Breastfeeding offers a range of benefits for both mother and child. At Scripps, we want to support your breastfeeding decision and offer you the tools you need. All Scripps hospital maternity nursing staff members are specially trained to help new mothers with breastfeeding.
And, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas was the first hospital in San Diego County to be designated Baby-Friendly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
In addition, certified lactation consultants are available at each hospital and can help new mothers with breastfeeding challenges.
If this is your first time breastfeeding, these guidelines and tips can help you and your baby succeed.
Breastfeeding benefits both mother and baby.
Scripps follows the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines to encourage new mothers to breastfeed immediately after giving birth and continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of the baby’s life. Breastfeeding not only gives babies a healthy start, but also provides numerous other benefits:
Breastfeeding offers the best possible nutrition for babies
Providing infants with human milk gives them the most complete nutrition possible; human milk provides the optimal mix of nutrients and antibodies necessary for each baby to thrive. Breast milk is easier to digest and babies swallow less air, causing less stomach upset.
Breastfed babies have fewer illnesses
Studies have shown that breastfed children have fewer ear infections, respiratory tract infections and bouts of diarrhea and vomiting than bottle-fed children. Breastfeeding also reduces an infant’s risk of allergies and provides specific immunities against diseases for as long as the child breastfeeds.
Mothers who breastfeed may reap health benefits
Recent studies show that women who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer, anemia and osteoporosis.
Breastfeeding helps the uterus contract to normal size faster
The release of oxytocin during breast stimulation causes the uterus to contract back to pre-pregnancy size in about half the time it takes a non-breastfeeding mom.
Breastfeeding can enhance bonding between mother and newborn
Both mother and baby enjoy the emotional benefits of the very special and close relationship formed through breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding saves money and hassle
In addition to the fact that breast milk is free, parents don’t have to worry about formula preparation, milk spoiling or running out of supplies.
Breastfeeding helps the environment
Breastfeeding uses none of the tin, paper or plastic necessary for preparing, packaging and transporting breast milk substitutes, so there is no environmental waste.
For some women, breastfeeding isn’t as easy as they anticipated. If you find you have difficulty with getting your baby to latch or feeding your baby, the lactation consultants at Scripps are here to help, or call one of our breastfeeding help lines.