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Why breastfeeding is best

Studies have found that breast milk is the healthiest food for babies.

Expectant moms have many choices to make. There are big things, such as picking out the baby’s name, and little things—like deciding whether to call a pacifier a nook or a binkie.

Dana Carpenter, RN, BSN, IBCLC, Lactation Consultant and Perinatal Educator at T.J. Samson Community Hospital, wants mothers-to-be to understand this: Choosing between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding is one of the big things. In fact, Carpenter believes it’s one of the most important decisions you’ll make for your baby.

“I encourage every pregnant woman to take time to learn as much as she can about the vital health benefits of feeding babies breast milk,” says Carpenter, who is certified by the International Board of Lactation Examiners.

Milk from mom

And just what are those benefits? Well, studies have found that breast milk is the healthiest food for babies. That’s because it has:
  • Growth factors that ensure the best development of your baby’s organs.
  • All the nutrition, calories and fluid your baby needs.
  • Substances that protect your baby from many illnesses and infections.

Breast milk can keep your baby from getting diarrhea, ear and respiratory infections, and meningitis. There’s even some research that says breastfeeding protects against obesity, diabetes, SIDS and some cancers.

Plus, you might consider the ease and convenience. Breast milk is:
  • Always available when your baby is hungry.
  • Already at the right temperature.
  • Easier for your baby to digest.
  • And those are just the ways it helps your baby. As a new mom, breastfeeding may help you:
  • Return more quickly to your pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Lower your risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
  • Keep your bones stronger.

Along with being good for your health, breastfeeding creates a special bond between mother and baby. You’ll share a warmth and closeness with your newborn when feeding, Carpenter says.

How T.J. Samson helps

The T.J. Samson family feels that breastfeeding is best for the health of babies—which is why the hospital offers complimentary classes and services for moms who choose to breastfeed.

You can sign up for “Beginning Breastfeeding,” a one-night session that covers all the basics.

There’s also a six-week “Childbirth Preparation and Newborn Care” class. Breastfeeding is one of the many subjects discussed during this course.  

Once your baby is born, the nurses at T.J. Samson will be excited to help you get started with the wonderful experience of breastfeeding your baby. If you have problems with nursing while you are in the hospital, or even after going home, you can schedule an appointment with Dana Carpenter.

You can also contact her for more information about lactation services and classes. Call 270-651-4295 or e-mail dcarpenter@tjsamson.org.
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