Breastfeeding Benefits For Baby & Mama

January 10, 2019  |  

Mixed race mother nursing newborn baby

Source: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc / Getty

Even though everything else in the world has become more convenient and technologically advanced, there are some core basic human processes that can’t be beaten by shortcuts. Nursing our children is one of them.

Yes, formula was created to help women who have a problem breastfeeding, or can’t breastfeed due to time constraints and work, but lactation advocates are speaking up about why more women should be encouraged to feed their kids with their own milk over formula, if they can.

“It’s natural, but it’s not instinctual; there is a learning curve,” said Jennifer Bowman, acting administrator of the WIC and Healthy Start programs at the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness told Lousiville Insider.

“And so it’s very important not to get discouraged in those first few weeks of breastfeeding.”

Bowman also wants people to know that there is nothing wrong with formula, but there are benefits to breastfeeding that more mothers need to be made aware of.

“There’s a lot more work that needs to be done getting people to understand the importance of breastfeeding,” Bowman said. “… But as a whole, we are moving in the right direction.”

Shannon Perez, a lactation consultant at the University of Louisville Hospital, told the site that there are health implications for breastfeeding that benefit both child and mom.

“I think moms should consider it for the baby’s health, first of all,” Perez said.

“Breast milk is tailored specific to their baby, specific to the baby’s gestation as well. Milk for a preterm baby is different than milk for a full-term baby, and their milk changes as the baby gets older.”

In order to bridge the gap in knowledge, physicians and advocates are encouraging new moms to seek support.

“I think it’s incredibly important to have supportive people,” said Jenny Claire Hoffmann, who works with several local organizations in Louisville to educate women on breastfeeding.

“If we have a lot of naysayers or people who are pressuring us to give up or pressuring us to give formula rather than get over the speed bumps, that again is really hard on somebody’s confidence, especially if you’re a first-time mom and you don’t really know what to expect,” Hoffman explained.

. “And it’s hard to sort-of speak up for yourself sometimes.”

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