Many mothers choose to give their newborns formula, but your Nashville, TN, pediatricians from Pediatric Associates of Davidson County want to tell you the benefits of breastfeeding.
What is breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is when a baby feeds directly from their mother's breasts. Babies have an instinctive reflex action that allows them to suck. This action additionally stimulates breast ducts to release milk.
What exactly is in breastmilk?
Women's breasts produce colostrum right before giving birth. This thick, nutrient-rich liquid then converts to breast milk after childbirth. Although not all women can breastfeed due to physical limitations, your child can still benefit from the nutrients in breastmilk if you extract it using a manual, or electrical, pumping machines.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding, or nursing, is a healthy option for you and your newborn baby. The first six months of your child's life are the most important for development, and according to the World Health Organization, your baby should rely exclusively on breastmilk for those first months. This is due to how breastmilk has many advantages, including how:
- It consists of a proper balance of nutrients to help with your child's growth and development
- It contains antibodies that ward off infections and chronic diseases
- It is easily digested
- It helps mothers burn calories to shrink the uterus and makes it easier to return to pre-pregnancy weight
What about using formula?
Infant formula replicates basic nutrients in breast milk, but certain natural components can't be duplicated, which is why your Nashville doctor recommends breastfeeding your child for the first few months.
Need a consultation?
Many women may be confused about whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed their baby. The doctors at Pediatric Associates of Davidson County in Nashville, TN, are here to help. If you would like to learn more about breastfeeding, you can contact us by calling (615) 329-3595 today!