Monday, August 1, 2011

World Breastfeeding Week!

Welcome to the kick-off of World Breastfeeding Week and Breastfeeding Awareness Month! The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action along with advocates across the globe are celebrating the 19th year of World Breastfeeding Week. World Breastfeeding Week takes place annually from August 1-7 and the entire month of August has been deemed National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. To honor both of these, the majority of this month's posts will focus on breastfeeding, bf products and the like. 

Here are some of the benefits and facts to breastfeeding for both children and mothers, from the American Academy of Pediatrics and Best for Babes Foundation.
  • Less likely to contract infectious illnesses such as diarrhea, respiratory infections, otitis media, staph bacterial, viral and urinary tract infections
  • Lower risk of SIDS and post neonatal death, helps regulate breathing
  • Less risk of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Have better visual acuity, neurological development and long term cardiovascular health, including cholesterol levels
  • Are less likely to develop obesity, asthma, eczema, diabetes, lymphoma, childhood leukemia, Hodgkin's disease,
  • Are less likely to show language and motor skill delays
  • Score higher on cognitive tests at school age and into young adulthood
  • Have fewer cavities and are less likely to need braces
  • Reduces girls' lifetime risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 25%
  • Helps mature baby's digestive system, makes stomach lining approximately 15 times thicker than formula fed babies thus allowing them them to absorb food quicker and grow better
  • Helps develop baby's immune system by providing healthy bacteria, antibodies, white blood cells, antimicrobials, cell wall protectors
  • Breast milk contains the perfect amount of fat, carbs and protein; as your child grows, breast milk changes to accommodate baby's nutritional needs, even during times of illness when hydration is crucial
  • Breast milk helps calm babies, serves as a pain reliever and soother (vaccinations) and induces sleep all which are critical for proper neurological development
  • Breastfed babies are better eaters as toddlers because milk is flavored with what the mother eats, introducing flavors to babies before they even take their first bite of solid food
  • Children are better able to cope with stressful situations later in life because of learned self-soothing and self-regulating skills, both of which are social and emotional development tools
  • Breast milk is more easily digested which leads to less spit-up, stomach discomfort and constipation
  • Human breasts can detect even 1 degree of change in your baby and heat up or cool down to adjust to a perfect incubation temperature for baby when spending skin-to-skin contact time; in turn baby will expend fewer calories trying to regulate their body temperature
  • Grown children needing organ transplants from their mother or siblings have a better acceptance rate
  • Increased vaccine effectiveness
  • Helps pass meconium
  • Enjoy quicker recovery from childbirth with less of a risk of postpartum bleeding
  • Are more likely to return to their pre-pregnancy weight and less likely to develop long term obesity
  • Have a reduced risk of anemia
  • Are less likely to develop Osteoporosis, Ovarian and Premenopausal Breast Cancer
  • Are calmer, sleep better and have a lower risk of developing Postpartum Depression due to released oxytocin - Dads sleep better too!
  • Dirty diapers from breastfed babies don't smell as bad
  • Breast milk can be left at room temperature for several hours rather than being rushed to the refrigerator due to the antimicrobials it contains
  • Breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and baby
  • Breast milk is readily available and is served from mom at the perfect temperature every time
  • Breast milk is free! Or it can be purchased through milk banks (adoptions etc.)
  • Spend less time and money on doctor visits
  • No recalls, just observance by the mother of what she puts into her body
  • Form follows function - feeding human infants is the function breasts and breast milk were designed to perform
For more information, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics: Breastfeeding Initiative, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and the Best for Babes Foundation

Wishing you a pot o' gold, and all the joy your heart can hold. Thanks for reading!