Golden Valley Health Centers is wrapping up August with one last celebration – National Breastfeeding Month!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced for a year or longer, as mutually desired by mother and baby. The recommendation comes from proven health outcomes that breast milk keeps babies healthy. As a natural first food for babies, breast milk is uniquely tailored to meet the health needs of a baby’s growth. It protects babies against malnutrition and infections. It is easily digested and reduces the likelihood of constipation or diarrhea. It also reduces the baby’s risk of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic issues. Breast milk changes as babies grow, so they get exactly what they need at the right time.
More importantly, breastfeeding provides a unique emotional experience for mom and baby. Many mothers feel a sense of fulfillment and joy from the bonding they experience with their child while nursing.
Did you know that breastfeeding not only benefits your baby, but you as well? Breastfeeding also provides health benefits for mothers, as studies show it lowers their risks of high blood pressure, diabetes, ovarian cancer and breast cancer. It also helps your body recover from pregnancy and childbirth.
Additional benefits of breastfeeding for your baby:
- Strengthens your baby’s immune system
- Lowers your baby’s risk for many types of infections
- Breast milk is easier to digest than formula
- Helps prevent many illnesses
- Reduces the risk of obesity later in infancy and during childhood
Breastfeeding can be hard and sometimes stressful for new moms. We encourage you to talk to your partner or family members and ask them for help. Even small things like having them change diapers or holding your baby so you can take a shower can make a big difference.
If you are having a hard time with breastfeeding or need to talk to somebody about how you’re feeling, our providers are here to help. Call or text 866.682.4842 to make an appointment.