August is National Breastfeeding Month, which is fitting because breastfeeding is once again spiking in popularity among new moms as the preferred method of feeding their newborn babies. Breastfeeding is a personal choice that all mothers make and this trend is very healthy because breastfeeding provides so many benefits to both the mother and her baby. Chicago Healers Practitioner Dr. Marilyn Mitchell, MD, provides some of the benefits of breastfeeding.
Nutrients and Enzymes – Babies who are breastfed take in nutrients and enzymes that are perfectly proportioned for a human infant. Bottled milk often comes from cows or soy and lacks the perfect blend of nutrients and enzymes that human milk provides.
Supplemented Immune System – Breast milk also transmits antibodies from the mother to the infant, which are especially vital during the first few months of life when the infant’s immune system is immature and lacks the ability to produce its own antibodies.
Healthier Life – Infants who breastfeed generally have fewer illnesses during the breastfeeding period than those who are bottle-fed and develop fewer allergies in their lifetime. Breastfed babies also tend to have less colic, fewer restless episodes, and better sleep patterns than bottle-fed infants.
Helps Mom, Too – Breastfeeding increases metabolism, which helps with post-partum weight loss. It also helps with mother-child bonding due to the mutually pleasurable experience.
It is also smart for new moms to be aware of what they consume while breastfeeding, as it can affect their child. Here is a list of things to up intake of and things to avoid:
Fresh fruits and vegetables (organic when possible)
Protein sources (also organic when possible)
8-12 glasses of water, juice, herbal teas
Calcium rich foods (dairy, greens, legumes)
Caffeinated beverages and all soda pop
Foods that bother the infant (spices for some)
Chicago Healers (www.ChicagoHealers.com) is the nation’s pioneer prescreened integrative health care network, offering a comprehensive understanding of each practitioner’s services, approach, and philosophy. Our holistic health experts teach and advocate natural and empowered health and life choices through their practices, the media, educational events, and our website. With close to 200 practitioners and over 300 treatment services, Chicago Healers has provided nearly 400 free educational events for Chicagoans and has been featured in 300+ TV news programs and print publications.