Breast-Feeding News

Breast-feeding is the act of a mother feeding a baby from her breasts, which is the natural way for babies to feed during the early part of their life. Research indicates that breast-feeding imparts a number of advantages to the health and wellness of both the baby and the mother. Still, the practice can sometimes be a challenge for new mothers. Most health organizations recommend that a mother breast-feed for at least 12 months, if possible, and feed the baby exclusively breast milk for the first six months.

Advantages of Breast-Feeding

When babies are first born, the milk they receive from their mother is called colostrum. It’s thicker and filled with nutrients and antibodies to help the baby get off to a good start. As time goes on, the breast milk changes and gets thinner, but it still seems to help the baby in many ways. Research has shown that breast-fed babies have lower levels of asthma, diabetes, obesity and other future health problems.

What’s more, breast-feeding seems to have a number of advantages for the mother, as well. Lower levels of postpartum depression, diabetes and ovarian and breast cancers have all been linked to breast-feeding. And from an economic standpoint, breast-feeding is much more economical than formula feeding.

Help for Breast-Feeding Mothers

Though breast-feeding has a number of advantages, it can be challenging for new mothers. The act of breast-feeding takes practice and patience to get it right, and it can be painful at times. Women can help themselves by getting good prenatal care, taking a breast-feeding class or getting help from a lactation consultant. Trying different positions and different strategies for getting the baby to latch can also help mothers find the approach that will work best for them.

SOURCES: U.S. Office on Women's Health

Date Posted
Article Title
Marijuana and Breastfeeding

Should women avoid marijuana while breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom

Breastfeeding may lower a woman's risk of diabetes, new study finds.

Breast Milk May Arrive Late for Obese New Moms

Study finds delays beyond typical 3-day start to production in larger women

IUD Won't Interfere With Breast-Feeding

No reason to delay this type of birth control after having a baby

Breast-Feeding Linked to Lower Endometriosis Risk

Hormonal changes may play a role, researchers say

Can Breast Milk Feed a Love of Vegetables?

Think of it as an early stealth strategy in the war against picky eating, researchers say

Breast-Feeding Lowers Mom's Breast Cancer Risk: Study

It also reduces the child's future cancer risk, cancer institute reports

Breastfeeding and MS Risk

Breastfeeding for 15 months or longer may reduce your risk of developing this chronic autoimmune disease, study finds.

Health Tip: Getting Toddlers to Try New Foods

If at first you don't succeed, try again

Breast-Feeding May Lower Risk of MS, Study Says

Benefits reported for women who nursed 15 months or more

Probiotic Supplements Failed to Prevent Babies' Infections

Benefits of breast-feeding might have overshadowed any potential protective effects, doctors suggest

Breast-Feeding Tied to Lower Heart, Stroke Risk for Mom

Study finds the longer a woman does it, the lower her risk drops

Most Mothers Have Been Victims of 'Mommy-Shaming,' Poll Finds

Criticism of parenting skills usually comes from family members, on topics from discipline to diet

Breast-Feeding May Reduce Pain From C-Section

Study authors say finding provides another good reason to encourage women to nurse

Health Tip: Storing Breast Milk Safely

How, where and when to store it

Another Reason to Breast-Feed: It's Good for Baby's Belly

30 percent of beneficial bacteria in infants' intestinal tract comes from breast milk, study finds

Breast-Feeding Success Hinges on Support for Mom, Baby

Limiting visitors early on and relying on the help of a lactation expert can get mothers off to a good start

Breast-Feeding May Not Lead to Smarter Preschoolers

But study suggests that children who were nursed may be less hyperactive at age 3

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Does breast feeding lower the risk of hyperactivity in children?

Most Cow's Milk Baby Formulas Don't Up Risk of Type 1 Diabetes

But one type of formula may be linked to greater chances if given in week 1, study suggests

Used Safely, Donor Breast Milk Can Help Preemie Babies

But pediatricians' group warns against informal 'milk-sharing' or buying it online

Are Catholic Women Less Likely to Breast-Feed?

Study suggests that possibility, review authors say, but more research needed to confirm findings

Doctors Should Promote Breast-Feeding to Patients: Panel

Education, practical help urged by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Protein in Breast Milk May Reduce Hospital Infections in Preemies

Lactoferrin is safe for newborns and might prevent pneumonia and meningitis, researchers say

What New Moms Need to Know About Pumping Breast Milk

Use these safety tips to protect your baby from disease-causing germs

Breast-Feeding Rates Climb, But Many Moms Quit Early: CDC

American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies get only breast milk for the first 6 months of life

Breast-Fed Preemies Do Better on Skills Tests: Study

Research points up the need to support new mothers' efforts to breast-feed

Antibiotics, Formula Feeding Might Change Baby's 'Microbiome'

C-section birth may also diminish diversity of these colonies of helpful microbes, study shows

Breast-Feeding a Boon to Preemies' Hearts: Study

Improvements seen in function and size 20 years later

Antibiotics May Blunt Breast-Feeding's Benefits

Infants given the drugs were prone to infections and obesity in childhood, researchers say

Breast Milk Best From the Breast?

Babies were more likely to get ear infections if they were fed pumped milk, study found

Working Moms and Breastfeeding

The number of hours a new mother works significantly affects her breastfeeding decisions, new study finds.

When New Moms Work Longer Hours, Breast-Feeding Takes a Back Seat

Study found little change at 20 hours a week or less, but full-time employment was a different story

Preemies' Brains Get Boost From Breast Milk

MRI scans found infants who drank more of it had more brain tissue, study found

More Hospitals Offer Donor Breast Milk to Help Preemie Babies

Practice may boost breast-feeding, reduce dangerous gut infections, study says

Worldwide Boost in Breast-Feeding Could Save 800,000 Lives: Study

Global economy would also benefit from more mothers nursing their babies, study contends

Obstetricians' Group Urges Docs to Help Support Breast-Feeding

Physicians can be resource for new moms, says American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Infant Delivery and Feeding Methods Can Affect Gut Composition

Study shows vaginal birth and breast-feeding create different intestinal bacteria from C-section and formula

Breast-Feeding May Cut Risk of Type 2 Diabetes for Some Women

Study looked at moms who had already diabetes in pregnancy

Breastfeeding and Eyesight

Breastfeeding may help prevent common eye disease in preterm infants, study finds.