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Felicia Carlucci with her son, Dominick.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies?
In addition to helping new mothers lose weight gained during pregnancy, many women who breastfed have lower incidences of breast cancer and osteoporosis later in life. For babies, the benefits of breastfeeding include healthier gastrointestinal tracts, stronger immune systems and lower incidences of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), allergies and obesity.
Why do some women choose to bottle-feed their babies?
There are many reasons women choose to feed their babies artificial breast milk, or formula, but the most common is convenience. Bottle-feeding allows other family members to feed the baby, which is especially convenient for women who work or tried breastfeeding and didn't like it.
There have been great advancements in making formula. Women should talk to their baby's pediatrician to determine which type of formula is best for their child.
Does breastfeeding help new mothers lose weight?
Breastfeeding absolutely helps new mothers lose weight because it burns around 500 calories per day. This is because breastfeeding promotes involution, which is the shrinking of the uterus.
What should an expectant mother do to prepare to breastfeed?
There isn't a lot a woman can do to prepare to breastfeed. We encourage patients to learn as much as possible about breastfeeding to get a realistic idea of what to expect. It does take time to learn how to breastfeed properly.
What is the difference between a lactation educator and a lactation consultant?
Lactation consultants are nurses who specialize in breastfeeding and help new mothers and babies with many different issues. A lactation educator teaches families about a variety of subjects related to breastfeeding, including proper latching, positioning and health benefits.
I gave birth to my son at Sharp Chula Vista in 2001. I had a very difficult time breastfeeding, so I joined the hospital's support group and really enjoyed it. My lactation educators were very helpful in trying to determine the problem, which was that I was allergic to my baby's saliva. I had such a great experience with the support group, as well as my lactation educators and consultants, that I became a childbirth/lactation educator to help new mothers going through the same experience.
What lactation services are offered at Sharp Chula Vista?
To find a breastfeeding support group in your area, visit Classes.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's pregnancy and childbirth services or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego OBGYN or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about pregnancy and childbirth, visit Pregnancy and Childbirth in Adult Health or read the Pregnancy and Childbirth News archive.