Welcome to BreastStart

What Grandparents should know about Breastfeeding

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

Breastfeeding an infant -Breaststart Mendocino

 

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.

picture of an infant

 

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.

Breastfeeding a baby at 4-6 weeks - Breasttart Mendocino

 

 

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.

Breastfeeding a baby - Breast Start Mendocino

 

 

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.

Breastfeeding 6 month old baby - Breast Start Mendocino

 

 

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.

Breastfeeding a 9 month old baby - Breast Start Mendocino

 

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.

Breastfeeding at 1 yer old - Breast Start Mendocino

 

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.

Breastfeeding toddler - Breast Start Menocino

 

 

If your baby nurses for more than a year, you will continue to provide her with nutritious and protective milk.

Good for Mom

Mother breastfeeding - Breast Start Mendocino

 

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.

Breastfeeding 2 week old baby

 

Breastfeeding helps you develop a special closeness and you get to know your baby.

By breastfeeding you are helping your body recover from childbirth. As you are nursing your child, your body is working to restore your body back to its pre-pregnancy size.

Breastfeeding mom - Breast Start Mendocino

 

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.

Breastfeeding at 1 yer old - Breast Start Mendocino

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.

Breastfeeding can be a birth control method - Breast Start Mendocino

 

Breastfeeding suppresses ovulation and delays the return of fertility. In mothers who exclusively breastfeed, breastfeeding is about 95%-98% effective as a birth control method.

At six months, the family of the exclusively breastfed baby will save formula costs of between $450 and $1080.

Breastfed 9 month old baby

 

Although the health benefits of breastfeeding continue as baby grows, the emotional benefits of nursing for comfort and security become more evident around this age.

At nine months, the family of the exclusively breastfed baby will save between $600 and $1440 on formula costs.

Breastfeeding at 1 year old is good for mom

 

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.

Healthy breastfed baby at one year - Breast Start Mendocino

 

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.

 

Because I Care About You card picture

Did you know that a newborn baby experiences a growth spurt around 2 weeks of age? A new breastfeeding mother will need extra support around this time. If you are a friend and would like to support a new breastfeeding mother, download and print this card, select how you want to support her and give her the card before her baby is born. That way she can look forward to your support when she needs it most.