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Breastfeeding Awareness Month

  • Category: Blog, Breast Health, OB/GYN
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Lauren Trimeloni, MD and Jennifer Beckering, BSN, Lactation Consultant
Breastfeeding Awareness Month

August is breastfeeding awareness month and here is some important information everyone should know to help make breastfeeding easier and more accessible. We understand the unique challenges of moms who struggle or are unable to breastfeed. When every latch hurts, you have to be positioned just right and feel like you need four hands to accomplish what some moms do with no hands. When your newest addition develops an allergy to dairy or soy, you quickly realize these ingredients are in EVERYTHING! When the medication you need to be healthy and whole is contraindicated in breastfeeding, it makes life tough. At Excela Health, we have breastfeeding experts who are ready to support you through the amazing and often challenging first leg of your breastfeeding journey.

First, it’s important to know that studies are showing that bottle-fed babies are just as bonded to their moms as breastfed babies. You can encourage early bonding by doing skin-to-skin, making eye contact, talking or singing to your little one, and putting the phone/TV/iPad away during feedings! Any amount of time you breastfeed is still breastfeeding and strong work on your part.

Why choose to breastfeed? The health benefits to you and your baby from breastfeeding are almost too expansive to list. Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of obesity, diabetes, childhood cancers, sudden infant death syndrome, eczema, and asthma. In the short term, it lowers your baby’s risk of ear infections and stomach bugs, which will help you maintain a normal schedule and keep your baby more comfortable. Every time you nurse your baby you share your antibodies, which protect your baby in the way that their own immune system will when they are grown and stronger. You protect your baby from illnesses that you both are exposed to, and by breastfeeding, you lessen the severity of those illnesses if your baby does catch them.

The benefits aren’t exclusive to your baby, your health also benefits from breastfeeding. Mom’s who nurse their babies have a lower incidence of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, ovarian and breast cancer.

Breastfeeding allows incredible flexibility. You can travel anywhere with your baby without worrying about bringing bottles or formula supplies, as your breast milk is always ready, in the right amount and the right temperature, anywhere you go.

Breast milk is the very best nutrition for your baby and the content of your breast milk changes as your baby grows to help it meet your baby’s unique, evolving needs. Did you know that your breast milk flavor changes slightly as you eat different foods? This can help your baby be more accepting of a varied and healthy diet when they are old enough to start eating food. Many women are nervous to breastfeed because they are afraid they will have a hard time, and it is important to remember that breastfeeding is not an all-or-nothing proposition. If you struggle to produce enough milk or your doctor has concerns about how your baby is growing, you will be instructed to supplement with formula or donor breast milk. Any amount of your milk you give your baby is amazing! It is their perfect food, and you are the only one who can give it to them. It is a way to keep feeling connected, even when the two of you are apart.

Many times, breastfeeding can feel as hard as it is rewarding, especially in the beginning. Having a team to support you and help you when you struggle is invaluable. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your care team, your pediatrician, or your obstetrician if you are struggling, and we can help get you to the experts you need to overcome any breastfeeding challenges. Enjoy the bonding, enjoy the health benefits, and enjoy the freedom that comes with breastfeeding! We can’t wait to help you along the way.

Lauren Trimeloni

To learn more about Lauren Trimeloni, MD, click here. For more information on our lactation consultants, please call your Excela Health OB/GYN office.