Breastfeeding /Lactation Support
Breastfeeding can be difficult, and we want our families to feel well supported in their desire to nurse their children. We also recognize that not all mom / infant duos will have success with breastfeeding. The right choice is the one that works best for you and your baby.
Where We Stand: Breastfeeding
We at Stapleton and Pearl Street Pediatrics along with the American Academy of Pediatrics believes that breastfeeding is the optimal source of nutrition through the first year of life. We recommend exclusively breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby's life, and then gradually adding solid foods while continuing breastfeeding until at least the baby's first birthday. Thereafter, breastfeeding can be continued for as long as both mother and baby desire it.
Breastfeeding should begin as soon as possible after birth, usually within the first hour. Newborns should be nursed whenever they show signs of hunger—approximately eight to twelve times every twenty-four hours. The amount of time for each feeding and the frequency of feeding vary widely for each mother-baby pair. It is important to recognize signs that the baby is getting milk, particularly after the first few days of life. These signs include four to eight wet diapers and three to four loose, seedy stools per day.
Getting ready for the birth of your baby is an exciting and busy time. One of the most important decisions you will make is how to feed your baby. Deciding to breastfeed can give your baby the best possible start in life. Breastfeeding benefits you and your baby in many ways. It also is a proud tradition of many cultures.
Breastmilk gives your baby more than just good nutrition. It also provides important substances to fight infection. Breastfeeding has medical and psychological benefits for both of you. For many mothers and babies, breastfeeding goes smoothly from the start. For others, it takes a little time and several attempts to get the process going effectively. Like anything new, breastfeeding takes some practice. This is perfectly normal. If you need help, ask the doctors and nurses while you are still in the hospital, your pediatrician, a lactation specialist, or a breastfeeding support group.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is good for your baby because:
- Breastfeeding provides warmth and closeness. The physical contact helps create a special bond between you and your baby.
- Human milk has many benefits. It's easier for your baby to digest. It doesn't need to be prepared. It's always available. It has all the nutrients, calories, and fluids your baby needs to be healthy. It has growth factors that ensure the best development of your baby's organs. It has many substances that formulas don't have that protect your baby from many diseases and infections. In fact, breastfed babies are less likely to have:
- Ear infections
- Other bacterial and viral infections, such as meningitis
Research also suggests that breastfeeding may help to protect against obesity, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), asthma, eczema, colitis, and some cancers.
Why is breastfeeding good for me?
Breastfeeding is good for your health because it helps: Release hormones in your body that promote mothering behavior. Return your uterus to the size it was before pregnancy more quickly. Burn more calories, which may help you lose the weight you gained during pregnancy. Delay the return of your menstrual period to help keep iron in your body. Reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer. Keep bones strong, which helps protect against bone fractures in older age.