Breastfeed or bottle feed? That’s one of the decisions every expectant mother must make before giving birth.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most infants in recent years (more than 83 percent) started out receiving some breast milk, more than half of infants received some breast milk even after six months, and more than a quarter received breast milk exclusively.
While the right decision depends on one’s individual situation, lactation consultants will point out that breastfeeding has certain benefits over formula feeding that ought to be considered.
Five Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding offers five major health benefits for both your baby and you:
- Breast milk provides your baby with the ideal nutrition and supports their growth and development.
- Breastfeeding can help prevent certain short- and long-term illnesses and diseases in you and your baby. Specifically, it lowers your baby’s risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome. Breastfed babies are also less likely to develop ear infections and stomach viruses.
- Breastfeeding helps babies develop a strong immune system since breast milk shares antibodies from the mother.
- Breastfeeding can lower a mother’s risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension (high blood pressure).
- You can breastfeed your baby anywhere and at any time without having to mix formula or prepare bottles. Also, breastfeeding provides a source of comfort for your baby when normal routine is disrupted, such as when traveling.
That is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding of infants for approximately six months, followed by continued breastfeeding while introducing complementary foods until your child is 12 months or older.
If you haven’t done breastfeeding before, you may require some guidance – in which case, the services of a lactation consultant, such as the professionals at Wooster Community Hospital, can help.
Lactation Consultant in Wooster, Ohio
The board-certified lactation consultants at Wooster Community Hospital know how important it is that you bond with your newborn and provide comprehensive breastfeeding support to help you do so. Our expert lactation consultants are not only highly qualified and experienced but also exclusively assist mothers and their babies on a wide range of breastfeeding issues in a variety of settings that are convenient for you and your family. Our obstetric nurses are also specially trained to help you meet your breastfeeding goals.
In addition, Wooster Community Hospital offers prenatal breastfeeding classes and both inpatient breastfeeding instruction during your hospital stay at our Women’s Pavilion and private, one-on-one outpatient breastfeeding consultations that can be scheduled at your convenience before or after your baby’s arrival.
We also offer day or night virtual visits with your lactation consultant, seven days a week – not to mention Baby Bistro, a free, virtual breastfeeding support group that provides all mothers with accurate breastfeeding information, education, social and emotional support, and access to lactation consultants at every meeting.
To schedule a private consultation with one of our lactation consultants, call (330) 202-5567. For more details about Baby Bistro, call (330) 202-5548 or follow us at WCH Women’s Pavilion at Facebook.com.