August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week, marking the anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration, which aims to protect, support, and promote breastfeeding. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Cleveland Clinic, breastfeeding has a variety of health benefits for both babies and mothers.
- A lower risk of certain diseases — Breastfeeding can reduce a mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancers, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
- Postpartum benefits — Breastfeeding can help promote faster weight loss after birth and lead to less postpartum bleeding. It also creates less risk of postpartum depression and fewer urinary tract infections.
- Good for mental health — Breastfeeding creates naturally soothing hormones that promote stress reduction and positive feelings. It also creates more of a physical and emotional bond between mom and baby.
- Convenience — Mothers can feed on the go, without having to worry about mixing formula or preparing bottles.
- Strong immune systems — Breast milk can protect babies from ear infections, stomach bugs, asthma, type 1 diabetes, whooping cough, obesity, and other illnesses and conditions.
- An abundance of nutritional value — Breast milk supports the growth and development of infants. As babies grow, their mother’s breast milk will change to meet their nutritional needs.
- A calming effect — Breast milk contains substances that naturally soothe babies, and breastfed babies tend to cry less.
Breastfeeding Support at Valley
- In-hospital breastfeeding support
- Skin-to-skin contact
- “The Magic Hour” — first hour after birth devoted to skin-to-skin and bonding time
- Nurses and certified lactation consultants
- Outpatient breastfeeding services
For more information about breastfeeding services at Valley, please visit ValleyHealth.com/Breastfeeding, or call 201-291-6151 to make an appointment for services.