Breastfeeding Awareness: N.J. Breastfeeding Coalition · N.J. Dept. Of Health
Source: Women’s Health.gov
When you choose to breastfeed, you make an investment in your baby’s future. Breastfeeding allows you to make the food that is perfect for your baby. Your milk gives your baby the healthy start that will last a lifetime.
Your first milk is liquid gold. Colostrum (coh-LOSS-trum) is the thick first milk that you make during pregnancy and just after birth. This milk is very rich in nutrients and includes antibodies to protect your baby from infections, and also helps your newborn infant’s digestive system to grow and function. Colostrum changes into mature milk by the third to fifth day after birth. This mature milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow.
Breastfeeding saves lives. Recent research shows that if 90% of families breastfed exclusively for 6 months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented. Research suggests that breastfed babies have lower risks of:
Diarrhea and vomiting
Lower respiratory infections
Necrotizing enterocolitis a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in pre-term infants
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Type 2 diabetes
Physical contact is important to newborns. It helps them feel more secure, warm, and comforted. Mothers also benefit from this closeness. The skin-to-skin contact boosts your oxytocin (OKS-ee-TOH-suhn) levels. Oxytocin is a hormone that helps breastmilk flow and can calm the mother.
The United States would save $2.2 billion per year in medical care costs are lower for fully breastfed infants than never-breastfed infants.
Mothers who breastfeed miss less work to care for sick infants than mothers who feed their infants formula. Employer medical costs are also lower.
Breastfeeding is better for the environment, resulting in fewer forumula containers creating more trash and plastic waste. Your milk is a renewable resource that comes packaged and warmed.