As a new mom, you will make many decisions regarding the health and wellbeing of your baby. Breastfeeding is one of those major decisions for your family.
Learning about the benefits of breastfeeding might make your decision to nurse a little easier. According to the CDC, right now only one in four infants are breastfed exclusively by the time they’re six months old. Black babies are 15% less likely to have ever been breastfed as compared to white babies. Additionally, over 50% of mothers stop nursing sooner than planned.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
There are many benefits to breastfeeding- for both mother and baby. In infants, breastfeeding can lower the risk of:
- Asthma & obesity
- Type 1 diabetes
- Lower respiratory disease and SIDS
- Ear infections and gastrointestinal infections
In mothers, the risk is decreased for:
- Ovarian and breast cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
That said, breastfeeding is not an easy journey. You will need patience, support, education, and perseverance. Talk with your pediatrician, join support groups with other nursing mothers, and speak to a lactation consultant when you’re feeling discouraged or unwell. The WIC at the Tuscarawas Health Dept. offers prenatal breastfeeding classes as well as access to lactation consultants.
The Ohio WIC (Women, Infant, Children) Program will help eligible pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children up to 5 years old, receive adequate nutrition. The program offers support services for mother nutrition and strives to help babies reach full-term before birth. WIC also provides education and breastfeeding support, as well as nutritious foods such as cereal, milk, fruits, and vegetables.
More information about the Tuscarawas County Health Department WIC program can be found at http://www.tchdnow.org/wic-women-infant-and-children.html. You can contact the director, Valerie Wilson, at (330) 343-5555 x148 or WICTuscarawas@odh.ohio.gobe. You can also visit www.tchdnow.org or find them on Facebook for more information about the Tuscarawas County Health Department and their services.