The Incredible Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and essential aspect of motherhood, providing numerous benefits to both babies and moms. As we celebrate National Breastfeeding Month, it’s vital to recognize the significance of this natural and nurturing practice. In this blog post, we have the privilege of hearing from Shelby Abramson, a Family Nurse Practitioner, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant at Children’s Primary Care Medical Group. Let’s delve into the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and moms, explore how long breastfeeding should continue, and discover how family and friends can offer invaluable support to breastfeeding moms.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Babies

Breastfeeding offers many advantages for babies, ensuring they get the best start in life. According to Shelby Abramson, breastfed babies develop stronger immune systems, leading to lower risks of inner ear infections, upper respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal issues.

Additionally, breastfed infants show healthier growth trajectories and receive all the essential nutrients they need for optimal development. Studies even suggest that breastfed babies exhibit higher IQs, along with forming a deeper bond and attachment with their parents, laying the foundation for a lifetime of emotional well-being.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Moms

The advantages of breastfeeding extend beyond just babies. Moms who breastfeed report experiencing better bonding with their little ones, fostering a profound connection. Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding moms often feel more rested than those who bottle-feed, making breastfeeding a win-win situation for both mom and baby.

Moreover, breastfeeding confers long-term health benefits to mothers, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and breast and reproductive cancers.

Duration of Breastfeeding

The World Health Organization and the Academy of American Pediatrics concur that exclusive breastfeeding should continue for the first six months of a baby’s life.

After this period, breastfeeding can be sustained as long as both mom and baby desire, complemented by the introduction of solid foods. Shelby Abramson emphasizes the importance of a strong start in the first few days after birth.

Establishing a breastfeeding routine with plenty of skin-to-skin contact and frequent feeding sets the stage for a successful and enjoyable breastfeeding journey.

Shelby says, “If you get off to a good start with breastfeeding, lots of skin-to-skin after the baby is born, lots of feeding in the first couple of days, then you’re really well set up to have your breastfeeding journey continue.”

Supporting a Breastfeeding Mom

Family and friends play a crucial role in supporting breastfeeding moms. While it’s natural for loved ones to want to be involved in feeding the baby, it’s equally important to understand that there are numerous ways to bond with a child beyond feeding. During the initial days and nights, skin-to-skin contact and close proximity with the mother are essential for successful breastfeeding.

Supportive partners and family members can assist breastfeeding moms by ensuring they have proper nutrition and hydration while feeding the baby.

“Dads and parents support people can help mom by ensuring she’s well fed while she feeds her baby,” Shelby says.

Additionally, helping with household chores and creating a calm and restful environment can aid in the postpartum recovery process. Limiting the number of visitors can also allow moms to rest and focus on bonding with their little ones.

Children’s Primary Care Medical Group: Your Trusted Support System

For parents seeking guidance and support on their breastfeeding journey, Children’s Primary Care Medical Group is here to help.

Our team of board-certified lactation consultants, pediatricians, and nurse practitioners offer personalized, one-on-one assistance, whether in person or through telehealth. Additionally, we host weekly virtual support groups in English and Spanish, providing a nurturing community for breastfeeding moms to share experiences and receive invaluable guidance.

Breastfeeding is a natural and powerful way to foster the health and well-being of both babies and moms.

As we celebrate National Breastfeeding Month, let’s recognize its numerous benefits and the unwavering support that family, friends, and medical professionals can offer to ensure a successful and fulfilling breastfeeding journey.

With the guidance of experts like Shelby Abramson and the compassionate care of Children’s Primary Care Medical Group, mothers and babies can thrive together on this incredible journey of love and nourishment.