August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and World Breastfeeding Week is Aug. 1-7, 2019.
Breastfeeding is the most natural and nourishing way to feed your baby. Unlike any other food, mother's milk provides your baby with abundant nutritional support, antioxidants, enzymes, immune properties and live antibodies. Plus, breastfeeding helps you bond with your baby and offers emotional benefits for both of you.
If you’ve never breastfed, Mercy can help you get started, with education, personal assistance and ongoing support.
Natural Way to Good Health
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health, babies who are breastfed typically have a stronger immune system and resistance to infection and have lower risks of:
- Childhood leukemia
- Childhood obesity
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Ear infections
- Eczema, a condition that causes inflammation and irritation of the skin
- Necrotizing enterocolitis, a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in pre-term infants
- Respiratory infections, including colds and pneumonia
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Type 2 diabetes
For mothers, there are also several health benefits of breastfeeding, including a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer, certain types of breast cancer and type 2 diabetes.
“At first, many moms wonder if they’re feeding enough or doing it properly. That’s why it’s so important that we’re there to guide them and support them from start to finish,” said Sheila Peters, one of Mercy's leading lactation consultants. “From free prenatal consults to prepare new moms for success, to a returning-to-work consult, our goal is to make their lives, and their babies’ lives, as healthy as possible.”