Did you know, August is National Breastfeeding month?
Breastfeeding is very beneficial to you and your baby, but is also a completely personal decision and has both pros and cons depending on your situation.
After giving birth to my first child, my baby was thrusted at me after having a traumatic emergency C-section. She was shoved on my breast and forced to latch. It was not a bonding experience until I found a lactation consultant who was nurturing and undertsanding.
I had enough breastmilk for the neighborhood, but it was making my baby choke as my let down was too much for her. Thank goodness for my mom breastfeeding group who helped me learn tips and tricks to breastfeeding. This allowed me to bond with my daughter and give them the benefits of breastfeeding.
What Is National Breastfeeding Month?
In August 2011, the United States Breastfeeding Committee officially declared August as National Breastfeeding Month.
This observance is dedicated to advancing the nation’s health by working together to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.
During Breast Feeding Awareness Month, it includes
- World Breast Feeding Awareness Week – August 1st – 7th
- Black Breast Feeding Week – August 25th-31st
- Tips and Support on Breastfeeding
World Breast Feeding Awareness Week
The Palm Beach Health Network hospitals are raising awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week from August 1st-7th.
This year’s national breastfeeding month theme is, “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet.”
World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration that is held every year from August 1st through 7th and in more than 120 countries.
According to the 26 August data of WBW website, 540 events have been held worldwide by more than 79 countries with 488 organizations and 406,620 participants for the World Breastfeeding Week 2010.
“The Palm Beach Health Network hospitals recognize the benefits that breastfeeding has for babies, and we want to support families in our community who make this choice,” says Yvonne Troise, lactation consultant for St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Our maternity and obstetrics hospitals, West Boca Medical Center, Good Samaritan Medical Center and St. Mary’s Medical Center, all have lactation consultants on staff to help provide education to our new mothers who are interested in breastfeeding their babies.”
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DOES BREASTFEEDING PROTECT YOUR BABY?
Many health professionals encourage new mothers to explore the option of breastfeeding.
The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to support the unequivocal evidence that breastfeeding protects against a variety of diseases and conditions in the infant such as:
- respiratory tract infection
- necrotizing enterocolitis
- otitis media
- urinary tract infection
- late-onset sepsis in preterm infants
- type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- lymphoma, leukemia, and Hodgkins disease
- childhood overweight and obesity
DO YOU KNOW THE MATERNAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING?
There are also maternal health benefits to breastfeeding such as:
- decreased postpartum bleeding and more rapid uterine involution
- decreased menstrual blood loss and increased child spacing (lactational amenorrhea)
- earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight
- decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers
- benefit to the environment and society.
- Breastfeeding families are generally sick less often, and the parents miss less work.
- It does not require the use of energy for manufacturing or create waste or air pollution.
- There is no risk of contamination and breast milk is always at the right temperature and ready to feed.
What To Expect While Breastfeeding?
As you begin breastfeeding, your baby’s sucking will tell your body to start making milk.
For most mothers, this thinner, whiter form of milk comes in by about 3 days after birth, but may take longer for first-time moms.
You may notice your breasts feeling full, hard, and warm as this happens.
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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING?
1. Breastfeeding can actually reduce a baby’s risk of disease later in life, including:
- Crohn’s disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Hodgkin’s disease
- Type I and II diabetes
- Ulcerative colitis
- And more
2. Human milk boosts a baby’s immune system—helping baby fight viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections, including:
- Respiratory infections
- Ear infections
- Bacterial meningitis
- Urinary tract infections
- Common colds and flus
3. Breastfeeding reduces the mother’s risk of ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
The longer she breastfeeds, the higher the benefit. And did you know, breastfeeding a baby girl actually reduces her lifetime risk of breast cancer by 25%.
4. Breastfeeding saves you Money
Breastfeeding saves a family approximately $2 to $4 thousand dollars annually (compared to cost of formula).
5. Breastfeeding helps the mother heal faster
During the postpartum, breastfeeding helps the uterus return to pre-pregnancy size faster and lowering overall postpartum blood loss.
6. Breastfeeding can help the mother return to her pre-baby weight.
It takes 1,000 calories a day on average to produce breast milk. Women are advised to consume an extra 500 calories a day, and the body dips into reserves it built up in pregnancy to make the rest. It’s important to consume those extra calories or the body actually goes into “starvation mode” and holds onto the reserves.
7. Body vs. Brain
Producing breast milk consumes 25% of the body’s energy; the brain only uses 20% by comparison.
8. Breastmilk Gone
On average, babies remove 67% of the milk the mother has available—they eat until fullness, not until the breast is emptied.
9. Right vs. Left Breast
Almost 75% of all moms produce more milk in their right breast, whether they are right- or left-handed.
10. The mother’s body is constantly making the perfect milk for the baby
Milk changes its nutritional profile as the baby grows (milk made for a 3-month-old is different than for a 9-month-old). Milk can even change day to day—for example, water content may increase during times of hot weather and baby-sickness to provide extra hydration.
HOW CAN I INCREASE MY MILK SUPPLY WHILE PUMPING?
Yvonne Bermudez, a lactation consultant at St. Mary’s Medical Center, shares the scoop on what you need to know about pumping.
- Pump a minimum of 8 times in a 24 hour period for about 15 to 20 minutes each time.
- Massage Your Breast While Pumping.
- Use the Correct Breastshield Size
- Take Care of Yourself
- A Higher Suction Setting Does Not Necessarily Mean More Milk
You can see the entire video at St. Mary’s Medical Center Instagram page.
So make sure you have as much support as possible when and if you decide to breastfeed.
When they say it takes a village, they are not kidding.
DID YOU BREASTFEED YOUR CHILD?
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Sponsored: Local Mom Scoop is sharing the scoop about St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Disclaimer: Local Mom Scoop is not a doctor or health care provider. If there is an emergency, dial 911 or contact your doctor.