Oswego County News Release
Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Aug. 7, 2009

Breast Feeding Is a Healthy Choice for Mother and Child

Choosing how you will feed your baby is one of the most important decisions new parents will make. Today, more and more mothers are choosing to breastfeed. It is a healthy choice for mothers and babies and frees families from the daily chore of preparing formula and warming bottles.

"While some women look forward to their chance to breastfeed, others may worry, especially if they do not have the support of their family and friends," said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Public Health Director of the Oswego County Health Department. "These feelings of uncertainty are normal. Not only is breast milk best for your baby, breastfeeding can be an exciting and fulfilling part of motherhood. It can even make your life easier."

National Breastfeeding Week, August 1 to 7, celebrates the many health benefits that breastfeeding provides, including:

  • Breast milk helps keep babies healthy.
  • Breast milk helps protect against colds, flu, diarrhea, ear infections and other illnesses.
  • Breast milk is ready day or night, anytime your baby is hungry. It is always the right temperature.
  • Breast milk is easy for your baby to digest, since your body makes it for your baby.
  • Breast milk is naturally clean. It passes from the breast to the baby's mouth and cannot "go bad" or "spoil".
  • Breast milk helps prevent diaper rash.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to be overweight in life. They learn to stop eating when they are full, instead of when the bottle is empty.

There are many myths about breastfeeding that the Oswego County Health Department would like to debunk:

Myth 1. Many women do not produce enough milk. Not true. The vast majority of women produce more than enough milk. If your baby is losing weight from breastfeeding, most of the time it is because your baby is not latched on properly. All hospitals have lactation consultants that will be there to help you get it right, even after you have left the maternity ward.

Myth 2. Breastfeeding ties the mother down. False. A mother can nurse a child anytime anywhere. No need to make formula or drag around bottles. Some women are uncomfortable nursing in public. To reduce this concern, there are many different types of nursing aprons out on the market.

Myth 3. It is normal for breastfeeding to hurt. This is not true. Though some tenderness during the first few days is relatively common, this should be a temporary situation which lasts only a few days and should never be so bad that the mother dreads nursing. Any pain that is more than mild is abnormal and is almost always due to the baby latching on poorly.

For more information about the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and mothers, visit the New York State Department of Health web site at www.nyhealth.gov.

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