The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates new moms breastfeed exclusively for at least six months after birth, with a goal of continuing breast milk for at least the first year. “Breastfeeding is one of the greatest health advantages you can give your infant. It’s the gift that lasts a lifetime,” says Elaine Webber, certified pediatric nurse practitioner and lactation consultant.
The reasons why health experts support the practice are simple. Studies show babies who nurse enjoy lower rates of:
While all women should be encouraged to breastfeed, there are some conditions under which an infant should not be breastfed. For instance, mothers who have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or untreated, active tuberculosis risk passing these illnesses on to their babies through breast milk. To help you learn if breastfeeding is right for you, get information from sound sources. These include:
It’s also important to know that you may face some challenges when you first begin breastfeeding. “If your baby isn’t latching on properly, you may develop sore nipples,” Webber says. “Proper positioning will help correct that problem. Many moms also worry about making enough milk for their babies. Frequent, exclusive feedings at the breast will help mom produce just the right amount of milk for her baby.”
To help you understand obstacles and learn ways around them, consider taking a class. You can also learn tips to take care of yourself and your body while breastfeeding.
Botsford’s Breastfeeding Clinic Offers Support
Sometimes mothers need assistance breastfeeding their babies. Botsford Hospital has established a clinical practice devoted to the care of breastfeeding mothers and infants.
Staffed by a multidisciplinary team, including a board-certified pediatrician, a pediatric nurse practitioner and experienced lactation consultants, the clinic addresses conditions sometimes encountered by nursing mothers. These may include:
Patients are seen by appointment, which are available Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, call 248-471-8471. Most insurances are accepted.
FYI: The clinic stocks a variety of breastfeeding products and supplies for purchase or rental.