Benefits of Breastfeeding
Human milk is the ideal nutritional food during the first year of life for all infants, both term and pre-mature. It contains essential nutrients to support their growth and development.
The benefits of breastfeeding for the infant include:
- Antibodies (immune factors) that protect against infection, such as respiratory tract infections and ear infections
- Protection against gastrointestinal tract disorders, allergic diseases, obesity, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, childhood leukemia
- Reduced rates of child abuse and neglect
Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother include:
- More rapid involution (shrinkage) of the uterus
- Decreased bleeding after delivery and during the postpartum period
- Reduced postpartum depression
- Decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers
- Increased postpartum weight loss
- Decreased risk in development of type 2 diabetes
- Convenience and cost savings
- Fewer days of work missed due to a sick child
Breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to eat a healthy diet and refrain from tobacco use.
Contraindications to Breastfeeding
Some conditions of the mother and/or infant may make breastfeeding inadvisable, or contraindicated.
Human Y-lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1)
Active herpes simplex lesions on the breasts (Expressed or pumped milk is acceptable.)
Maternal active alcohol or substance (for example, marijuana) use
Amphetamines (medications used to stimulate the central nervous system)
Ergotamines (migraine medications)
Statins (cholesterol medications)