Good Health Begins with Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Protects Babies
Breastmilk is the biologically normal food for human babies. Some of the consequences of not receiving human milk can include:
- Decreased IQ by up to 8 points and delayed neurobiological development
- Increased rates of illness, especially gastrointestinal and respiratory
- For premature infants, increased risk of contracting necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) or sepsis which can result in serious illness or death
- Increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Increased rates of allergies, especially if given artificial milk during the first four months of life
- Decreased immunological response to injected vaccines
- Increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and some cancers later in life.
Breastfeeding Protects Mothers
Women who do not breastfeed for any length of time may be at increased risk for:
- Premenopausal breast cancer
- Ovarian, uterine and thyroid cancer
- Type 2 diabetes (if they had gestational diabetes)
- High blood pressure
- Autoimmune disorders
- Post-partum depression.
The list is excerpted from the Breastfeeding USA Statement on Breastfeeding by Sharon Knorr, IBCLC.
Here are some more references:
“Normal” is a very scary word by Diane Wiessinger MS, IBCLC
The Risks of Not Breastfeeding for Mothers and Infants by Alison Stuebe, MD, MSc
Risks of Formula Feeding
Need Breastfeeding Help?
Are you searching for a Breastfeeding Counselor near you? Look over the Find a Breastfeeding Counselor page. Breastfeeding Counselors are now found in 20 states and many more will be accredited in 2013.
Are you considering volunteering as a Breastfeeding Counselor? Read Becoming a Breastfeeding Counselor. Breastfeeding USA welcomes applications and offers a comprehensive course as well as an accelerated course. Find the right fit for you.
Throughout human history, breastfeeding mothers have turned to each other for help. We invite you to join the circle of support and become a member of Breastfeeding USA today. We thank you, and breastfeeding mothers around the country thank you, too!