When becoming new parents, there are many decisions to make. One of them is how you will feed your baby, so it is helpful to be well informed when making a decision about it.
Importance of breastfeeding
Breast milk provides many benefits for a baby as well as the mother and is the ideal source of nutrition for the growth and development of your child.
- Helps protect against ear, chest, stomach and bowel infections
- Helps with brain development
- May help protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- May help to protect against eczema, asthma, and allergies
- Helps recovery after childbirth
- Promotes closeness and bonding with baby
- Helps with returning to pre-pregnancy weight
- Always fresh, always ready
- Saves money – It is free!
Almost all mothers can breastfeed. However, in some cases, there may be a medical reason for supplementation of a mother’s breast milk. If this is the case, the Family Kickstart Georgia (FKSG) recommends using:
- Mother’s expressed breast milk as a first choice
- Donor milk if available
- Artificial baby milk (formula) as the last choice
If temporary supplementation is needed, find out how you can increase and protect your breast milk supply. Check at FKSG to learn about expressing breast milk, and discuss any concerns and questions you have with our health care professionals.
Contact FKSG to learn about expressing breast milk, and discuss any concerns and questions you have with our health care professionals.
Risks of not breastfeeding your baby
Children who are not breastfed have a greater risk of:
- Asthma and allergies
- Ear, lung, and bowel infections
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Obesity and diabetes
- Some childhood cancers
- Infections from contaminated artificial baby milk
Mothers who do not breastfeed have a greater risk of:
- Chronic diseases
- Breast and ovarian cancer
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Keep in mind that a lot of information about artificial baby milk (formula) is from companies who make artificial baby milk (formula) and are trying to sell their product and feeding your baby artificial baby milk (formula) is more expensive for families. Free artificial baby milk (formula) may be offered to you at a time when you are tired and still gaining confidence with breastfeeding.
It can be very difficult to reverse your decision if you choose to stop breastfeeding. Speak with health-care professional or counselor at Family Kickstart Georgia (FKSG) before you make your decision.
FKSG recommends exclusive breastfeeding (no artificial baby milk (formula), no solid foods, no water or other liquids should be given) for the first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding with the introduction of solids for up to two years and beyond.
Wait until your baby is six months old and showing signs of being ready before offering solids:
- Controls head well
- Sits up in a high chair
- Shows interest in food when sees others eating
- Opens mouth wide for food
- Closes lips over spoon
- Swallows food in mouth
- Turns body or head away when full