House Call: Breastfeeding Pt. 1
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - Welcome back to UHC’s House Call on WDTV. In the first part of our four part series, Jamie Rudash joins us to talk about breastfeeding.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is good for both infants and mothers. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. As an infant grows, breast milk changes to meet the infant’s nutritional needs. Breastfeeding can also help protect the infant and mother against certain illnesses and diseases:
Benefits to Infants who are breastfed have a lower risk of:
- Type 1 diabetes
- Severe lower respiratory disease
- Acute otitis media (ear infections)
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting)
- Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for preterm infantsexternal icon
Benefit to Mothers who breastfeed their infants have a lower risk of:
- Breast cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
When should a mother avoid breastfeeding (contraindications)?
Breast milk provides the best nutrition for most infants, including premature and sick newborns. However, there are rare exceptions when breast milk or breastfeeding is not recommended.
Only a few medications are contraindicated (not recommended) while breastfeeding. Although many medications do pass into breast milk, most have little or no effect on milk supply or on an infant’s well-being. However, health care providers should always weigh the risks and benefits when prescribing medications to breastfeeding mothers.
How is growth assessed for breastfed infants?
In the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO) Growth Standard Charts are recommended for use with both breastfed and formula-fed infants and children, from birth to 2 years of age. to monitor growth. The WHO growth charts establish the growth of the breastfed infant as the norm for growth and are the standards for how children should grow when provided optimal conditions.
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