Breastfeeding Benefits: What New Moms Should Know
One of the big decisions every new mother must make is, should I bottle or breastfeed my baby? There can be a lot of outside pressure and shame pushing moms to make one decision or another.
At Bella Materna, we passionately exist to support you, not to judge you. No matter where your journey leads, please know this. We wanted to go over the benefits of breastfeeding so you can decide the right choice for you and your baby.
Provides Essential Nutrients
Breast milk provides the most complete form of nutrition for a baby. There are two types of proteins found in breast milk, whey and casein. Both proteins are beneficial for a babies digestive system.
Mothers can directly impact a babies vitamin intake because the vitamins they consume will also be found in their breast milk. This can help ensure the babies get the necessary vitamins like A, D, R, and K to keep the baby healthy.
Prevents Weight Gain
Babies that are breastfed tend to gain less unnecessary weight. Infants that are fed formula are more likely to overeat but when breastfeeding, the baby stops when they are done, not when the bottle is empty.
Helps Preemie Baby Health
Premature babies who are breastfed do better than those who are formula fed. It's easier for premature babies to digest which helps the intestines mature and provides optimal brain growth.
Guards Against Bacteria and Viruses
Breast milk is filled with bacteria, but it is the healthy bacteria babies need. The healthy bacteria can help protect against bad bacteria, viruses, and other health issues like ear infections, asthma, type 1 diabetes and obesity.
Breastfed babies' immune systems also have a better response to immunizations.
Lowers Cancer Risks
Breastfeeding lowers a Mom's risk of breast and ovarian cancers. Studies suggest that women who breastfeed have less exposure to estrogen which feeds certain types of breast and ovarian cancers.
More Resources for New Mothers
Breastfeeding may not be as intuitive as you might expect, and neither is birth for that matter. It takes a village; so our suggestion is to find or make your village.
In Seattle we strongly recommend PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support), there are programs in most areas;
FIND A PEPS GROUP FOR YOUR FAMILY
- Families fostering and adopting - Amara
- Families in Boise, ID - Building Villages
- LGBTQ+ families - MAIA Midwifery & Fertility
- Families in Austin, TX - Partners in Parenting (PIP)
- Families in the Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and surrounding communities in North Carolina - TAPS
- Families in Hawaii - HBHM Piko Pals
- Families in Twisp, WA - Room One
- Families with twins and multiples - Seattle Families of Multiples
- Jewish and Interfaith Families - Temple de Hirsch Sinai
A few more resources that might help you find active parenting groups near you:
The National Parent Helpline has a range of resources as well.
Mainly, do not isolate yourself, get associated with others who can join & help you along this new incredible journey!