Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why breastfeeding is best for your baby

By Dr. Karen Chang, Chief of Paediatrics, Rouge Valley Centenary

It’s no secret that breastfeeding is widely considered the recommended method of choice to feed infants by leading organizations like the Canadian Paediatric Society, the American Association of Paediatricians and the World Health Organization (WHO).
It’s recommended that mothers try to breast feed their babies for a minimum of six months. It’s even better for the baby if they can continue for longer than that.

The advantages of breastfeeding are too numerous to mention in their entirety, but some of them include:
  • It’s a great way for mothers and babies to bond;
  • Babies who are breastfed continue to receive antibodies via breast milk. This helps to prevent the baby from developing diseases and infections.
  • Reduces a baby’s chances of developing atopic dermatitis, including eczema;
  • Breastfeeding helps to decrease instances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS);
  • Decreasing an infant’s chance of developing allergies;
  • It’s most easily absorbed by the baby’s stomach;
  • Breast-fed babies are rarely constipated compared to babies fed with formula;
    It’s always at the right temperature;
  • Decreases necrotizing enterocolitis, a severe inflammatory disease that affects at-risk premature infants and newborns; 
  • And finally, it's convenient and inexpensive. 

Many breastfeeding moms can also attest to how breastfeeding has helped them to lose weight because of all the calories they’re giving to the baby. It’s also known to help contract the uterus back to its normal size.
While the benefits of breastfeeding are numerous, it’s no easy task. For many women and their babies, breastfeeding can be a challenge – far from the image that many mothers have of immediately mastering this task. Remember that this is a learned activity, many mothers and babies don’t get it on their first try.

Some babies don’t latch on right away, while some mothers experience pain when they are breastfeeding. Many mothers are delayed in getting their milk, which can be a challenge. And once you and your baby finally master breastfeeding, it can also be a challenge to wean the baby off of the breast and transition to formula.
Remember that help is available, and if you’re having difficulty breastfeeding, you don’t need to go through it alone.

Breastfeeding Support
But remember that there are supports available. Many hospitals, including Rouge Valley Health System, recognize the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding. As a result, they have provided supports such as lactation consultants, who help to teach breastfeeding mothers how to breast feed and assist them through any challenges they may be experiencing.
Our lactation consultants see patients, both in hospital and on an outpatient basis. They also run daily breastfeeding classes for mothers in the hospital, as well as provide education for staff. Our Lactation Consultants will also begin to see patients in our Newborn Follow-up Clinic at Rouge Valley Centenary.

Our Lactation Consultants can be reached at:

* Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering:
905-683-2320 ext. 1597
* Rouge Valley Centenary: 416-284-8131 ext. 4530

Toronto Public Health and Durham Region Public Health also offer breastfeeding clinics in the community. 
If you’re experiencing difficulty breastfeeding, you can speak with your paediatrician, or take advantage of the many breastfeeding supports and resources currently available, both in your community and online.

RVHS Resources
·         Rouge Valley Health System Breastfeeding Clinics:
-Rouge Valley Ajax and Pickering, 905-683-2320 ext. 1597;
-Rouge Valley Centenary, 416-284-8131 ext. 4530.
·         Rouge Valley Health System Maternal Newborn Program http://www.rougevalley.ca/maternal-newborn-care

Community Resources
·         Toronto Public Health: http://www.toronto.ca/health/breastfeeding/index.htm
·         La Leche League Canada - http://www.lllc.ca/
·         Breastfeeding Inc. from Dr. Jack Newman - http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/

1 comment:

micrognathia said...

Breast feeding is really the best for babies until 2 years. It boosts the baby's immune system.