(BREESE, IL) – The Women and Infants Center at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese reminds new and expectant mothers about the importance of breastfeeding. World Breastfeeding Week was celebrated at the hospital August 1-7. Each breastfeeding mom delivering during this timeframe received a gift basket of breastfeeding-related items from Women and Infants Center.
“Breast milk is made by the mother herself for her individual infant, this process can never be duplicated in any factory” says Shirley Spaeth, HSHS certified lactation consultants. “It is a natural and best option for providing infants with the nutrients and balance they need for healthy growth and development.”
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, 75 percent of mothers breastfeed their newborns, but the number of infants who are still breastfed exclusively drops to 13 percent by the time they are six months old. Studies show that babies who are not breastfed exclusively for the first six months are more likely to develop allergies, childhood obesity, colds, flu, and ear infections.
The normal and natural food for a newborn baby is breast milk. Their need for breast milk continues as they grow. The following are a few benefits of breastfeeding:
Breast milk is liquid gold. Colostrum, known as liquid gold, is the thick yellow breast milk that mothers make during pregnancy and just after birth. This milk is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby. Although your baby only gets a small amount of colostrum at each feeding, it matches the amount his or her stomach can hold.
Breast milk changes as your baby grows. Colostrum changes into what is called mature milk. By the third to fifth day after birth, this mature breast milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby continue to grow. It is a thinner type of milk than colostrum, but it provides all the nutrients and antibodies your baby needs.
Breast milk is easier to digest. For most babies, especially premature babies, breast milk is easier to digest than formula. The proteins in formula are made from cow’s milk and it takes time for babies’ stomachs to adjust to digesting them.
Breast milk fights disease. The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk protect babies from illness. In fact, among formula-fed babies, ear infections and diarrhea are more common. Formula-fed babies also have higher risks of lower respiratory infections, asthma obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
For more information about breastfeeding, visit http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/.
For breastfeeding education and support, St. Joseph’s Women and Infants Center provides breastfeeding classes and hosts a breastfeeding support group. The breastfeeding support group meets on the last Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. The next breastfeeding class will be held on September 12 at 7 p.m. in the Heritage Room. Both the class and support group meet in the Heritage Room at St. Joseph’s Breese. For more information or to sign up for the class, contact Melissa Pellizzaro at email@example.com
Photo: The Women and Infants Center at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital Breese is honored all breastfed babies born during World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, 2018, with a surprise gift basket. Pictured are Deisy Avalos and her newborn baby, Ian Ariel Aguilar Avalos.