Breastfeeding is healthy for both mom and baby.
- Breastfeeding protects your baby’s immune system and fights diseases, keeping your baby healthy. Research has shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of diabetes, childhood leukemia, obesity and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Breastfeeding also provides protection from illnesses like ear infections, respiratory infections, stomach viruses, asthma, and diarrhea.
- Breast milk is easier for baby to digest. Breast milk changes as your baby grows. Colostrum, the first milk, known as “liquid gold,” is the thick yellow breast milk that you make first. Colostrum is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby. Babies only get a small amount at each feeding, as their newborn stomach is only the size of a small marble at birth! Colostrum changes into mature milk that develops by the third to fifth day of life. This mature milk has the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby grow.
- Once established, breastfeeding can make life easier with no bottles or nipples to wash. Breast milk is ready made and available, no need to buy, measure, mix or warm. Breast milk can be expressed by hand or with an electric breast pump to be available for feedings when mom is not present.
- Breastfeeding can save money, up to $1,500 each year! Breastfeeding keeps baby healthy, lowering health care costs and fewer missed days from work.
- Breastfeeding keeps mothers healthy. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression. Many studies also shows an increase in weight loss.
Benefits to Society
- Breastfeeding is better for the environment with no trash and plastic waste. Breast milk requires no packaging, shipping or disposal.
- National benefits are also shown when mothers breastfeed. “Recent research shows that if 90 percent of families breastfed exclusively for 6 months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented. The United States would also save $13 billion per year – medical care costs are lower for fully breastfed infants than never – breastfed infants. Breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.” (1, 2, 3)
The Fathers' Role in Breastfeeding
Once breastfeeding is established, dads can play an important role by giving their baby a bottle of expressed breast milk. Dads can also help with placing expressed breast milk into breast milk storage bags, or taking care of the pump and supplies. A father's encouragement and support of breastfeeding leads to a successful breastfeeding experience. Some dads are concerned how they will bond with their baby. Dads can bond with their baby by:
- Placing the baby on his chest, skin to skin
- Have eye-to-eye contact
- Talk to or sing to the baby
- Read the baby a book
- Rock, cuddle, and play
- Bathe the baby, change the diaper, or dress the baby
Please direct question and/or comments to Jackie Moline, BSN, RN
Phone: 402-471-0165, Cell: 402-326-6415, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Documents used in the development of this page:
- Dianne E. Moran, RN, LCCE, ICD and G. Byron Kallam, MD, FACOG. Breastfeeding A great Start. Arlington, Texas : Customized Communications, Incorporated, 2001.
- Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC and Julie Stock, BA, IBCLC. The Breastfeeding Answer Book, Revised Edition. Schaumburg IL : LeLeche League International, Inc., 2001. ISBN 0-912500-48-4.