Breast Is Best
August 12, 2020
August is National Breastfeeding Month, and if you’re pregnant or planning to be soon, it’s a great time to learn why your own milk is the best thing you can feed your baby in the crucial first year of his or her life.
"Breastfeeding is not just a great benefit to help protect and nourish your newborn," explains Amy Mattke, RN, Women’s Wellness Center. "Moms who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, as well as a decreased risk of osteoporosis, hypertension and diabetes later in life.”
The hormones and antibodies in breast milk can protect your baby from illness and will help your child’sdigestive system mature. The milk your body produces
will also change along with your child, adapting to his or her needs and providing better immunity.
Besides the health benefits, breastfeeding increases physical contact with your baby, which is important for both of you. Plus, breast milk is free, saving you $1,500 or more during the first year of your baby’s life that would otherwise be spent on formula.
Even if your baby latches the very first time, you will likely still experience struggles during breastfeeding. That’s why Huron Regional Medical Center providers ensure mothers have the tools and information they need to overcome challenges on the road to successful breastfeeding. Breastfeeding education is an option during HRMC prenatal classes, which are being provided virtually due to COVID-19.
All of HRMC’s delivering physicians support and encourage expectant moms to breast feed. Education about breastfeeding may include information about:
- Breast engorgement. If breast engorgement continues, use cold compresses to help with swelling. There are also simple techniques you can learn to help soften pressure.
- Plugged ducts. If you think you may have a plugged duct, thrush or mastitis, an infection that can cause fever, you need to see a physician or lactation consultant.
- Overfull breasts. If a breast feels overfull, feed on one side for more than one feeding. You can also express some of the excess milk into a sink or breast pump.
- Sore nipples. If you have sore nipples, make sure your baby is latched onto the entire areola, not just the nipple.
- Moisturize cracked nipples with breast milk or ointment.
Find more helpful information at HRMC’s Pregnancy Center online by visiting www.huronregional.org and selecting Health Info and Health Library.
At Huron Regional Medical Center, we know breastfeeding isn’t always easy. That’s why we provide support and encouragement for mothers or soon-to-be mothers. On our Facebook group, mothers can ask questions, vent about any struggles you’re experiencing and learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding your infant. In-person support is also available.
For more information on breastfeeding support, call Amy Mattke, RN, at (605) 554-1020 or Teri Weidner-Eichstadt, RN, HRMC Birthing Center nurse, at (605) 353-6251, or join the Huron Area Breastfeeding Support Group on Facebook.
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