Medically reviewed by
What should I know about breastfeeding? If you are pregnant, it is important to talk with your doctor about your plans for breastfeeding. If you are thinking about breastfeeding, here are some things to think about: Your breasts will produce milk that can be made into breast milk. Breastfeeding protects your baby from many common diseases and health problems. Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast cancer in mothers who have had children by 50%. Breastfeeding helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size faster. Breastfeeding can lower your baby's risk of asthma, obesity, diabetes and other health problems later in life. Breastfed babies grow faster than formula-fed babies - they even have higher IQs!
Is breastfeeding good for your breast? Yes, it is. Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Plus, the hormones in breast milk can help shrink your uterus after giving birth. It is not always possible for mothers to breastfeed because of financial concerns or illness during pregnancy.
What if I want to breastfeed? Talk with your provider about breastfeeding before you give birth and learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to start nursing. You may also want to use a nursing pillow or even rent one from a hospital or other health care facility while you're recovering from delivery and before you head home with your baby so that you'll be comfortable while nursing your baby in bed at night and when you're out and about during the day.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding? There are a number of benefits that a mother will get from breastfeeding her child. They include, but are not limited to: -Improved baby growth and development -Protection against sudden infant death syndrome -Reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease later in life -Fewer digestive problems for the baby -Reduced chance of developing various types of cancer in the mother, such as breast cancer.
Breastfeeding may help you to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy. Your baby gets the best nutrition during breastfeeding. Many mothers who breastfeed can return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster than those who do not breastfeed. Babies are less likely to get sick when they are breastfed exclusively for six months or more. The risk of SIDS is lower for babies who are breastfed. There is a link between breastfeeding and having an IQ that's two points higher than someone who was not breastfed as a child. A study found that only 27% of parents think that their baby should be exclusively breastfed but that all babies should be given formula or solids at some point in time.
What will I need to start breastfeeding? The only thing you will need is yourself! To get started, make sure that your breasts are positioned the way they would be during a feeding. This might mean lying down on your back with pillows around you to support your back and head. Next, help the baby find the nipple by either placing the nipple near his or her mouth or rubbing their face against it until he or she latches on. Then, put one hand behind your neck and use the other hand to support his or her chin so he or she doesn't swallow the nipple. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn't use your hand as a substitute for the baby's mouth.
How often should I breastfeed a newborn? Breastfeeding is natural and easy. It can also be a very rewarding experience that also provides nutrition for your baby. Breastfeeding will take place anywhere from 8-12 times a day to about 4-6 times a day depending on how much your baby is eating and when.
What is the composition of breast milk? Breast milk is 98% water, 3% carbohydrate, 1.5% protein, and 0.3% fat. It contains all the essential nutrients that babies need in the first 6 months of life.
How does breast milk differ from cow's milk? One of the most significant differences between cow's milk and breast milk is in the calorie content. Cow's milk has a higher calorie content, while breast milk does not. Some people might think that cow's milk contains the same nutrients as breast milk, but this is not true. Cow's milk has about half of the protein of breastmilk, but it does contain more vitamin D than human mothers produce naturally during pregnancy. This means that babies fed only on cow's milk will need to take vitamin D supplements if they are exclusively consuming this type of dairy product.
Learn more about breastfeeding at www.cdc.gov/breastfeedingHello world!