Benefits of Breastfeeding

The majority of new moms today are choosing to breastfeed. Nationally, about 75 percent of babies leave the hospital breastfeeding; at Valley Medical Center, it's about 90 percent. Our nursing staff will help get you off to a good start during your hospital stay. Once you go home, we offer parent support groups and outpatient lactation consultants.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Practice Physicians, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF all recommend that babies be breastfed exclusively until solid foods are started, at about 6 months of age. They also recommend that mothers continue breastfeeding until baby is at least 1 year old.

Breastfed babies have

  • Less diarrhea, vomiting, ear infections, serious allergies, respiratory infections and urinary tract infections
  • Less risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Lower rates of juvenile diabetes and childhood cancers if breastfed longer than 6 months
  • Higher cognitive (IQ) scores

Mothers who breastfeed have

  • An easier time regaining their figures and maintaining their ideal weight
  • Lower rates of breast and ovarian cancer (the greatest protection is for mothers who breastfeed for a total time of 2 years or more)
  • Fewer urinary tract infections while breastfeeding
  • Reduced risk of postpartum bleeding
  • Lower risk of osteoporosis