Friday, August 12, 2011

The "breast" of intentions...

I have quite a number of friends who are currently pregnant or has recently given birth. This encouraged me to post this entry if only to reinforce what I have been encouraging them to do - BREASTFEED! Quite honestly, I sometimes feel like a broken record sharing with as many people as I can the benefits of breastfeeding. So to all mothers out there (married, single, it's complicated, etc.), I hope you can read the rest of this post and maybe, just maybe, I can convert you to give your babies the "breast" of intentions...

1. If you breastfeed for a few days, your baby will have received your colostrum or early milk. Packed with optimal nutrition and antibodies, it helps get your baby's digestive system going and give him his first - and easiest - immunization.

2. If you breastfeed for four to six weeks, you will have eased him through the most critical part of his infancy. Breastfed newborns... are much less likely to get sick or be hospitalized and have fewer digestive problems than artificially fed babies.

3. If you breastfeed for three or four months her digestive system will have matured a great deal and she will be much better able to tolerate the foreign substances in artificial baby milk.

4. If you breastfeed for six months, she will be much less likely to suffer an allergic reaction to artificial baby milk or other foods. A new study indicates that nursing for more than six months may greatly reduce the risk of childhood cancers as well.

5. If you breastfeed your baby for nine months, you will have seen him through the fastest and most important development of his life on the most valuable of all foods - your milk.

6. If you breastfeed your baby for a year you can avoid the expense of artificial baby milk. Many health benefits during this year of nursing will last her whole life. She will have a stronger immune system, less chance of childhood and adolescent obesity and will be much less likely to need orthodontia or speech therapy.

7. If you breastfeed your baby for eighteen months, you will have continued to provide the highest quality nutrition and superb protection against illness at a time when illness is common in other babies. The US Surgeon General says "It is the lucky baby that nurses to age two".

8. If you breastfeed your baby until he is ready to wean, you can feel confident you have met your baby's physical an emotional needs in the most natural, healthiest way possible. In cultures where there is no pressure to wean, children tend to nurse for at least two years. Mothers who have nursed for two or more years have a lower risk of developing breast cancer.

Don't worry that your child will nurse forever. All children wean eventually no matter what you do and there are more nursing toddlers around than you might guess.
(from I Make Milk, What's Your Superpower FB page)

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