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Importance of Breastfeeding

August 11, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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mom about to breastfeed her baby

 

 

Breastfeeding is not only the best thing for your baby. It's also good for you - and even for the environment.  

Here's how:


Breastfeeding will help reduce your baby's risk of:

  • obesity
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Sudden Infant Death syndrome (SIDS)
  • pneumonia and other respiratory infections
  • coughs and colds
  • gastrointestinal illnesses
  • vomiting, diarrhea, constipation
  • urinary tract infections
  • ear infections that can damage hearing
  • meningitis
  • childhood cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma
  • Chrohn's disease, ulcerative colitis
  • Celiac disease
  • heart disease and liver disease in adulthood

Did you know?

Breast milk is the safest and healthiest food for your baby. It's easily digested and provides all the nutrition your baby needs for the first six months. Babies who breastfeed have better mental development and emotional security. They also have better jaw and tooth development and stronger immune systems.

Watch a video about breastfeeding and early days with your baby.

Breastfeeding helps women:

  • heal after baby's birth and avoid severe post partum bleeding
  • return more quickly to pre pregnancy weight, burning 500 extra calories per day
  • have stronger bones later in life
  • build a strong emotional bond with their babies
  • relax; every time a baby feeds, the mother gets a surge of the bonding hormone oxytocin, which has a calming and relaxing effect.
  • save time and money; formula is expensive and time consuming to prepare. But breast milk is always ready and always at the right temperature - ideal when you're tired.

Later in life women who do not breastfeed are at higher risk for diabetes, osteoporosis, breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers.

Breastfeeding and the environment

In addition to it's health benefits, breastfeeding is also great for the environment.

  • It is the ideal green product - no waste for the land fill and it's free.
  • There is no effect from dairy industry waste (a baby will drink far more formula - which is dairy based - than the amount of cow's milk consumed by a breastfeeding mom)

Resources & Links: 

HealthLink BC: Breastfeeding
HealthLink BC: Breastfeeding Overview

VIDEO: Admission to Postpartum - Keeping Your Baby Skin-to-Skin
VIDEO: Baby's Feeding Cues and Behaviours
VIDEO: Breastfeeding Positions
VIDEO: Cup Feeding and Other Feeding Methods
VIDEO: Hand Expressing Milk
VIDEO: Latching Your Baby

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Topic

  1. Activity & Lifestyles
  2. Aging Well
  3. Pregnancy & Parenting
    1. Pregnancy & Birth
    2. Babies (0-12 months)
    3. Toddlers (12-36 months)
    4. Preschool (3-5 years)
    5. Children (6-11 years)
    6. Teens (12-18 years)
  4. Food & Nutrition

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