Nature’s Perfect Health Food For Babies
By Pam Noonan, GMC perinatal nurse clinician
Deciding to breastfeed gives your baby the best possible start in life. Your milk contains the right balance of nutrients to help your baby grow strong and healthy. It also has substances that help protect your baby from dangerous illnesses and infections.
Breastfeeding is good for your health too. It releases hormones in your body that help you reduce stress, burn calories and build a strong bond with your baby. It can help lower your risk for some health problems too, such as breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. Many health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend breastfeeding your baby for at least 12 months. This includes feeding your baby only breast milk for the first six months of your baby’s life. Breast milk is the only natural food designed for newborns. It contains everything your baby needs. It is free, convenient, environmentally friendly and always available at the right temperature.
In addition, your milk is custom-made especially for your baby. Breast milk is easy to digest, and contains vitamins and antibodies to help protect your baby from infection and illness. Breast milk helps build healthy eating habits and promotes proper jaw and brain development. Your milk changes as your baby grows, providing all of the nutrients your baby needs.
And if that’s not enough, breastfed babies have a lower risk for:
Although breastfeeding is natural, it doesn’t always come naturally, so each of our mother/baby nurses at the Gwinnett Women’s Pavilion is also a lactation specialist.
And we know new parents have a lot to learn with an infant, so we offer pregnancy education and extensive classes, including Breastfeeding Basics.
Visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/classes to learn more or sign up for Breastfeeding Basics and other classes.