Wednesday, April 23 2014, 09:23 AM MDT
Nurse Dani Kurtz: Benefits of Breast Feeding
(KUTV) Breast milk is uniquely valuable for a baby's health. It contains antibodies that help your baby resist disease, provides a perfect balance of nutrients, protects against allergies, and is easy to digest.
Short-term: Breast fed babies have fewer ear infections, fever lung infections and other respiratory illnesses, less vomiting, less diarrhea, and fewer illnesses in general. It also reduces the risk of SIDS.
Long-term: Breast fed babies are less likely to develop childhood leukemia, asthma, diabetes, obesity, and have healthier blood pressure and cholesterol levels throughout adulthood
Are there benefits for the mother as well?
Yes, it lowers your risk of having postpartum depression, Type 2 DM, and breast and ovarian cancer. It also helps your body to recover from pregnancy (like less bleeding and an easier return to pre-pregnancy weight).
Other benefits: saves money, always available and ready-to-eat, comes out at just the right temperature.
Is it ever a good idea to use formula?
There are times when formula feeding is appropriate. If your pediatrician recommends formula, know that it's not because the doctor isn't pro-breast feeding, he's pro-thriving and wants your baby to do well. Sometimes this does require formula (mother can't produce enough in spite of her best efforts, mother makes skim milk instead of whole, mother is in need of medications that aren't safe to take while nursing, the baby has a medical condition that requires formula)
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