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Let's Talk Babies!

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively until age 6 months and continued breastfeeding until at least 1 year of age.  Unfortunately most OB/GYNs don’t talk to their patients about breastfeeding and all the benefits that go along with it.  Most women are left to find out about breastfeeding on their own.  It can be difficult since there is so much information out there making it hard to know what is right.  Don’t be afraid to bring up the subject at one of your prenatal appointments or call your local hospital’s lactation consultant unit.

So what are some of the benefits of breastfeeding?

Some of the added benefits of breastfeeding for baby:

  • Breastfeeding has been found to reduce the occurrence of gastrointestinal problems, ear infections, and respiratory problems in babies.
  • Breastfeeding has been found to help protect your baby from developing allergies.
  • Breastfeeding may help boost your child’s intelligence.  Some studies have found a link but more research is under way.
  • Breastfeeding has been found to protect your baby against obesity later in life.
  • Breastfeeding has been found to protect preemies from infection.
  • Breastfeeding has been linked to a lower risk of SIDS

Some of the added benefits of breastfeeding for mom:

  • Breastfeeding helps mom loose the weight gain from pregnancy faster.
  • Breastfeeding helps reduce postpartum bleeding.
  • Breastfeeding has been linked to a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
  • Breastfeeding may help protect against osteoporosis.

These are just some of the many benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby.  It is important to do your research when determining how you plan on feeding your baby and how long you plan on breastfeeding.  Remember that no matter what you decide leave room for change.

For those of you who aren’t sure if you want to breastfeed and those of you who having your first child I would recommend attending a breastfeeding class.  They are offered at most hospitals (talk to your doctor or hospital to find out the details).  These classes are wonderful for giving you all the scoop on breastfeeding and gives you a great opportunity to ask all those questions you have.

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