Authorities from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the World Health Organization agree: if possible, breastfeeding is an excellent way to help get newborns off to the healthiest start possible.
There are many benefits that come along with breastfeeding, for new moms, for babies, and for the bond that they share.
It can be hard to keep in mind when you’re facing some of the difficulties that can come with adjusting to breastfeeding. But breastfeeding may be one way to get some early bonding time with your little one in. Of course, this is true of all feeding for young babies. But breastfeeding triggers an extra dose of oxytocin — the “love” hormone that plays such a key part of early bonding.
In the womb, babies are protected by their mothers’ immune systems. This is why it’s recommended that women get flu shots and DTaP vaccines during pregnancy. Babies who are breastfed get to piggyback on their moms’ immune systems even after birth while their own immune systems develop, as antibodies are passed on through breast milk.
Your own health
The contractions of the uterus that breastfeeding stimulates early in the postpartum period can help the uterus go back to its normal size and to decrease postpartum bleeding.
Breastfeeding isn’t the only way to feed a little one. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions regarding your options.
Walmart’s Life with Baby program gives you access to different benefits and services like a free breast pump, and three lactation sessions.
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- “Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk”. American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatrics March 2012, 129 (3) e827-e841 (https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827.full#content-block
- “Breastfeeding”. World Health Organization. WHO.int (https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding#tab=tab_2)
- “Love, Actually: The science behind lust, attraction, and companionship”. Katherine Wu, February 4, 2017. Harvard Medical School. (http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2017/love-actually-science-behind-lust-attraction-companionship/)
- “The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby and Mom”. Cleveland Clinic. My.clevelandclinic.org. (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15274-the-benefits-of-breastfeeding-for-baby–for-mom)
- Gunderson EP, Hurston SR, Ning X, et al. Lactation and Progression to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus After Gestational Diabetes Mellitus: A Prospective Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med. 2015;163(12):889‐898. doi:10.7326/M15-0807 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26595611/)