August brings awareness to breastfeeding, so why exactly should you care? Breastfeeding provides very good nutrition for your child, from day one it helps them. When you first breastfeed your child will receive something that most call, “Liquid gold”. This milk is yellow and called colostrum, and it is very rich with nutrients and has many antibodies that fight to protect your baby from infections. It also helps your baby’s digestive system to grow. Babies will only get a small amount of colostrum, as their stomach’s tend to be small and can only hold a small amount. Colostrum will then change into, “mature milk” by the third or fifth day. Mature milk has the perfect amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow.
So what health benefits does breastfeeding offer? Well the cells, hormones and antibodies inside of breastmilk help protect babies from various illnesses. Some research suggests that when babies are breast fed they have lower risks of illnesses such as:
• Childhood leukemia
• Childhood obesity
• Ear infections
• Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
• Diarrhea and vomiting
• Lower respiratory infections
• Necrotizing (nek-roh-TEYE-zing) enterocolitis (en-TUR-oh-coh-lyt-iss), a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in pre-term infants
• Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
• Type 2 diabetes
Spread more knowledge about breast feeding this month, and check out more information from womenshealth.gov!