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Health Minute: National Breastfeeding Month

By: Claude

It’s National Breastfeeding Month! Breastfeeding has a lot of nutritional value for both mom and baby. Carol Chornock, Lactation Coordinator with Adventist HealthCare shares the benefits of breastfeeding and some helpful tips for moms who choose to breastfeed.


What are some benefits of breastfeeding for baby?

Breast milk keeps your baby healthy by supplying all the necessary nutrients in the proper proportions. It’s easily digested and changes to meet your baby's needs according to the time of day, nursing frequency and the age of the baby to promote healthy growth. Breastfed babies also tend to score higher on IQ tests! Breastfeeding also protects against:

· Allergies

· Sickness

· Infections

· Obesity

· Diseases like diabetes and cancer


What are the benefits for mom?

Did you know producing breast milk consumes 25 – 30 percent of the body’s energy. The brain only uses 20 percent! It takes a lot of out a mom to choose to breastfeed but there are many benefits as well. Some may find it easier to return to what they weighed before pregnancy and a stronger bond with their child. Mothers who breastfeed for at least 12 months have reduced risk of:

· Type 2 Diabetes

· Heart disease

· Certain cancers such as ovarian cancer


What are some tips that can help mothers that are breastfeeding and how can fathers support?

Helpful tips for moms:

· Breastfeed soon after birth and frequently, 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period.

· Hold your baby skin-to-skin.

· Do not give a pacifier or bottle until breastfeeding is well established.

· Utilize nipple cream.

Helpful tips for dads:

· Lend a hand or give mom a massage if she’s feeding in an uncomfortable position.

· Research and tackle problems together. · Empathize with how she feels.