The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Expecting Mothers

on August 5, 2013
As an expecting mom, there are lots of plans to make and things to consider before your little one arrives. Making the healthiest decisions concerning your baby’s nutrition, growth and development are always a parent’s top priority. That’s why we want to make sure you have all the information you need to determine whether or not you will breastfeed your newborn. Here are some facts about the benefits of breastfeeding and how it can improve both you and your baby’s health.

Breastfeeding benefits your baby and can:
  • reduce their risk of ear infections by up to 50% 
  • decrease their risk of serious lower respiratory infections by up to 72% 
  • reduce the risk of skin rashes like eczema by 42% 
  • make them 40% less likely to have asthma if you have a family history of asthma and 27% less likely to develop asthma with no family history 
  • decrease their likelihood of developing Type 1 diabetes by 20% 
  • reduce their risk of Type 2 diabetes by up to 39% 
  • have fewer episodes of diarrhea 
  • reduce the occurrence of childhood leukemia 
  • reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) by up to 36% 
  • significantly decrease the occurrence of necrotizing enterocolitis, a serious gastrointestinal infection, in premature infants, that often results in death 
Women who breastfeed their infants are proven to have a:
  • 12% reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes for each year they breastfeed 
  • decreased risk of developing ovarian cancer by up to 21% 
  • decreased risk of developing breast cancer by up to 28% for women whose lifetime duration of breastfeeding was 12 months or longer 
  • more fulfilling bonding experience between mother and infant 
While you are expecting, it is important to remember that every decision you make affects your baby. If you are considering artificial milk over breast milk, you must look at the facts. Formula fed babies are:
  • 3 – 4 times more likely to develop middle ear infections 
  • 10 times more likely to be hospitalized for a bacterial infection 
  • 5 times more likely to contract the rotavirus 
  • at an increased risk of developing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis 
  • 40% more likely to develop childhood onset Insulin Dependent Diabetes Melitus 
  • 5 – 8 times more likely to develop childhood cancer like lymphoma 
  • shown to have lower IQ scores (8 points) at age 7 – 8 than breastfed babies that were premature 
  • at a higher risk of being obese and overweight as children, leading to health problems into adulthood 
Here are a few other important facts about artificial milk:
  • The DHA and ARA that are added to infant formula are extracted from fermented micro algae (cryptecodiunium cohnii) and from soil fungus (mortierelle aplina). The DHA and ARA found in breast milk are human fatty acids that are structurally different from what is added to formula and are absorbed differently by the baby. 
  • One SIDS death (sudden infant death syndrome) for every 1,000 live births in western industrialized nations occurs as a result of failure to breastfeed. 
  • For every 1,000 babies born in the U.S. each year, four die as a result of complications of not being breastfed. 
  • Infant formula has been recalled from shelves of stores and hospitals for being contaminated with life threatening bacteria (Enterobacter Sakazakii). These bacteria can cause sepsis and meningitis in newborns. 
  • Scores on the Bayley Mental Development index were lower in formula fed infants at one to two years of age. 
Prior to your delivery, we invite you to call or meet with us if you have any questions about breastfeeding or if you have any of the following:
  • flat or inverted nipples (if you are unsure, ask your OB doctor or Midwife to do a breast assessment) 
  • a history of any type of breast surgery 
  • any history of difficulty breastfeeding a previous child 
  • are pregnant with twins, triplets or more 
  • have IDDM (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) or gestational diabetes 
  • are on multiple medications during your pregnancy 
As a GIFT Certified Breastfeeding Center, Baton Rouge General hosts monthly breastfeeding educational courses for expecting moms. 

To view the class schedule or to register click here or call (225) 763-4280. For more information about GIFT, please call (225) 763-4127.