Breastfeeding can be challenging for many new moms during the first four – six weeks post-delivery as both mom and baby are learning new skills. Not all moms choose to breastfeed, but it is worth learning and thinking about while you are pregnant.
Ask your care providers, speak to a lactation consultant, attend a support group to hear about breastfeeding from experts and mothers. Despite some challenges, experts agree that the benefits of breastfeeding are rewarding for both mother and baby.
Breast milk is nutrient dense
Breast milk is like medicine for baby and mom. It is chock full of white blood cells which work to protect baby from harmful germs and diseases that he or she is exposed to.
It is cost-effective and convenient
There is the obvious consideration that formula costs so much more than your own (free!) breastmilk. You won’t have to worry about washing and sanitizing bottles and nipples on the daily. Finally – you can forget about packing bottles, formula and thermos’ full of warm water whenever you leave the house.
Risks of future health issues go down
Research shows, babies have lower risks of:
- Ear infections
- Lower respiratory infections
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Type 2 diabetes
- Childhood leukemia
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
It has also been found to lower a mother's risk of:
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
It takes a village
Many new moms put a lot of pressure on themselves when they are learning how to breastfeed. The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. It can be difficult to find a support system, which is why Tufts Medical Center opened a Baby Café.
The Baby Café offers a breastfeeding support group in a safe and comfortable environment for pregnant and breastfeeding families every Thursday from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Our expert team of lactation consultants is available onsite to answer breastfeeding questions, check baby’s weight and provide pre and post-natal education.