Skip to Main Content

Deciding to Breastfeed? Know the Benefits.

Date: 08/17/21

National Breastfeeding Month is celebrated every year in August. It’s important to decide whether or not you will breastfeed your child before your child is born. We know every child and mother are different. But there are some general benefits that come along with breastfeeding your newborn.

Here are four benefits reccomended by the CDC to consider when making your decision:

  1. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies. It supports growth and development. As a baby grows, the breast milk changes to meet the baby’s nutritional needs.
  2. Breastfeeding can help protect babies against some illnesses and diseases. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of some illnesses like asthma and sudden infant death syndrome. Babies that are breastfed are also less likely to have ear infections and stomach bugs. When babies are breastfed, antibodies from the mother are passed to her baby. These antibodies help protect them.
  3. Mothers can breastfeed anytime and anywhere. Mothers can feed their babies on the go. They don’t have to worry about mixing formula or preparing bottles. Breastfeeding can be a comfort to babies when their normal routine is changed. This helps when you are traveling or moving.
  4. Breastfeeding can help lower a mother’s chances of getting some illnesses and diseases. Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer. They also have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you breastfeed your baby for about 6 months after birth. Then you can continue breastfeeding until a child is 12 months old or older and introduce other food in their diet. This provides the nutrition they need to grow and develop.

Important: An electric breast pump is a covered benefit for all mothers who choose to breastfeed. Your provider can write you a prescription for your breast pump. You can order your breast pump online at no cost to you through Medline or Nextra Health, or talk to your OB/GYN about placing the order for you.

Don’t forget to download our Start Smart Louisiana Pregnancy App. This is a free app for pregnant members and new moms. You’ll get tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy, reminders, and more.