Getting ready to birth a child can be one of the most exciting things to anticipate in life. Preparing for what’s ahead though, such as breastfeeding, can seem overwhelming.
You’ve probably heard that breastfeeding is good for your baby, but maybe you’d like to learn more about all the reasons why. We’re here to help.
At Neighborhood Pediatrics in Shenandoah, Texas, our board-certified pediatricians and team are breastfeeding specialists who provide education and assistance on the topic. Our goal is to help this time be a seamless transition for you and your baby as you both benefit from breastfeeding.
You might be surprised to hear about so many positive health advantages that breastfeeding provides.
Right after you birth your baby, your mammary glands produce “pre milk” called colostrum, which is jam-packed with antibodies that give your baby a healthy kick-start to life. It’s high in bioactive compounds, protecting your newborn from sickness and infection. It also activates your baby’s immune system, jumpstarts their gut function, and helps your child pass their first stool.
After a few days, your full milk comes in, which is much higher in sugar and volume than colostrum.
It contains a healthy balance of:
Your baby can now start to receive more calories, which help your child begin to grow quickly.
Benefits for your baby
Research shows that breastfed children are at less risk for issues like:
- Respiratory infections
- Ear infections
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Childhood leukemia
- Childhood obesity
In addition to the physical health benefits, you and your child experience a powerful emotional bond as you have skin-to-skin contact while breastfeeding. Many hold true to the belief that this time of affectionate bonding helps reduce behavioral and social problems in both children and adults.
Benefits for you
Not only does breastfeeding offer a number of benefits for your baby, but it has tremendous benefits for you as the mother.
It can help you lose your “baby weight” as your body burns about 500 calories a day to maintain your milk supply. It also causes your uterus to return to its normal size fairly quickly. You can experience less bleeding, have less risk of anemia, and even have a lower risk of postpartum depression.
When you breastfeed, you produce natural hormones called oxytocin and prolactin that promote positive feelings in the mother, providing healthy emotional benefits.
The list of benefits continues on for life, including lowering your risk for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Challenges to overcome
We understand that breastfeeding can have its challenges. In the beginning, you might experience issues like severe nipple soreness, breast engorgement, or clogged ducts.
We’re here to give you the support you need as you walk through this new journey. We offer continued education and can assist you with your breastfeeding struggles, if you have any. We work with you to help you have a positive breastfeeding experience for you and your baby.
To learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, reach out to our team in Shenandoah, Texas. Call or request an appointment online today.