Breastfeeding - Benefits and Getting Started

Human milk and infant formula are different. Not only does human milk provide all the protein, sugar, fat and vitamins your baby needs to be healthy, but it has special benefits that formulas cannot match. It helps protect your baby against certain diseases and infections. Because of the protective substances in human milk, breastfed children are less likely to have the following:

Research also suggests that breastfeeding may help to protect against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Other reasons why human milk is good for your child include the following:

There are also many health benefits for you because breastfeeding does the following:

Breastfeeding — Getting Started
Immediately after delivery, your baby should be placed on your chest or abdomen, skin to skin. Babies are very alert after they are born, and they are usually hungry, too! Your baby's first feeding can take place within 30 minutes to an hour after delivery. The protection against infection that human milk provides is important immediately after birth. Your milk will also give the baby nutrients to prevent a low blood sugar level. This early taste of your milk also stimulates the baby to nurse better later.

If you had a vaginal delivery, you can nurse in bed or in a chair in the following ways:

If you had a Cesarean-section delivery you can nurse your baby in the following ways:

Always take time to make yourself comfortable. Do not be shy about asking for help during the first few feedings. Just as with learning anything new, it may take several feedings before you and your baby become a skilled nursing team.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics