Breastfeed: Give the Gift of a Lifetime to Your Baby

The Gift

The gift of:

  • Feeling safe and loved
  • Fewer doctor visits for illness and allergies
  • Doing better in school
  • A better chance for a healthy adult weight
  • A lower risk of cancer and diabetes.

The First 30 Days

The first 30 days of breastfeeding are the most important because this is the time when:

  • You and your baby get to know each other
  • Your baby gets off to a good start
  • Your body learns to make enough milk
  • Your baby learns to nurse well

Breast milk is nature’s perfect food.

By breastfeeding, you are giving your baby food designed to meet his needs. Breast milk is the complete food for infants. It changes as your baby grows. The ingredients in breast milk cannot be manufactured. Breast milk has living cells that fight off illnesses. It has ingredients that ensure proper brain and eye development and a healthy immune system and digestive tract. Breast milk protects your baby from allergies.

Breastfeeding is a gift of love. Breastfeeding is more than food; it creates a bond that will last a lifetime. Breastfeeding your baby releases hormones that allow you and your baby to bond in a very special way. These hormones have a calming effect that helps your baby sleep and you to relax. Breastfeeding creates the perfect relationship that provides protection, nurturing, and comfort.

Breastfeed within the first hour after birth. Your baby will be ready to feed within the first hour after birth. Put your baby on your skin between your breasts, with a blanket over baby for warmth. You may see your baby bob his head looking for your breast. Your baby will naturally know how to find his way to your nipple; he may just need to be in the right spot, so hold him close, skin-to-skin.

If you had a C-section, you can still breastfeed. Babies born by C-section, or whose mothers received epidurals and other labor medications, may need more time before they are ready to nurse. Mothers should hold their babies skin-to-skin and be patient. It may take baby 2 hours or longer to start breastfeeding.