Monday, October 3, 2022

HEALTHIER YOU: Breastfeeding is the best for your baby

August 9, 2022 by  
Filed under Health

BY DR. ANNETTE MAYES, OB/GYN

DR. ANNETTE MAYES

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month. The CDC encourages mothers to breastfeed your infant if possible and considers breastfeeding the best source of nutrition for most infants. It can reduce the risk of certain health conditions for both infants and mothers.

Most mothers want to breastfeed but stop early due to a lack of ongoing support. Certain factors make the difference in whether and how long infants are breastfeeding. Infants who are breastfed have a reduced risk of: asthma, obesity, Type 1 diabetes, severe lower respiratory disease, acute otitis media (ear infections), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting).

Benefits for mothers are also numerous and can help lower a mother’s risk of: high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, and breast cancer.

Mothers should temporarily not breastfeed and should not feed expressed breast milk to their infants if: mother is infected with untreated brucellosis, taking certain medications, undergoing diagnostic imaging, or has an herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection with lesions present on the breast (Note: mothers can breastfeed directly from the unaffected breast if lesions on the affected breast are covered completely to avoid transmission).

Mothers may be able to resume breastfeeding after consulting with a physician to determine when their breast milk is safe for their infant. These mothers should be provided with lactation support to learn how to maintain milk production and feed their infants with pasteurized donor human milk or formula while temporarily not breastfeeding.

Infants born with birth defects can have a range of physical and developmental abnormalities, from very mild to more severe. Breast milk is still important nutrition for these infants, and in fact, may be especially beneficial for infants with certain birth defects who are often at higher risk for developmental delays and respiratory and other infections.

Breastfeeding can also help to strengthen jaw and facial muscles, which could benefit babies with low muscle tone.

For more information, call Las Vegas All Women’s Care at (702) 522-9640. Or visit 700 Shadow Lane #165 in Las Vegas.

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