Breastfeeding: Good for you and your baby!
Congratulations on your decision to breastfeed! The American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommends breastfeeding your baby because breast milk has everything that he or she needs to grow healthy and strong.
- Breast milk is nutritious and easy to digest
- Breast milk can prevent infections
- Breastfed babies are less likely to become obese or develop diabetes, asthma, allergies, leukemia, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
Plus, breastfeeding may help you:
- Lose weight more quickly
- Lower your risk for breast and ovarian cancers
- Prevent osteoporosis later in life
- Increase time and bonding with your new baby
Breastfeeding is also convenient and best of all, it’s free. No need to prepare, clean or carry bottles or to purchase baby formula. Before your baby is born, you should talk to the nurses and doctors at the hospital where you plan to deliver to let them know you have decided to breastfeed. Since your baby will be breastfed, you should request that no bottles or pacifiers are given to your baby during your hospital stay. Giving a newborn baby a bottle too soon can make breastfeeding more difficult for a new mom. You should start to nurse as soon as your baby is born, typically within the first one to two hours, if possible. Your baby will be most alert at this time, which should make learning how to nurse a lot easier.
You can do it!
Breastfeeding may be a little challenging at first, but don’t give up. Breastfeeding help is available. Contact the hospital where you plan to deliver to find out if they have a lactation consultant (a person specially trained to help breastfeeding moms). A lactation consultant can answer your breastfeeding questions before your baby is born and meet with you after you deliver to share breastfeeding tips and additional information.
You can also call our Baby Partners line at 215-967-4690 (TTY 1-877-454-8477) to request a doula (a specially trained caregiver) to come to your home and assist you with breastfeeding.