Breast Feeding

Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of a baby’s life. Breastfeeding should continue up to the baby’s first birthday even as new foods are introduced. You can keep breastfeeding after the baby’s first birthday for as long as you and your baby would like.

Breast Feeding

Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of a baby’s life. Breastfeeding should continue up to the baby’s first birthday even as new foods are introduced. You can keep breastfeeding after the baby’s first birthday for as long as you and your baby would like. 

Benefits of Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding is best for your baby for the following reasons:

  • Breast milk has the right amount of fat, sugar, water, protein, and minerals needed for a baby’s growth and development.
  • Breast milk is easier to digest than formula.
  • Breast milk contains antibodies that protect infants from certain illnesses, such as ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory illnesses, and allergies
  • Breastfed infants have a lower risk ofsudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). 

You also benefit from breastfeeding for the following reasons:

  • Breastfeeding triggers the release of a hormone called oxytocin that causes theuterus to contract. This helps the uterus return to its normal size more quickly and may decrease the amount of bleeding you have after giving birth.
  • Breastfeeding may make it easier to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Holding your baby directly against your bare skin right after birth triggers reflexes that help the baby to attach or “latch on” to your breast. Cup your breast in your hand and stroke your baby’s lower lip with your nipple. The baby will open his or her mouth wide, like a yawn. Pull the baby close to you, aiming the nipple toward the roof of the baby’s mouth. Remember to bring your baby to your breast—not your breast to your baby.

Let your baby set his or her own schedule. During the first weeks of life, most babies feed at least 8–12 times in 24 hours, or at least every 2–3 hours. Many newborns breastfeed for 10–15 minutes on each breast. But they also can nurse for much longer periods (sometimes 60–120 minutes at a time) or feed very frequently (every 30 minutes, which is called “cluster feeding”). Some babies feed from one breast per feeding, while others feed from both breasts.

When babies are hungry, they look alert, bend their arms, close their fists, and bring their fingers to their mouths. Offer your baby your breast when he or she first starts bringing fingers to his or her mouth. Crying is a late sign of hunger, and an unhappy baby will find it harder to latch. When full, babies relax their arms and legs and close their eyes.

Breastfeeding is a natural process, but it can take some time for you and your baby to learn. Most women are able to breastfeed. A few women cannot breastfeed because of medical conditions or other problems.

Lots of breastfeeding help is available. Mercy Hospital Folsom offers breastfeeding advice through their Lactation Clinic from certified lactation nurses.  You can contact them at https://www.dignityhealth.org/sacramento/services/family-birth-centers/lactation-services/mercy-folsom-lactation-clinic

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