Every year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action coordinates World Breastfeeding Week Aug. 1-7. The theme this year is "Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding."
What health benefits does breastfeeding give my baby?
The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breastmilk help protect babies from illness. This protection is unique and changes every day to meet your baby’s growing needs.
Research shows that breastfed babies have lower risks of:
- Leukemia (during childhood)
- Obesity (during childhood)
- Ear infections
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Lower respiratory infections
- Necrotizing (NEK-roh-TEYE-zing) enterocolitis (en-TUR-oh-coh-LYT-iss), a disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract in premature babies, or babies born before 37 weeks of pregnancy
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Type 2 diabetes
What are the health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers?
Breastfeeding helps a mother's health and healing following childbirth. Breastfeeding leads to a lower risk of these health problems in mothers:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Lower overall postpartum
- Certain types of breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
Returning to work after having a baby can be a big transition, especially if you are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding through a baby’s first year benefits mom and baby for a lifetime. If a mother chooses to breastfeed, she needs to express breastmilk during the workday in order to maintain her milk supply. Many mothers are afraid to speak to their employers about these needs. One of the most common times women tend to stop breastfeeding is around the time they return to work. To help eliminate this, women need support in the workplace. Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses support their employees by providing privacy and flexibility to express and store breastmilk. Businesses can profit from supporting their employees during breastfeeding. When breastfeeding employees’ physical needs are met, they can better focus on their job responsibilities. The result is improved productivity. Businesses that support mothers who choose to breastfeed their infants experience improved employee morale, increased employee retention, lower absenteeism and reduced health-care costs.
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Source: http://www.hngnews.com/lake_mills_leader/article_73178617-5d5e-5b42-8532-23b6aa17dc06.html & https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/making-decision-breastfeed