a free tour of our maternity hospital - just give us a call on our Consult a Nurse line at (888) 724-2362.