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August is National Breastfeeding Month

Asian mother breastfeeding

Supporting moms who choose to breastfeed is an investment in health. This National Breastfeeding Month, learn why breastfeeding is important, the benefits of breastfeeding, and tips for properly storing and preparing breast milk.

Breast milk is best

Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies and provides the ideal nutrition for your baby's growth and development. It is recommended that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months. Your breast milk will adjust to meet your baby's needs. Formula is usually made from cow’s milk or plants and may be harder for your baby to digest.

Benefits for infants

Breast milk has all the necessary nutrients, in just the right amounts to help build and support your baby's immune system. During breastfeeding, antibodies pass from mother to baby strengthening their immune system. Infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of ear infections, asthma, diabetes, allergies, and pneumonia. They also develop a higher IQ and better vision than infants who weren’t breastfed.

Benefits for mothers

Breastfeeding is good for both you and your baby. It can help protect against some short- and long-term illnesses and diseases. Mothers who breastfeed their infants recover from childbirth more quickly and easily and have a lower risk of ovarian and breast cancer, Type 2 diabetes, postpartum depression, and cardiovascular disease.

Storage of breast milk

For the health of your baby, proper storage and preparation is important. Maintain the safety and quality of your expressed breast milk with these simple tips.

  • Clearly label breast milk with the date it was expressed.
  • Do not store breast milk in the door of the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Freeze breast milk in small quantities of 2-4 oz. Increase amount as baby ages.
  • Facebook LIVE: What do new moms have to know as they breastfeed?

    Join Lisa Hileman and Sandi Holahan, two VCU Health lactation consultants and nurse practitioners, as they share best practices, tips, and ways our award-winning team empowers you to have the breastfeeding experience you want. These tips and tools will make you feel more prepared as you begin breastfeeding.

    This event will stream live on Facebook @VCUHealth on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT – 6:30 PM EDT.

    Facebook event details: https://bit.ly/3BON9rE

    Register: https://bit.ly/3wKvnSD