When you are pregnant, it is important to decide how you will choose to feed your newborn. Your doctor will probably recommend breastfeeding over the use of formula. This is because there are many health benefits that breastfeeding offers, and these simply cannot be replaced using prepared formula. Breastfeeding not only provides your baby with complete nutrition, but it has health benefits for you too.
Why your baby prefers breast milk
One of the most amazing qualities of breast milk is its changing nutritional content. Hormones in your body will change the contents of your breast milk, so it evolves to meet the changing nutritional needs of your growing child. Babies who are breastfed for at least the first year of life have greater immune health during and beyond infancy, they are less likely to become obese later in life, and they have a lower risk for common childhood illnesses and infections. Plus, the act of breastfeeding requires closeness and bonding for you and your baby, and this is important for sound mental development.
How breastfeeding improves your health
According to the National Cancer Institute, women who breastfeed have a lower risk for breast cancer later in life. When you breastfeed for a longer period of time, the risk for hormone receptor positive and negative cancers continues to go down. There are immediate health benefits to breastfeeding as well, and these include reduced post-pregnancy weight, lower risk of postpartum depression, and lower cost for feeding your child. Breastfeeding is completely free financially speaking, it burns calories, and it helps you build a strong sense of closeness with your newborn baby.
At Sunrise Children’s Hospital, we offer breastfeeding classes along with help preparing for childbirth and the early stages of your child’s life through our Labor & Delivery Unit. Explore all of our services and learn how we can be a part of your pregnancy by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (702) 731-5437 or visiting our website.