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 breastfeeding 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|
Breastfeeding can help your baby grow and keep them from getting sick. It 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 also makes 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?
- Breastmilk is easier for babies 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. Researchers think that there are chemicals in your baby’s saliva that tell your body what nutrients to make to help your baby grow and develop. As your baby grows, your milk adjusts to meet their needs.
- Breastmilk is free. While breastfeeding may take some effort to get started and find a routine, it can save time and money. Pumping breastmilk can be an important part of breastfeeding and can help you feed your baby if you can’t directly breastfeed due to work or other reasons. Manual pumps and electric pumps can cost money but may be covered by insurance or you may be able to rent one.
- Formula can help you and your baby if you can’t feed your baby breastmilk. 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 your questions 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.