Breastfeeding your baby
Infancy is a time period marked by the most rapid physical growth and development of a person’s life. To meet these extensive growth demands, infants require a high intake of calories, an adequate intake of fat, as well as protein, vitamins and minerals. Breast milk is nature’s way of providing this to your baby.
During the first few days of breastfeeding, the first milk produced is called colostrum. This special milk is low in fat, high in carbohydrates and protein and contains antibodies to help keep your baby healthy. It’s easily digestible; therefore, it is perfect for your baby’s first food. Colostrum is low in volume but very highly concentrated with nutrients, and also has a natural laxative effect that helps your baby pass his/her first stools, as well as ridding the baby’s body of substances consumed while in the womb. When your baby is fed early and often, mature milk will begin to be produced around the third or fourth day after birth.
Breast milk (mature milk) is the ideal source of food for infants. It provides many health benefits, as well as psychosocial benefits for both mother and baby.
Benefits for your baby
- Potentially fewer allergies.
- Protection against SIDS—sudden infant death syndrome.
- Fewer respiratory and ear infections.
- Reduced incidences of cancer.
- Disease preventing immunities are passed from mother to child.
- Reduced incidences of insulin-dependent diabetes.
- Decreased risk of obesity.
- Lower mortality rate for infants.
- Reduced incidence of meningitis and blood infections.
- Assures contact with mother.
Benefits for mothers
- Sense of fulfillment.
- Fewer incidents of breast and pre-menopausal ovarian cancer.
- Helps to lose the weight gained during pregnancy.
- Calming effect of nursing your baby.
- Saves money.
- Mothers and babies are more relaxed.
- Strong, early bonding of mother and baby.
Click below to get a complete brochure on breastfeeding
How to Breastfeed pages 1-5
How to Breasteed pages 6-11
This page last updated on 6/21/07.