Benefits of Breastfeeding

Benefits of Breastfeeding

At CHRISTUS Health, we encourage all mothers to exclusively breastfeed their newborn babies. No matter if it is your first child or the last child you plan on having, our lactation specialists will teach mothers different ways on how to effectively breastfeed their child. It can challenging yet so rewarding, here are the many different benefits of breastfeeding, which include:

  • Colostrum is the perfect nutrition for a baby in the first few days of life–is easily digestible and provides the correct amount for newborn stomach size
  • Decreased infant illness due to antibodies in colostrum
  • Decreased allergies and asthma
  • Optimal brain growth, 8-10 points higher IQ
  • Protects babies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), ear infections, respiratory infections and pneumonia
  • Decreased risk of juvenile diabetes, obesity and some cancers
  • Enhances milk supply, brings milk in earlier
  • Helps the uterus return to post-pregnancy size faster
  • Decreased risk of postpartum depression, breast and ovarian cancer and postpartum bleeding
  • Breast milk is FREE! No formula cost.

Potential Complications Associated with Formula Feeding

  • Increased incidence of asthma, ear infections, soy and cow’s milk allergies, obesity and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
  • Alterations in bowel pH causing diarrhea and gastrointestinal infections
  • Sensitivity to soy or cow’s milk protein
  • Formula supplements delay milk “coming in” and can decrease supply
  • Nipple confusion – the infant may have difficulty latching after bottle feedings

More About Breastfeeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics, The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, The World Health Organization, UNICEF and staff at CHRISTUS Health do not recommend the use of formula or artificial nipples unless there is a medical indication. If short-term supplementation is necessary we strongly recommend using an alternative feeding method such as in a cup or a syringe. It is strongly encouraged to limit supplementation amount depending on the infant’s day of life. If supplementation is medically necessary, your newborn nurse will guide you in this process. We strongly encourage you to avoid using pacifiers or bottles for four weeks. We want your breastfeeding experience to be successful.