Breastfeeding and Obesity

You probably already know that childhood obesity has become a serious problem in the United States.  But did you know that formula feeding increases the risk that a child will develop obesity later in life? Breastfeeding your baby significantly decreases the chances that he will become overweight as an adult.  The Centers for Disease control and Prevention have reported:  “…for each month of exclusive breastfeeding, up to 9 months, the risk of obesity is decreased by 4%.”  In other words, the longer your baby breastfeeds, the less risk of obesity!

Here is a summary of a few other recent studies:  This information is from the “Meds and More Newsletter, by Hale Publishing, December 2012.

Early artificial feeding may increase childhood obesity risk by 15-25%

The research suggests that direct breastfeeding (as opposed to bottle feeding with breast milk) may help a child better regulate his food intake later in life.

Infant weight gain is influenced not only by the type of milk consumed, but the delivery method (breast vs bottle).

Human milk is low in protein compared to other milks and formula which appears to lead to decreased risk of obesity.

Every mother has her own personal reasons for choosing to breastfeed.  Maybe it’s because she is concerned about allergies. Perhaps she knows that formula feeding increases the risk of ear infections or other illness.   Whatever your reasons for breastfeeding, now you have one more.

So keep breastfeeding!   Every month brings new benefits!

For the complete press release: http://www.ibreastfeeding.com/newsletter/2012/12/issue-breastfeeding-and-obesity

Preparing for Breastfeeding During Pregnancy

“I’m pregnant with my second child and planning to breastfeed. I had an extremely challenging experience with my daughter and ended up exclusively pumping for about 5 months. My confidence level is pretty low, so I’m planning for lactation support soon after my baby is born. I was wondering if you offer prenatal consultations.”

The best preparation for breastfeeding is simply making a firm decision. Research shows that women who commit to breastfeeding while pregnant are more likely to breastfeed than those who say they will “give it a try.”

You don’t need to do anything special to your breasts while you’re pregnant. Your body is preparing for your baby without  a thought from you. Milk ducts are enlarging, colostrum is being created and your nipple area is becoming darker and more prominent.

Pregnancy is a good time to stop using soap on or near your nipples. It is believed that secretions from glands within the areola (montgomery glands) are constantly cleansing and conditioning the skin of that area. If you use soap on your nipples, you are losing the protection of this natural conditioner. Continue reading