Why Babies should be Breastfed

January 13, 2024
2 mins read

The Benefits of Breastfeeding
By Dr Lorraine Cole
Giving our babies the best care possible isn’t a choice: It’s an obligation. So as you prepare for the arrival of your little one, making all of the important new-mom decisions, here are the good (and the keeping-it-real) facts about breastfeeding.Why is breastfeeding so important to the well-being of our babies?The simple truth: babies were born to be breast-fed. And, there’s no exact replica of this life-sustaining nourishment that only moms can provide.The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breast milk be the only food or liquid given for the first six months of life for most full-term, healthy babies.Breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition for infants, with the perfect balance of fat, sugar, water and protein needed for a baby’s optimal growth and development.Also, with more than 200 infection-fighting agents, breast milk also provides the best protection from infections by sharing the mother’s immunities with the baby, until the baby has a chance to build up his/her own immune system.

Recent studies also show that babies who aren’t breastfed exclusively for the first six months are likely to suffer more colds, flu, ear infections, respiratory illnesses, make more visits to the doctor and develop childhood obesity.With all of these benefits, why do Black women have consistently lower breastfeeding rates compared to other races?According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2003 National Immunization Survey (the most current resource on breastfeeding practices and statistics), only 51 percent of Black American women ever attempt breastfeeding and only 9.8 percent of these mothers are exclusively breastfeeding at six months postpartum.This sister-to sister resource aims to answer many of your breastfeeding questions, from the concerns you’d only share with a girlfriend to the issues only a breastfeeding counselor (lactation consultant) and doctor should address – in order to help you make the best decisions for both you and your child.If you still have questions or concerns, talk to your doctor or a breastfeeding counselor.The writer is the CEO of America’s Black Women’s Health Initiative

Why Babies should be Breastfed

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