Did you know? Breastfeeding, also called nursing, is good for both you and your baby. Breastmilk provides your baby with all the vitamins and other nutrients they need to grow and helps you and your baby bond. Research also suggests breastfeeding can provide health benefits for you and your baby:
|Benefits for your baby||Benefits for you|
Being breastfed can help your baby grow and help keep them from getting sick. It also makes your baby less likely to get:
Breastfeeding also makes babies less likely to suffer from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Asthma and eczema
- Ear infections
- Lower respiratory infections
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Leukemia during childhood
- Obesity during childhood
- Type 2 diabetes
- Necrotizing enterocolitis
Breastfeeding your baby can help you heal after childbirth. It can also make you less likely to get:
Some research also suggests that breastfeeding may help moms get back to their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain types of breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
What about formula? How does it compare to breastfeeding?
- Formula can be harder for your baby to digest. Formula is made from cow’s milk, and it often takes time for a baby’s stomach to adjust to it. With breastmilk, your baby does not need any time to adjust because breastmilk is specifically made for your baby.
- Breastmilk changes to meet the needs of your baby. As your baby grows, your milk adjusts to meet their needs. Researchers think that there are chemicals in your baby’s saliva that signal to your body what nutrients are needed.
- Formula feeding is more expensive and can be complicated. While breastfeeding may take some effort to get started and figure out a routine, it can save time and money. Formula can be expensive and involves measuring and mixing.
- Formula can help you and your baby if you can’t breastfeed. Some babies can’t have any kind of milk, so dairy-free, lactose-free, or hypoallergenic formula is needed. Also, sometimes moms can’t breastfeed if they have certain health conditions or are on some types of medication. If you can’t breastfeed, formula is very important to help babies grow and thrive!
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy – we can help! As one new mom from the community put it: “Breastfeeding can be challenging at times, you can become easily discouraged, but in the end, it’s extremely rewarding and definitely worth it!” There are many common challenges breastfeeding moms and babies may face such as issues with latching, plugged ducts, low milk supply, or issues with let-down. Schuyler County Public Health has a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) who can answer any questions you have or help you work through challenges at no cost to you. Call us – our CLC can provide support by phone or they can talk to you in person. If you are struggling, don’t give up! We are here to help.