Saturday, August 06, 2011

Do you Breastfeed!

By Michelle Schnaars

Breastfeeding is important because it protects the baby, benefits mothers and society, and lowers healthcare costs. Children receive the most complete and optimal mix of nutrients & antibodies when breastfed. Breastfeeding plays an important role in the emotional development of babies, and babies enjoy a special warm bonding and relationship with their mothers.

Often we hear "breast is best". But, how is it best? What sets breastfeeding apart from formula feeding?

The following are just a fraction of the many wonderful benefits of breastfeeding:

• The varying composition of breastmilk keeps pace with the infant's individual growth and changing nutritional needs

• Have fewer incidences of vomiting and diarrhea in the US (20-35 million episodes of diarrhea occur in children under the age of 5, resulting in over 200,000 hospitalizations and 400-500 deaths in the U.S.)

• Protection against gastroenteritis, necrotizing entercolitis

• Reduced risk of chronic constipation, colic, and other stomach upsets

• Reduced risk of childhood diabetes

• Increased bone density

• Average cost of formula to feed a baby in the first year $1, 733.75.

Do you breastfeed? And if so, do you feel you have support from your family or peers? And, what are your thoughts on extended breastfeeding?


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