Healthy Living Today: Benefits of Breastfeeding

Studies show breastfeeding benefits both the baby and the mom. Governor Dalrymple has proclaimed this week as Breastfeeding Week.

(Michelle San Miguel, Reporting):  Just two days ago Jenna Kilzer became a mom to baby Isaac. She knew even before Isaac was born that she wanted to breastfeed.

(Jenna Kilzer, New Mother):  "At first he wasn’t hungry when we first tried so it was kind of hard to fight him to do it but as soon as he was hungry it was easy, just natural instinct."

(San Miguel):  St. Alexius registered nurse Jayne Vetter says if moms are able to breastfeed, it’s in their best interest and the baby’s to nurse their child.

(Jayne Vetter, St. Alexius RN and Certified Lactation Counselor):  "They can put all different kinds of things in formula, but it is still lacking anti-bodies. They cannot produce those. Those come from mom."

(San Miguel):  Vetter says breast milk is the easiest food for babies to digest. Even if moms choose not to nurse, Vetter says she encourages moms to breastfeed for at least three to five days after the baby is born. That’s when moms release colostrum, the milky fluid that comes out of the breast the first several days after a baby is born. Colostrum contains antibodies that help the baby fight off disease.  Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce a baby’s risk for developing ear and respiratory infections, type 2 diabetes and sudden infant death syndrome, among other benefits. And it’s not just the baby that benefits from nursing. The mom does too.

(Vetter, St. Alexius):  "Breastfeeding has been shown to help with weight loss, immediate post-partum weight loss and so women notice that they are losing some of that extra baby weight a lot faster than if they weren’t breastfeeding. Long-term research has shown there are decreased incidences of breast and ovarian cancers.”

(San Miguel):  Kilzer plans on breastfeeding Isaac for the next 6 to 9 months. She knows that’s a big commitment, which will require hours of pumping every week. But she sees it as time she gets to spend with her son.

(Jenna):  "Pretty close bonding. You can’t really get much closer than that after a period so it’s a pretty good bonding experience."

(San Miguel):  It’s time she’s looking forward to spending with her newborn baby.

(Anchor):  The state recognized 20 businesses as infant friendly over the past year.

Michelle San Miguel