August 3, 2019
For new moms, breastfeeding may seem like a daunting task. While it may become second nature over time, many new moms experience a learning curve when they first begin breastfeeding. Add in the fact that breastfeeding moms often experience difficulty and discomfort, and it’s no surprise that many new mothers feel overwhelmed or even discouraged when they begin.
While every new mom’s experience will be different, having the right breastfeeding resources and guidance can be helpful to both mothers and babies. In today’s post we’ll review the basic benefits of breastfeeding and highlight some essentials that can make it easier.
Breastfeeding Benefits for Babies
Breastmilk provides essential nutrients needed to promote your baby’s growth and development. As your baby grows, your breastmilk actually changes to adapt to his or her changing nutritional needs.1
Breastmilk is easier to digest than formula, making it easier for your baby’s body to process. It is a more efficient form of nutrition for your growing baby.1
Protection from Illnesses
Breastmilk contains antibodies that help protect your baby from certain illnesses, such as ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory illnesses and allergies.2 Research has shown that the longer your baby breastfeeds, the greater the benefits are to his or her health.2 Even a difference of a few months can make a big difference. In one study, researchers found that babies had a higher risk of developing respiratory infections such as pneumonia if they were exclusively breastfed for four months as compared to six months.2 Breastmilk can also help reduce the risk of several short-term and long-term health problems that preterm babies face.1
Reducing the Risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
SIDS is the unexpected death of an infant in which the cause is unknown. It is sometimes called “crib death” or “cot death” because it most often occurs during sleep.2 Research has found that breastfed infants have a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).1
Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom
Breastfeeding doesn’t just help protect and strengthen babies; it can also provide health benefits to mothers as well.
Breastfeeding triggers the release of a hormone called oxytocin, which causes the uterus to contract, helping it return to its normal size more quickly after giving birth. This hormone may also help reduce the amount of bleeding moms experience after birth.1
Breastfeeding can also make it easier for moms to lose the weight gained during pregnancy and may reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.1
To help make breastfeeding easier, we’ve compiled a list of must-haves for new moms. Having access to these items and resources should help make breastfeeding more enjoyable for you and your baby:
- Lactation consultant at birth
- Burping cloths
- Nipple cream
- Nursing bra
- Nursing cover
- Nursing pads
- Breast pump
- Breastmilk storage items, such as bottles and bags
Working with a Lactation Consultant
Because breastfeeding can be so beneficial to moms and babies, it’s important to use the valuable resources and insight a lactation consultant can provide. When working with your lactation consultant, be sure to communicate any concerns or difficulties you’re experiencing. Your lactation consultant can help you find a technique that works best for your situation, whether you’re experiencing discomfort, low milk supply, oversupply, latching issues or challenges nursing multiples. Some lactation consultants may even be available to provide worksite or in-home lactation support after your hospital stay. This can be a highly valuable resource for new moms, as post-discharge outpatient lactation visits have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and intensity.3
Vitamins for Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding moms need to keep their own nutrition in in mind too. Prenate® Restore is a once-daily vitamin for breastfeeding mothers that’s designed to support the nutritional needs of moms and their babies. Prenate® Restore includes nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, DHA and probiotics that help infants achieve optimal growth and promote brain, immune system and gut development.4-6 Prenate® Restore is also appropriate during pregnancy, which means that expecting moms can start supplementation with Prenate® Restore before the arrival of their baby and continue taking it through delivery and postpartum. Talk to your doctor to see if Prenate® Restore is right for you.