Miracle of Mother’s Milk
Tuesday, July 6, 2010 at 10:05PM
Sunny Peds Admin

As featured in local papers October of 2009

What if I were to tell you that I know of a special nutritional substance that can help your baby overcome common viral illnesses, like H1N1 and seasonal flu, ear infections, fight diabetes and obesity.  What if this miracle liquid were also able to help prevent the second leading cause of death in women?  What if I were to tell you that it is quite affordable, free in fact!  Would you rush out to the nearest store for your free sample?  Well you don’t have to!  No waiting in line!  No expensive price!  No disgusting taste!  No side effects!  What is this miracle substance I am speaking of?  Any guesses?  Mother’s milk.  Yep, that’s right.  The milk a woman’s body naturally produces after having a baby can do all of these things and more! 

The American Academy of Pediatrics as well as the American College of Obstetricians and Gyncologists has long recognized the benefits of mother’s milk for infants as well as mothers.  Breastfeeding helps mom and baby both recover from pregnancy and birth and also fight future ailments.  First off, breastfeeding helps mom shed those “baby pounds” faster than formula feeding.  Secondly, breastfeeding decreases the rate of breast, ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancer.  A study completed in 1999 showed that breastfeeding for 2 weeks significantly reduced a woman’s chances of breast cancer.  Breastfeeding for 2 years was shown to decrease the risk of breast cancer by 50%.  There isn’t a drug around that can make the same claim. 

As you may know, the rate of breast cancer in Madison County is significantly higher than surrounding counties.  Although there are many contributing factors, the fact that our breastfeeding rate was found to be only 39% at the time of discharge from the hospital definitely points to an easy change we can make as a community to decrease the risk of contracting breast cancer.  The AAP states that the national average of moms breastfeeding at discharge from the hospital is 62%.  This decreases to 31% by six months of age and a staggering <18% by one year of age.  Ideally, a baby should be exclusively breastfed the first six months of life with breastfeeding and solid foods from six months to one year of age.  As with all life decisions we make for ourselves and our kids, breastfeeding is not easy.  But with education and support from our community, we hope to significantly impact the lives of the children and women of Madison County by promoting and supporting breastfeeding. 

Look for future articles regarding breastfeeding as well as look for future support group meetings for future breastfeeding moms, current breastfeeding moms, and former breastfeeding moms.  If you have questions or are interested in assisting with future support groups, please email me at drdana@sunnypeds.com or call the Madison County Hospital Women’s Health department at 740-852-7272.

Article originally appeared on Sunshine Pediatrics (http://sunnypeds.com/).
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