August is National Breastfeeding Month, and at Signature Medical Group we think that’s important.
Breast-feeding rates continue to rise in the U.S, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) Among infants born in 2013, 81.1 percent of moms started to breast-feed, over half (51.8 pct.) were breast-feeding their baby at 6 months, and almost one third (30.7 pct.) were breast-feeding at 12 months.
Health4mom.org lists the top benefits of breast-feeding:
- More bonding: Skin-to-skin contact from birth on during breast-feeding stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that facilitates bonding between mother and baby.
- Better brains: Breast milk builds better brains. Breast-feeding is linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood in most such studies.
- Less diarrhea: Breast milk promotes higher quality bacteria in baby’s gut and poop, reducing diarrhea and baby’s chances of becoming obese or ever having type 2 diabetes.
- Fewer infections: Breast milk gives babies antibodies that they cannot make in any other way. These antibodies fight off viruses and bacteria that cause illness long before babies can be fully immunized and make those antibodies themselves.
- Reduced SIDS risk: Breast-fed babies have a reduced risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
6. Lower risk of cancer and osteoporosis: Breast-feeding lowers your risk of breast and ovarian cancer by about 20 percent each. Some studies are also showing it reduces your risk of bone thinning (osteopenia and osteoporosis) and even hip fracture later in life.
7. Faster weight loss: If the first 6 reasons aren’t enough to convince you to breast-feed your baby, consider that you burn an extra 500 calories a day when nursing. This could cause at least as much as a 1 pound loss a week while nursing.
If you have more questions, a Signature specialist will be glad to help. Make an appointment today.