National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

 

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is funding a breastfeeding campaign in the hopes that it will empower women to consider committing to breastfeeding. Science shows that babies who are exclusively breastfed for six months are less likely to develop ear infections, diarrhea, and respiratory illnesses, as well as childhood obesity.

Breastfeeding Benefits

Keeping Baby and Mommy Healthy

Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce a baby’s chances of contracting pneumonia or colds. It also helps reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions like Crohn’s, type I diabetes, and Celiac disease. Breastfeeding has also been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS by approximately 50%.

Women who are pregnant or lactating absorb calcium more than women who are not lactating or pregnant. Bones continue to be denser after six months when a woman breastfeeds.

Growing Healthier

Breast milk has about 20 calories per ounce. If you feed your baby 20 oz. per day, that’s 400 calories and your baby will gain around a pound a week. Research has also shown that breastfeeding reduces the chances that you or your child will become obese because of the of healthy weight gain.

Decreased Chance for Risks in the Future

Breastfeeding can help with decreasing your baby’s risk of developing some childhood cancers. Research also shows that breastfed babies have a better antibody response to vaccines than babies who have been fed solely on formula. Mothers also have a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Environmentally Friendly

Dairy cows that are used to make baby formula are a huge contributor to global warming. These cows release enormous amounts of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Breastfeeding is a solution that can be more friendly to the earth in the long run.

A Cost-Efficient Solution

Infant formula costs around $135-$490 per month. Breast milk is relatively free. You may need to buy long-lasting, sustainable convenience items like breast milk pumps, bottles, feeding bras, and others items, but some of these items are already necessary for the wellbeing of your baby and you!

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