August 3, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week

How can you celebrate world Breastfeeding week?

  1. Inform some pregnant friends on the importance of breastfeeding their babies.
    1. Breast milk is superior to formula. Formula should only be used as medicine if mom cannot breastfeed her baby!
    2. Breast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants. It gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses - such as diarrhea and pneumonia, the two primary causes of child mortality worldwide. Breast milk is readily available and affordable, which helps to ensure that infants get adequate sustenance.
    3. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. – World Health Organization (WHO)
    4. A lack of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life contributes to over a million avoidable child deaths each year. – WHO
    5. The American Pediatrics Association (APA) suggests breastfeeding for at least the first 12 months.

    6. WHO strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. At six months, other foods should complement breastfeeding for up to two years or more.
  2. For best start to Breastfeeding

    1. breastfeeding should begin within an hour of birth;
    2. breastfeeding should be "on demand", as often as the child wants day and night; and
    3. Bottles or pacifiers should be avoided for the first 6 weeks.
  3. Benefit For Mom
    1. It reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer later in life.
    2. Helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster.
    3. Lowers rates of obesity.
    4. The practice when done exclusively often induces a lack of menstruation, which is a natural (though not fail-safe) method of birth control.
  4. Long-term benefits for children
    1. Beyond the immediate benefits for children, breastfeeding contributes to a lifetime of good health.
    2. Adults who were breastfed as babies often have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol, as well as lower rates of overweight, obesity and type-2 diabetes.
    3. There is evidence that people who were breastfed perform better in intelligence tests.
  5. Why not infant formula?
    1. Infant formula does not contain the antibodies found in breast milk and is linked to some risks, such as water-borne diseases that arise from mixing powdered formula with unsafe water (many families lack access to clean water).
    2. Malnutrition can result from over-diluting formula to "stretch" supplies. Further, frequent feedings maintain the breast milk supply.
    3. If formula is used but becomes unavailable, a return to breastfeeding may not be an option due to diminished breast milk production
    4. Formula companies are not regulated well.
  6. Find a support group – for highest level of success I highly suggest getting involved before the birth of first baby!!
    1. La Leche League International (LLLI), full disclosure I am a LLL Leader
    2. Lactation Consultant
    3. WIC office
    4. If you are Catholic, Catholic Nursing Mother's League is a great option.
    5. There are many more support groups ask people you know who are supportive of breastfeeding.

Our Lady of La Leche, Pray for Us!

1 comment:

Chrissy M said...

Thanks for posting that! It's always nice to be reminded of just how wonderful breastfeeding is! I forwarded it on to all my family members who are breastfeeding or expecting!