The OB/GYN teams at CHI Saint Joseph Health know just how important breastfeeding is for both mom and baby. Breastfeeding not only provides needed nutrients, but deepens the emotional development babies need to become healthy and secure.
It’s also a skill that requires practice for many women. That’s why we offer a full-range of support options for new mothers who choose to breastfeed their newborns. Our on-staff lactation consultants are available during your stay and after you go home to help with breastfeeding issues or concerns you might have, as well as figure out what works best for you and your baby. We also offer breastfeeding classes you can sign up for anytime. We want you to be successful in your choice to feed your baby in this special way.
For more information, see our breastfeeding education classes or contact your facility below to speak with a lactation consultant.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Health experts, including the World Health Organization, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, advise that mother(s) breastfeed, if possible. They recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of your baby’s life and believe that it’s optimal to breastfeed for 12 months or longer, depending on your and your baby’s needs.
The benefits to your baby include:
- When it comes to nutrition, breast milk is the ultimate food for your baby. As your baby grows, your breast milk also changes to adapt to the baby’s nutritional needs.
- Breast milk enhances the baby’s immune system and promotes wellness—it helps prevent illnesses including intestinal tract infections, ear infections, allergies, skin conditions, and respiratory infections. It also reduces the risk of more serious illnesses, such as childhood cancer, meningitis, juvenile diabetes, and other acute chronic diseases.
- Studies indicate that breastfeeding greatly reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- Breastfeeding enhances a baby’s physical development, from encouraging the development of straighter teeth to helping brain development.
The benefits for you include:
- Breastfeeding allows you to respond quickly to your baby’s need for nourishment. It is convenient, and it is free!
- Breastfeeding has many physical benefits for a new mother. The long-term benefits to mothers who breastfeed have reduced risk of breast, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers. They also have less chance of osteoporosis.
- Breastfeeding also enhances your everyday health, by reducing your risk of anemia. It also helps you metabolically: moms who breastfeed return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster.
- While breastfeeding, you have a great opportunity to bond with your child and to enhance your emotional relationship.
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