JOPLIN, Mo. — This is World Breastfeeding Week – with many medical experts hoping to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and for moms.
“I think that breastfeeding is potentially something that could affect anyone who decides to have a child and, you know, a big part of just kind of health within you know, our communities,” said Dr. Lindsey McClintick, Pediatrics.
Benefits start with colostrum.
“The first substance the breast makes after a woman has a baby, we call it the first immunization. Lots and lots of immune benefits as well as various other really good proteins and other minerals and vitamins that are packed into that small volume that that baby is getting so big immune support.”
Breastfeeding eliminates the weekly cost of formula. It can also help to create that bond between mother and baby.
“When, you know, mom and baby are able to have a good breastfeeding relationship, that can be really awesome in terms of, you know, nurturing bonding for sure,” she said.
What you eat while breastfeeding can impact your breast milk.
“I usually just say maybe pay attention see if that you know causes trouble to your baby and maybe just space it out a little bit more or not do a whole lot at once. But I’d say the vast majority of women can just continue to eat and drink what they want.”
There’s no hard and fast rule for how long you should breastfeed your baby.
“I think whatever you know, that mom was able to provide for their baby. I tell my moms you know, as long as you two mutually are benefiting from this, then keep going. You know, most babies are, you know, the first six months are primarily just consuming milk for their diet. Starts on foods between six and 12 months. So I think you know, the first year is a really great goal for lots of moms,” said Dr. Lindsey McClintik.