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Did you know that breastfeeding your baby or providing your baby with breastmilk to feed is the greatest investment in your child's health that you could possibly make?
Breastfeeding exclusively for a minimum of 3 months causes an 80% reduction in hospital admissions for children in relation to gastroenteritis, croup, bronchiolitis and other respiratory infections.
Did you know that your breastmilk has the power to:
1) Immunise your child against ear, nose, throat, chest, bladder, kidney infections and gastroenteritis, enabling fewer infectious episodes and a quicker recovery with less trips to the GP and pharmacy - saving you money, the stress of caring for a sick child and having to take sick days off work and pay for childcare that your child is too unwell to attend?
2) Reduce your child's chances of becoming obese later in life, thus preventing diabetes, heart disease and cancer?
3) Reduce your child's chances of getting Leukaemia
4) Optimise your child's brain development through delivery of long chain fatty acids essential for optimal brain function and scientifically proven to boost your child's IQ?
5) Ease your newborn's transition into life outside your womb.
The first 3 months of your baby's life are centered around getting used to bright lights, temperature variations, activating strong senses such as smell, taste, touch, hearing and sight.
Compared to your warm, safe, cosy, cushy womb, life ex utero is pretty traumatic for new babies and they need constant nurturing and comforting to establish emotional security.
6) Enhance bonding with your baby and strengthen your maternal instincts, enabling you to mother your baby with more confidence, more quickly.
Expect your newborn baby to want to be constantly held by you and suckle as frequently as 1-2 hourly.
Suckling from your breast enables your body to release calming hormones in your own body as well as your baby's.
7) Help heal your baby's aches and pains from the birth process as well as your own by keeping you calm and relaxed.
8) Help your baby eliminate toxins with ease.
Research suggests that upon cord blood samples, babies on average are exposed to over 300 toxins in utero.
Your breastmilk is loaded with lactose which acts as a natural laxative to clear toxins. Many parents can attest to the fact that their baby poos a lot - this is why!
9) Enhance the development of your baby's oral muscles, facial bones, skull bones and optimal dental development in reducing the need for orthodontic treatment in later years.
10) Delay and reduce the risk of your child developing inherited allergic diseases such as asthma, hayfever and eczema
11) Enhance maturation of your baby’s immune system.
Your breastmilk contains immunoglobulins - proteins which are the building blocks of your child's immunity. Building blocks which last for life and can only be made by you.
Your breastmilk has live cells which activate to protect your baby from viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections.
12) Protects against developing chronic diseases such as: celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and childhood cancers.
The benefits of breastfeeding have been shown to last even after your baby has been weaned.
13) Benefits maternal health by reducing bleeding after birth & restoring your iron levels.
14) Increases your weight loss after breastfeeding from 3-12 months after birth.
15) Reduces your risk of pre and post menopausal breast and ovarian cancer
16) Reduces your risk of osteoporosis by enhancing calcium absorption
17) Be environmentally friendly - it doesn't use electricity, water or packaging thus causing less use of our resources. It has been estimated formula feeding your baby alone, will cost you over $3000 per year and this figure does not include sick days off work, childcare and medical costs.
18) Be conveniently packaged at the right temperature in two convenient fast food outlets (i.e.. your breasts) - no need to heat, treat or store. Natures fast food for baby's on the go!
19) Be tailor made to meet the nutritional requirements of your baby for every stage of development. Your body is clever enough to know how to make milk that is perfect for your baby's needs.
20) Soothe your child from growing pains, teething, fever and illness - by releasing calming hormones. There is nothing worse than a sick child who refuses to eat or drink. But when all they want to do is suckle from you, at least you know that your child is getting your breastmilk loaded with fluids and enhanced natural immunity.
Breastfeeding.....should always be supported by your loved ones to enable you the best chance of breastfeeding success.
Please seek prompt professional assistance if you are struggling to breastfeed your baby - it is often difficult to begin with, but with the right support, you CAN and WILL breastfeed successfully. It will be the greatest investment that you will make in your child's health!
To learn more about the World Health Organisation recommended guidelines for infant feeding, click here: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs342/en/
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC's) meet the requirements of the gold standard of supporting Breastfeeding and human lactation.
Some proclaim to be a "lactation consultant", but unless currently certified and on the IBCLE register, they may not up to date with the latest research and therapeutic techniques involved in supporting breastfeeding mothers.
To check the registration status of your lactation consultant, click here http://iblce.org/resources/iblce-registry/
To find out more about the background of IBCLC's, click here http://iblce.org/explore/what-background-do-ibclcs-possess/
To find an IBCLC in Australia, click here:
To find an IBCLC outside Australia, click here:
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Kellie Eason RN, RM, IBCLC
Nurse, Midwife, IBCLC, Infant Feeding Therapist, Birth & Parenting Educator, Baby Sleep & Settling Consultant