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Pregnancy - Breastfeeding

Updated on January 7, 2014

Breastfeeding is Best For Babies

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your newborn baby. It provides antibodies which protect your baby from illness such as respiratory infections, diarrhea. Breastfeeding can reduce the occurrence and severity of allergies and dental cavities. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.

Breastfeeding is super convenient! It's portable, breastmilk is always at the right temperature, no bottles or sterilizing needed. I love not having to get out of bed in the middle of the night to prepare a bottle of formula! Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand model, the more you breastfeed the more milk you make. As your baby weans, your supply of breastmilk drops off until your child is completely weaned.

The most perfect food for a newborn baby is the colostrum a yellowish sticky breast milk that you produce at the end of pregnancy. Once again, putting your newborn baby to the breast and breastfeeding on demand is the best start for you and your baby.

Breastfeeding Accessories

Nursing Bras

There are few things you actually need to care for a baby. I can't actually think of anything more important than loving parents, unlimited breastfeeding (buffet style) and cloth diapers. One of the only luxury accessories you might want while breastfeeding your baby is a good nursing bra. I've been a nursing mom for more than 24 years now and my favourite nursing bras is Bravado Designs. There is nothing like a stretchy cotton bras that breathes andmoves with you throughout the day. I've tried many different brands and styles, and always come back to my cozy Bravado Bras.

Bravado Bras have colour and style, the colours are fantastic! Bravodo offers a great selection including a Tank Top which is a great alternative to a regular bra, especially in the summer months. Cotton breathes better than polyester and other synthetic fibres, cotton also helps maintain a proper fit to help reduce the occurrence of mastitis, plugged ducts, or breast infections.

La Leche League

Breastfeeding Support Extraordinaire!

La Leche in Spanish means "The Milk" La Leche League was founded in 1956 in Franklin Park, Illinois by seven mothers; Marian Tompson, Mary White, Mary Ann Cahill, Edwina Froehlich, Mary Ann Kerwin, Viola Lennon, and Betty Wagner. Their mission was and to this day is "to help mothers worldwide to breastfeed through mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother"

La Leche League provides breastfeeding information and support from trained LLLC Leaders by phone, email or a local group. When I was a LLL Leader, my favourite way to provide support and encourage breastfeeding was through our local La Leche League group during monthly meetings. I always tell moms to never hesitate to call your local LLL Leader for help. I didn't mind waking up in the wee hours of the night to assist a mother in the hospital or at home who needed breastfeeding support. Breastfeeding success can be determined by the support a mother gets in the early months, quite often you need help most when you assume no one would be available. I've been in hospital with a new born or young baby who requires medical attention, being able to contact a League Leader and up to a few years ago Dr. Jack Newman by phone was key to continuing on with successful breastfeeding. All too often in a hospital setting doctors and nursing lack crucial breastfeeding information, which can result in lack of support, it's hard to believe this is possible but so much misinformation and old wives tales exist surrounding breastfeeding even in the medical establishment.

La Leche League is the best breastfeeding support and resource available!

Mom Benefits From Breastfeeding Too

Breastfeeding helps mothers return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster. If you have Type 2 Diabetes it can have a positive effect on your blood glucose levels. I have always enjoyed several months of easier to maintain blood glucose levels while breastfeeding.

Some of the other physical benefits of breastfeeding are reduced rates of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol levels, just to name a few. During stressful times breastfeeding helps immensely, oxytocin a hormone released during breastfeeding helps you feel emotionally and physically better. Being able to feed your baby in a crisis help a mom feel less stressed knowing their baby is getting the best nutrition possible. As a mom with type 2 diabetes, lowering my stress level is key to managing optimal blood glucose levels, breastfeeding helps.

From :Duration of Lactation and Risk Factors for Maternal Cardiovascular Disease

"Among postmenopausal women, increased duration of lactation was associated with a lower prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular disease." Obstet Gynecol. 2009 May; 113(5): 974-982.

La Leche League Canada "Breastfeeding Mothers" - v2

Breastfeeding is Extremely Environmentally Friendly

Breastmilk come is reusable packaging, nothing to throw away!

If you've heard of "The 100 Mile Diet"? then you'll agree with breastfeeding you can't get any closer to home. Formula requires dairy farms, food for the cattle, often antibiotics, machinery/maintenance for milking cows, factories and all that goes into running them in order to produce formula, lots of water (a precious resource) packaging and shipping, and so much more! Disposing of the packaging that formula comes in and the bottles used to feed a baby, sterilizing bottles and tossing bottle liners in the trash is very hard on the environment.

Women who exclusively breastfeed following baby led-weaning often have no menstruation or return to their cycle several months after their baby is born. This factors into the greening of breastmilk because fewer periods results in the need for fewer menstruation products, especially disposable ones! Add this to the overall positive impact breastfeeding has on the environment and it's the perfect food!

From: The Politics of Breastfeeding, Gabrielle Palmer praises women for producing "the most ecological food product in the world."


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