Every day in the United States, more than 16,000 women become pregnant. Just last year, Johnston Health helped deliver 1,300 babies, and we’re proud to offer a modern birthing center for successful deliveries. But once your child is born, more questions quickly arise.
One of the most common is also somewhat debated. Should you breastfeed your child?
Breastfeeding can be an excellent bonding experience between mother and child. Unlike formulas, breast milk provides a perfect balance of nutrients, and it’s free. Breast milk is also easily digested by the child and the hormones found therein help fight illness. Did you know proteins in baby formula are made from cow’s milk, and that it takes time for babies’ stomachs to adjust to digestion?
Before thinking breastfeeding is always the only answer, there are a few notable disadvantages. Anyone can feed a baby with formulas. With breastfeeding, the mother must always be present or milk must be pumped. Early breastfeeding may be uncomfortable and, in some cases, infections can manifest. Breasts may become sore or engorged.
Women who breastfeed:
- Shed extra pounds; it can burn 500 to 700 calories per day.
- Have less risk of developing breast, cervical cancer.
- Have less risk of hemorrhage after giving birth.
Babies who breastfeed:
- Have fewer risks of respiratory and ear infections, meningitis and stomach illnesses.
- Have less risk of developing diabetes, allergies, eczema, colitis and childhood leukemia.
- Have better cognitive development. On average, breastfed babies score 8 to 9 points higher on IQ tests than babies who drink formula.
Want to learn more about Johnston Health’s birthing center? The Women’s Pavilion has five labor and delivery suites, 16 postpartum rooms and 17 nursery beds. It also has lactation consultants on staff. Read more today.