Breast milk is nature’s way of enabling the mother to care for and nourish her child, and it is the most nutritious food possible for newborn children. Breast milk has the benefit of nature’s design for the most optimal nutrition for a newborn baby. In fact, breast milk changes throughout your child’s infancy to meet his or her changing needs. Breastfeeding should begin just after your baby is born and continue until your baby is at least one year of age. There are many reasons to commit to breastfeeding instead of using baby formula, and some of the most important reasons are listed here:
- Formula cannot match the health benefits of breast milk: Even though store-bought formula is designed to give babies the nutrients they need to grow, it simply cannot compare to breast milk for your baby’s health. Breast milk is easy on your baby’s digestive system, and it will give your baby the best start in life with a reduced chance of anemia, diabetes, asthma, and many other health conditions at later stages of his or her development.
- Babies and mothers bond through breastfeeding: The physical contact and closeness that breastfeeding provides is important to both mother and child. It is a bonding experience that you will grow to cherish as your infant grows.
- Mothers benefit from breastfeeding: Along with the feeling of closeness that you get from breastfeeding, you will also enjoy health benefits that result from the process. Breastfeeding actually burns about 500 calories per day, so it will help you get back to your pre-baby weight faster. There are also long-term benefits to breastfeeding, including reduced breast and ovarian cancer risk, lower risk for osteoporosis, and improved reproductive health in the future.
Because breastfeeding does take time and work to get used to, Regional Medical Center of San Jose offers breastfeeding classes to help you get your baby off to the right start. Explore all of our prenatal and pediatric services by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (888) 762-8881 or visiting our website.