Welcome to Mendocino BreastStart
Congratulations on your new baby! As a mother, one of the best things that only you can do for your baby is to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is more than a lifestyle choice — it is an important health choice. Breast milk protects babies from illness and infection and promotes their brain development. Any amount of time that you can breastfeed will help both you and your baby. Every mother has the potential to succeed and make breastfeeding a wonderful experience.
If you need local support while breastfeeding please call:
1 – 855 – 855-MILK (6455) (county-wide)
Good for Baby
In the first days of breastfeeding a mother releases colostrum, which is a special kind of milk often called “nature’s vaccine” because of its high concentration of antibodies.
Colostrum also functions as a laxative, helping clean out meconium (the matter within your baby’s intestines), helping reduce the incidence of jaundice.
Breastmilk changes to protect your baby against germs. If you or your baby is exposed to a germ, your milk begins producing antibodies which protect him from the same germs for as long as you are breastfeeding.
The protein in breastmilk is much easier to digest than the protein in formula, making your baby less likely to suffer from digestive problems such as gassiness, rashes and colic
By breastfeeding your baby girl, you can decrease her risk of developing breast cancer later on. Women who were formula-fed as infants have highter rates of breast cancer as adults. For both premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer, women who were breastfed as children, even if only for a short time, had a25% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who were bottle-fed as infants.
By breastfeeding your child you are keeping him healthy. Artificially fed babies are 16 times more likely than breastfed babies to be sick during the first two months of life.
Babies who are breastfed for 4-6 weeks have lower rates of respiratory problems like bronchitis, and are less likely to suffer from SIDs.
Your baby’s immunities are lowest between 2 to 6 months of age. By breastfeeding, you are providing him the ultimate protection during this vulnerable time.
Your baby will be much less likely to develop ear infections. A recent study found that babies exclusively breastfed for at least 4 months develop half the ear infections of babies on formula.
Breastfed babies are rarely sick or hospitalized and studies have found that pneumonia and meningitis, for example, are at least four times less common among North American breastfeeding babies under six months than among their formula-fed friends.
When you nurse for 6 months, your baby will be much less likely to have problems with allergies, atopic eczema, food allergies and respiratory allergies.
Research has found that immunizations are more effective in breastfeeding babies.
Breastfeeding your baby for at least six months reduces the risk of childhood cancers.
Human breast milk enhances brain development and improves cognitive development in ways that formula cannot. One study has found that the average IQ of 7 and 8 year old children who had been breastfed as babies was 10 points higher than their bottle-fed peers. All of the children involved had been born prematurely and tube fed the human milk, indicating that the milk iteself, not the act of breastfeeding, caused this difference in IQ level.
Studies have shown that breastfeeding offers protection from Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis in adulthood, as well as Hodgkin’s Disease and certain chronic liver diseases.
Individuals who were breastfed where also less likely to develop insulin-dependent diabetes.
Breastfeeding also encourages facial development and makes it less likely that speech therapy and orthodontia will be needed later on.
Good for Mom
Nursing helps you relax. When a mother nurses, her body releases a hormone called prolactin, which is often referred to as “the mothering hormone.” When researchers feed it to laboratory mice (even males), they start building nests and doing motherly things.
Breastfeeding helps your body adjust to the many changes that occur after giving birth. As your baby nurses, your body releases another hormone called oxytocin, which helps your uterus contract and return to its pre-pregnant size more quickly. This hormone also helps to reduce post-partum bleeding.
The “mothering hormone,” prolactin, is produced every time you nurse, relaxing you and helping you and your baby form a special bond. One study shows that at one-month, breastfeeding mothers were less anxious nad felt closer to their babies than those who were not breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding for one month can save between $75 and $200 on formula costs, not including the cost of bottles, artificial nipples and other feeding paraphernalia.
Nursing can help you lose the extra weight you put on during pregnancy. Mothers who breastfeed lose more weight by the time their babies are 3-6 months old than formula-feeding mothers who consumed fewer calories, because breast milk production mobilizes the fat stored during pregnancy.
By four months, the family of the exclusively breastfed baby will save formula costs between $300 and $720.
Based on the research, breastfeeding for a total of 12 to 24 months can reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by about one-third.
A World Health Organization study has shown that the longer a woman breastfeeds, the less likely she is to get endometrial cancer.
By one year, the family of the exclusively breastfed baby will save on formula costs between $900 and $2160.
Studies have found that the longer a woman breastfeeds over her lifetime the lower her risk of breast cancer.
Mothers who breastfeed past a year often talk of the emotional benefits gained: the comfort and security it gives their little ones, the ease it brings to naptimes and beditmes, and the opportunities it offers to relax and tune into each other during a hectic day.