How To Embrace Natural Nutrition For Your Baby

African American mother breastfeeding her baby boy

( — Research shows that African-American women are the group least likely to breastfeed their babies. In the past breastfeeding has had a negative stigma associated with being impoverished and unable to afford formula. This is no longer true. After many years of research it has been determined that breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for infants.

In the first few days after giving birth, a woman can provide irreplaceable nutrients and immunities through colostrum. This is produced for only a short time and can not be found in any formula or supplements. It is truly a special gift from a mother to her baby. While it may be difficult for most mothers during the first few weeks, baby and mother become more efficient at breastfeeding. This is a natural process that was intended to keep babies fed and healthy. A mother’s milk is easier to digest for the little one’s delicate digestive system.

Oftentimes, when using formula, babies experience indigestion and constipation. Most formulas contain cow’s milk proteins that the baby’s system will need to adjust to digesting. Breast milk also contains antibodies which are passed to baby to help fight disease and infection. In the event that mothers cannot produce enough breast milk to exclusively feed her infant, it is possible to supplement with formula so that baby receives adequate nutrition and still gets the benefits of mother’s milk. It has been proven that these babies have less incidence of illness, such as ear infections and colds, than those fed formula. Breastfed babies are also less likely to die from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Mom gets many benefits from breastfeeding as well. It helps facilitate weight loss in the months after giving birth. Breastfeeding mothers typically burn an extra 500 calories per day. Eating healthy and being active while taking care of baby all play an important role in getting back in shape and providing the best nourishment for the infant. In addition, there has recently been the addition of a tax credit for breastfeeding supplies. WIC (Women, Infant, and Children’s Program) also supports breastfeeding. Mother’s eligible for this program can receive larger food packages, educational materials, breast pumps, and other supplies.

African-American babies are at greater risk for SIDS and infant mortality before the age of one. It is important for women to be supported by the community to help keep babies healthy and thriving. Breastfeeding is just one of the ways that can impact the health of our mothers and children.