Breastfeeding is perhaps one of the most effective ways in providing your baby with the nutrients he or she needs as they develop. In the first few days after birth, mother’s milk is primarily made up of colostrum, which packs an inspired amount of nutrients and antibodies necessary for infants. As the days and weeks continue, mother’s milk will move away from the golden hue of colostrum, turning into mature milk that contains the right amounts of protein, fat, sugar and water a baby needs to continue developing. Dr. Jason Hymas of Seasons’ Pediatrics explains, “There is no other nutritional substitute equal to that of breast milk, which is why we encourage, where possible, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.”
Aside from the nutritional benefits, breastfeeding can also have powerful health benefits for mother. The World Health Organization reports breastfeeding “reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer later in life, helps women return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster, and lowers rates of obesity.” Additionally, recent studies have indicated, among other benefits, that breastfeeding mothers are at a reduced risk for postpartum blood loss resulting from an increased rate of uterine contractions.
It is also important to recognize that breastfeeding may not be possible or desirable for every mother. In these cases, commercial formula can provide a healthy composition of protein, fat, sugar and water for a child’s development. Bonding between mother and baby is not lost either. A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin found the bonding experience, while stronger between mother and breastfed infants, was significant between mother and bottle-fed infants.
“At Seasons Medical we firmly believe in supporting a parent’s decision in what they feel is best,” explains Dr. Hymas. “From breastfeeding advice to helping choose the best alternative when needed or desired, our number one goal is to help mothers through this important stage of their newborn’s life.”
If you have questions about breastfeeding, or alternatives to breastfeeding, our health care providers are more than happy to set time aside for you. Call us at 208.356.0234 to make an appointment.