What About Breastfeeding?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months.  After the introduction of solid foods they recommend continued breastfeeding for 1 yr or more.

Scientific research has shown many health benefits for the infant including, reduced colds, ear, and throat infections.  There may be less incidence of inflammatory bowel disorders, SIDS, childhood diabetes, or childhood leukemia.

Breast milk contains a perfect balance of nutrients for the infant and is free and available.

Another option is to express or pump the breasts to extract the milk and refrigerate or freeze it for later feedings.

However, it is not possible for all new mothers to breastfeed for any number of reasons. The mother may be ill after delivery, have a communicable disease, or have limited assistance at home with her new infant. She may need to return to work. She may have other children at home to take care of as well.

Realistically, it’s important that the baby get something to eat.  The child will still grow up and go to MIT or Harvard or the University of the Incarnate Word. So this new mother should not feel somehow that she has failed her child if she is not able to provide exclusive or combined breastfeeding.