Variety is the spice of life and that goes for breastfed babies too. Your milk changes as your baby grows, if either of you is sick and takes on the flavors of the foods you eat. The changing flavor of your milk can help your baby accept different tastes later and reduce your chances of having a picky eater later on. So sharing your foods with your baby through your milk is a good thing right? Maybe, but there is more to the story.
As healthcare providers we strive to provide the same care to all of our patients and see good health outcomes across the lifespan, income level and educational status. Mostly, we have been successful – more mothers are insured, home visiting programs have shown promising results and more infants getting their vaccines on time. But as many health disparities are shrinking, one is growing. African American mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health.
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics is the first to determine the length of time a mother needs to breastfeed to protect her baby from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The researchers found breastfeeding for at least 2 months cut the incidence of SIDS by almost 50% even after adjusting for variables that could otherwise account for these changes, such as prenatal care and secondhand smoke. Partial and exclusive breastfeeding offer similar rates of protection from SIDS, the important factor seems to be the duration of breastfeeding.
Loving our baby comes easy, the cute toes and irresistible baby smell win our hearts from the moment we meet. Caring for sweet our new little ones is a big job- so it’s lucky for them they are so cute. Sleepless nights, endless diaper changes, spit up covering every surface can leave you feeling like a milk soaked zombie –but a happy zombie that wouldn’t change a thing.
Throughout history, women have used breastfeeding as a natural contraceptive. Researchers have found evidence of Egyptian, Native Alaskan and early European populations recognizing the connection between breastfeeding and family planning. This method of birth control is known as the Lactational Amenorrhea Method or LAM.
The list of breastfeeding benefits for you just got a little longer with the latest study out of Kaiser Permanente. In 1985 and 1986 researchers enrolled 1238 women and followed them for 30 years to find risk factors for disease and identify trends in health habits. Over the next 30 years, each woman had at least one live birth and reported the amount of time they breastfed their infants. Other behaviors were also recorded, like diet and physical activity.
Fires, floods, hurricanes have hit the US in the last weeks. Whether you have been an evacuee, volunteer or witness through images – we can’t escape the danger and randomness of natural disasters. Here in Oregon several large forest fires forced families to leave their homes if they lived in the path of the flames. Many other western states have experienced the same. The flooding and devastation in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico have forced families into shelters and left them without power for weeks.
For all the challenges of adding a second baby to your family, waiting for your milk to come in may not be one of them. Talk to second time moms and most will share the experience of milk coming in faster and less anxiety about low milk supply. For all of us that are currently, or can recall the experience of, chasing a toddler and now caring for a newborn, less anxiety about anything is a blessing.
The health benefits of breastfeeding your baby are widely known. The World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. The immunity boost provided by mother’s milk leads to lower health care costs, fewer parental absences and less antibiotic use.