August is National Breastfeeding Month
Breastfeeding is not only beneficial for your new baby, but also for you. Listed below are some benefits:
Benefits for the baby:
Encourages optimal development
Increases bonding time with mom
Increases immune function which leads to less sick time
Decreases risk for obesity and hypertension in later life
Decreases risk for the development of allergies
Benefits of breastfeeding for mom:
Breastfeeding requires no preparation so no bottle cleaning, heating, etc.
Stimulates the uterus to return to its normal size
Increases weight loss
Increases bonding time with baby
Decreases cost of pediatric care due to less sick time for baby
Decreases risk of developing cancer in later life
The American Pediatric Association recommends breastfeeding for at least 12 months; however, breastfeeding can be continued for as long as you wish. As solid food is incorporated into your child's diet the main source of nutrition will usually shift from breast milk to solid food. At one year you may wish to stop breastfeeding, if so, you may introduce whole milk at this time, keep in mind though, cow's milk is not recommended until the child is one year of age. If you wish to stop breastfeeding before your child is one year, you will need to feed him or her an infant formula.
The Mississippi County Health Department offers free information and breast pump use to all breastfeeding mothers in Mississippi County. A WIC nutritionist and two Registered Dietitians are also available to answer any questions you may have. If you have any questions about breastfeeding, call the Health Department at 573-683-2191.