The benefits of breastfeeding

We spoke with Heather Grocott of The Children’s Workshop who shared the following information for new and expectant mothers.

What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

  • Mothers who breastfeed recover from childbirth more quickly and easily. The hormone oxytocin, released during breastfeeding, acts to return the uterus to its regular size more quickly and can reduce postpartum bleeding.
  • Studies show that women who have breastfed experience reduced rates of breast and ovarian cancer later in life.
  • Some studies have found that breastfeeding may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Human milk provides virtually all the protein, sugar, and fat your baby needs to be healthy, and it also contains many substances that benefit your baby’s immune system, including antibodies, immune factors, enzymes, and white blood cells. These substances protect your baby against a wide variety of diseases and infections not only while he is breastfeeding but in some cases long after he has weaned. Formula cannot offer this protection.
  • Research suggests that breastfed babies have lower risks of:
    • Asthma
    • Childhood leukemia
    • Childhood obesity
    • Ear infections
    • Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
    • Diarrhea and vomiting
    • Lower respiratory infections
    • Necrotizing (nek-roh-TEYE-zing) enterocolitis (en-TUR-oh-coh-lyt-iss), a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in pre-term infants
    • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
    • Type 2 diabetes

What else should I know about breast feeding?

Breastfeeding should not hurt … ever! That’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Proper positioning and latch from the beginning is what prevents what we have been told all of our lives is normal nipple pain from feeding a new baby. It should not be the norm. Please ask for a visit from the lactation consultant at your birthplace as soon as possible if you have any question about your baby’s latch. Follow up support once you go home can be a great boost for a great start as well. The first two weeks of breastfeeding a new baby are vital to establishing an enjoyable breastfeeding relationship and a plentiful milk supply.

At the Children’s Workshop, we have our very own Lactation consultant, and lactation hotline! Please reach out to us for support with any of the following:

  • Sore/cracked/bleeding nipples
  • Engorgement
  • Fussy baby/baby refusing the breast
  • Plugged ducts/mastitis
  • Concerns about milk supply
  • Concerns about baby’s weight gain
  • History of breast surgery
  • Breastfeeding twins
  • Weaning off of supplements/rebuilding milk supply
  • Relactation
  • Breastfeeding before and after tongue tie revision
  • Returning to work/pumping questions
  • Milk supply decrease after weeks or months of a full milk supply
  • Starting solids
  • Biting baby
  • Baby suddenly refusing the breast after weeks or months of peaceful nursing
  • Toddler nursing questions
  • Weaning