A breastfed baby is a Stronger Baby
Research has shown that there is no better food than breast milk for a baby’s first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional, economical and emotional benefits to mother and baby. Babies who breastfeed are less likely to have several illnesses, including ear infections, asthma and allergies. They have less vomiting, diarrhea and colic. Studies also show that breastfeeding lowers the risk of SIDS, obesity, diabetes and childhood cancers in addition to encouraging better brain development.
For mothers, breastfeeding lowers the risk for breast and ovarian cancers, and possibly the risk of endometrial cancer. Breastfeeding strengthens a mother's bones, decreasing her risk of hip fractures and osteoporosis after menopause. Breastfeeding also lowers a mother's risk of diabetes and heart disease, promotes bonding, and helps with relaxation, possibly reducing the mother's risk of postpartum depression.
How long should I breastfeed?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life, and that breastfeeding continue for at least a year and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.
How does the health department promote breastfeeding?
The Knox County Health Department’s WIC clinic organizes the Knox Breastfriends Group to support breastfeeding mothers and their babies; the clinic also provides breastfeeding education and counseling to program participants. The health department’s Community Health division produces a Community Breastfeeding Resource Guide for mothers and providers in addition to encouraging businesses to sign the Breastfeeding Welcomed Here Pledge.
Where can I find more resources?
- Tennessee Breastfeeding Hotline: 1-855-4BF-MOMS
- Community Breastfeeding Resource Guide
- Knox County Health Department WIC Clinic
- WomensHealth.gov – Breastfeeding
- Choose My Plate – Nutritional Needs During Breastfeeding
- KidCentralTN.com - Information on thousands of programs available to Tennessee families, children and parents—many available at no cost.
- La Leche League of Kentucky - Tennessee