Breastfeeding is an important predictor of the health of both a mom and her baby. In Washington only 20% of babies are exclusively breastfed for the recommended first six months of life! The Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington (BCW) strives to change these statistics to ensure that every baby and mother have the best start at health and wellness.
Why Should I Breastfeed?
There are a lot of reasons to breastfeed your baby! Breastfeeding helps you build a special bond with your child and helps you and your baby stay healthy. Breastfed babies have fewer earaches, colds and allergies and are less likely to experience Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Breastmilk is easier to digest and babies have less constipation and diarrhea.
Even More Benefits of Breastfeeding:
- Helps protect against childhood obesity – breastfeeding your baby for nine months reduces a baby's risk of becoming overweight by more than 30%.
- Strengthens your baby’s immune system by providing nutrients that protect your baby from illnesses and infection.
- Promotes brain development.
- Reduces your risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers.
- Saves money – approximately $1,000 a year that would have been spent on formula.
You have everything your baby needs. The Surgeon General and most medical experts recommend babies receive only breastmilk during the first six months of life. They also recommend continuing to breastfeed for at least the first year of your baby's life. The longer you breastfeed the more health benefits you and your baby will receive.
Breastfeeding is simply the healthiest choice for you and your baby.
Breastmilk is your baby's perfect first food. It has special nutrients your baby needs that are not found in formula. It is just what your baby needs in just the right amount. Your breastmilk changes to meet the needs of your growing child and gives your baby protection against illness and infection. Breastmilk is the only food your baby needs during his or her first six months of life.
Breastfeeding also helps build a special bond between you and your baby, and helps your body return to its pre-pregnancy weight.