August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. Learn more about the importance of breastfeeding and why breastmilk is the ideal food for babies, setting them up for a healthier life even into adulthood.
Plus, learn about A Mother’s Place, a unique breastfeeding support space at the new Women’s & Children’s Hospital.
Breast Is Best for Babies and Mothers
“Mother’s milk is ideal and very gentle to babies’ systems. It can help your infant develop a healthy intestinal lining and is an essential way to build their immune system. In fact, babies have no real other way to develop their immunity than through the mother’s milk,” said Veronica Rodriguez, a certified lactation consultant at University Health.
Benefits of Breastmilk for Babies
- May protect baby against certain diseases and illnesses, including:
- It’s easy to digest and provides the right amount of nutrition your baby needs as he/she develops.
- Contains substances that can naturally help soothe your baby.
- Promotes healthy weight in childhood and even into adulthood.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mothers
- Lowers risk of developing breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes and even cardiovascular disease.
- Can help mom recover more quickly from birth.
- Increases emotional bond between mother and baby.
- Is low-cost and convenient, saving you time and money.
3 Breastfeeding Tips to Get Started
If you decide that breastfeeding is for you, here are some quick tips to get started. Find more breastfeeding tips in this blog.
1. Make sure your baby is getting enough
Many new moms are worried that their baby is not getting enough breastmilk and without a bottle, it can be tricky to tell.
Rodriguez suggests the best way to know if your baby is receiving the correct amount of milk is by checking the diaper. “Your baby should have at least five wet diapers by five days after birth,” she said.
She also stresses the importance of feeding your baby often. “Your baby should be eating at least eight times in a 24-hour period. And make sure your infant has the correct latch when feeding, the mom should not feel pinching or biting,” Rodriguez said.
2. Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet
To help you and the baby get the right nutrition that you both need, eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains. Drinking plenty of water will also help you produce enough milk, so make sure to stay hydrated. “Make sure mom gets six to eight 8oz glasses of water a day, but drink based on your thirst,” Rodriguez said. “If it’s hot outside or you’ve been exercising, then drink more if you need it.”
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Being a new mom and breastfeeding can be overwhelming. Talk to your pediatrician or the lactation consultants at University Health if you find yourself struggling in any way. We also offer free virtual breastfeeding classes in English and Spanish.
Trust our board-certified lactation consultants and specially trained nurses at University Health for all of your breastfeeding needs.
A Mother’s Place at the Women’s & Children’s Hospital
University Health will feature A Mother’s Place at the new Women’s & Children’s Hospital, slated to open this fall. This unique space for women and babies encompasses all breastfeeding and breast milk storage services in one place.
Services and Features
- Lactation support
- Breast milk storage
- Nutritional support for babies in the NICU
- Skin-to-skin contact support for NICU babies separated from their mothers
- Group support for mothers with babies in the NICU
Breast milk is best for newborn babies, especially those getting care in the NICU. At A Mother’s Place, our nutrition specialists can add supplements like calories, protein, calcium and phosphorus to support your baby’s bone growth and organ development.