Breastfeeding and Lactation Accommodation
Breastfeeding is the first step to a healthy life. In addition to the bond created by the intimacy of breastfeeding, we now know that the more a mother breastfeeds, the greater are the benefits to both mother and baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that babies are breastfed exclusively for their first six months of life and to continue for at least the first year and as long as mother and baby desire.
Top Reasons to Breastfeed
Breastfeeding helps mothers bond with their babies through intimate physical contact. Physical contact at the breast places the baby skin to skin and within hearing of their mother’s heart beat (which they have listened to within the womb) and helps newborns feel secure, warm and comforted; babies also are highly attuned to the unique smell of their mother’s milk.
Breastfed babies have fewer ear infections, less diarrhea and constipation, fewer and/or milder illnesses like colds and flu, and greater immunity to allergies, asthma, diabetes and some childhood cancers. They also have reduced risk of obesity during childhood and in later life.
Women who breastfeed are healthier throughout their lives. Breastfeeding reduces the risks of some types of ovarian and breast cancers. Breastfeeding requires extra calories, making it easier to lose weight gained during pregnancy. Breastfeeding saves time. There are no bottles to warm and wash. Mother’s milk is naturally clean and warm. Sitting down to breastfeed helps moms rest and regain their strength after pregnancy. Breastfeeding hormones help moms relax and bond with their babies.
Formula is expensive. Moms who do not breastfeed need to buy bottles and other equipment. Additionally, formula-fed babies typically have higher health care costs than breastfed babies. Bonus: the IRS has now made breast pumps a tax deductible expense!
Breastfeeding is natural. It reduces the pollutants created as byproducts during the manufacturing of formula and its packaging. It also reduces the burden on our landfills – no wrappers, cans, bottle liners, etc.
Resources for Nursing Moms
Though breastfeeding is natural to babies, can be new territory to a beginning mother and you may need additional assistance and support. San Benito County offers a wealth of local resources to support breastfeeding because we know that breastfeeding is what is most healthy for both babies and moms.
Need help right away?
California Breastfeeding Coalition
Public Health Division
Fax (831) 637-9073
TDD/TTY (831) 636-0385
Toll-free (800) 756-0385
Mon-Fri 8AM – 5PM
Martin Fenstersheib, MD, MPH