While breastfeeding is natural, it doesn't always come naturally to all moms and babies. Here are some basics to get you both started right.
Breastfeeding is Best
You want the best for your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only breastmilk for your baby's first six months, and that you continue to breastfeed for one year or longer after adding solid foods to your baby's diet.
As part of our comprehensive pregnancy and postnatal care, Henry Ford lactation consultants are available to help you and your baby get started. And for times when you cannot nurse your baby, you can pump your milk to feed your baby from a bottle, or you can bottle-feed with formula.
Breastfeeding benefits both of you
In addition to the important advantage of bonding with your baby, breastfeeding has many benefits for both of you:
Breastfeeding benefits for baby
- Lowers the risk of allergies
- Improves brain development
- Decreases risk of obesity
- Improves digestion and absorption of nutrients, such as calcium and iron
- Provides protection against illness, such as earaches, stomachaches, and colds
- Decreases risk for bacterial meningitis and urinary infections
- Lowers risk of S.I.D.S. (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and chronic illnesses, like diabetes and Crohn's disease
Breastfeeding benefits for you
- Helps you regain your pre-pregnant weight sooner
- Reduces your risk of ovarian and breast cancer
- Stimulates the uterus to return to its normal size, minimizing bleeding