National Breastfeeding Month brought to you by CuddleBugs at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

MOORESVILLE, NC (August 9, 2013) -

A healthy choice for mothers and babies

Breastfeeding is a natural way for moms and babies to bond, but did you know that it’s also a great way to promote your baby’s — and your own — health? Breastfeeding is so beneficial to mothers and babies that in 2011, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin released a call to action to the entire nation to improve support for breastfeeding.

That same year, the United States Breastfeeding Committee officially deemed August National Breastfeeding Month. In recognition of the occasion, CuddleBugs at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center would like to offer some tips that can help you prepare for breastfeeding.

Why breastfeed?

Breastfeeding offers health benefits to both mothers and babies. Breast milk has antibodies that can protect infants from illness and infection, including diarrhea and ear infections. Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of various conditions in infants such asthma, obesity, diabetes, childhood leukemia and more.

For moms, breastfeeding can lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, type 2 diabetes and postpartum depression. In addition, breastfeeding is less expensive than using formula, which can cost more than $1,000 a year. Choosing to breastfeed is also more convenient for moms, with no need to measure or mix formula or heat bottles in the middle of the night. You can feed your baby right away, no matter where you are.

Breastfeeding is as healthy for mothers as it is for babies. Nursing boosts the mother's oxytocin levels, a hormone that stimulates milk flow and has a calming effect. Oxytocin also produces contractions in the uterus, which can help prevent postpartum hemorrhage. In addition, breastfeeding gives moms an opportunity to stop, relax and bond with their baby, which is so important for new mothers.

Getting prepared

It’s vitally important to get good prenatal care and discuss breastfeeding with your doctor. Proper prenatal care can help avoid an early delivery — babies born too early often require special care, which can make breastfeeding more difficult. The more you learn about what to expect in breastfeeding, the more likely you are to succeed. The health care professionals at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center suggest the following tips to help you get ready:

  • Take a breastfeeding class. Women who learn about breastfeeding are more likely to be successful at nursing their babies than those who don’t.  Classes give you and your partner an opportunity to learn about what to expect and ask questions.  For information on upcoming classes at call Lake Norman Regional Medical Center at 1-888-99LNRMC, or visit www.CuddleBugsBaby.com.
  • Find a lactation consultant. Ask your doctor to recommend someone and meet with the consultant before you give birth. If you need help once the baby is born, you’ll be more comfortable working with someone you know.
  • Discuss health concerns with your doctor. Talk to your doctor about any breast surgery or injury, health problems, or medications you are taking. You and your doctor can discuss treatment options that may be required to accommodate breastfeeding.
  • Talk to others who have breastfed. Hear about other mothers’ experiences so you’ll know the types of issues that may affect you. Joining a breastfeeding support group is a great way to gain support and information from other nursing moms.
  • Enlist support from your partner and family members. Let them know you’ll need their help and support — whether it’s helping out around the house or just being there to listen. It’s helpful for partners to learn about nursing so they will understand potential concerns and can be supportive throughout the process.

Keep in mind that breastfeeding is a learned skill that requires patience and practice. For some women, it can be challenging and frustrating in the early stages, but it gets easier. There are plenty of resources available for breastfeeding mothers. Talk to your doctor about support services in your area.

About Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

Lake Norman Regional Medical Center offers comprehensive medical care to individuals throughout the greater Lake Norman region. Located just off I-77 at Exit 33, the Mooresville medical campus offers complete specialty services from 24-hour emergency medicine and maternity to oncology and advanced surgical services.

About CuddleBugs

CuddleBugs is a free program designed to provide answers to new and expectant moms from the earliest stages of pregnancy through post-delivery – including guidance for newborn care. For more information about CuddleBugs, visit www.CuddleBugsBaby.com.

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Remember that this information is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, but rather to increase awareness and help equip patients with information and facilitate conversations with your physician that will benefit your health.

Sources:

United States Breastfeeding Committee

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Surgeon General

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health