National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life with continued feeding while introducing appropriate complementary foods for one year or longer. Yet, many people struggle to reach their breastfeeding goals. 

Rates of breastfeeding in the U.S. vary widely because of multiple and complex barriers mothers face when starting and continuing to breastfeed. Factors that influence how long a baby is breastfed include; issues with lactation and latching, concerns about taking medications while breastfeeding, and implicit bias experienced through unsupportive hospital practices and policies. 

Why Breastfeed? Benefits for Baby: Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It is also more easily digested than formula. Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies. Babies who breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea. The AAP also says breastfeeding helps prevent SIDS and has been thought to lower the risk of diabetes, obesity, and certain cancers. 

Why Breastfeed? Benefits for Mom: Breastfeeding can help lower a mother's risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer. Since breastfeeding burns extra calories, it can also help in losing pregnancy weight. It may also lower the risk for osteoporosis. 

https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/about-breastfeeding/why-it-matters.html

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