When it comes to you and the health of your baby, health officials say breastfeeding is the way to go.
“It can prevent baby from getting diseases later on like diabetes, it can also help mom with cancer,” explains doula Pauline Mills with University Medical Center. “It’s also good for baby’s speech development and oral development and intelligence. There’s a study out there that will tell you that baby’s are a couple points higher if they’re breastfed. You’ll also lose a lot of weight after you give birth if you breastfeed.”
But unfortunately it doesn’t come easy for some moms.
“It’s like riding a bicycle. You have to learn how to get on your bike, take off the training wheels and then you have to go to a bigger road. It’s just like that,” Mills says. “You start off with the basics.”
Those basics usually lead to successful breastfeeding. But Mills says don’t get frustrated if for some reason you and baby aren’t connecting during feeding time.
“It’s a skill that you don’t know,” says Mills. “You’ve never done it before and it’s a skill that the baby instinctively has. It can suck when it comes out but not coordinate all of that suck, swallow and breathe. So it’s a little frustrating at first but you’ll get it.”
A lot of hospitals encourage breastfeeding but know not every mother can breastfeed their baby.
There are a lot of resources available for new moms to become more educated on breastfeeding.
Hospitals offer classes and lactation consultants are on hand 24/7 to help.
Health officials suggest learning as much as you can at the hospital before you go home to help with any breastfeeding problems new moms might encounter.