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The Health Benefits Of Breastfeeding

August 1, 2014, 6:19 PM by Brittany Larson

The Health Benefits Of Breastfeeding

Today starts the beginning of world breastfeeding week.

Advocates say it’s one of the most important decisions a mother can make.

Studies shows that babies who receive breast milk for the first six months of their life are less likely to develop a wide range of chronic diseases.

"What's the matter huh? Haha..." New Mom, Jenna Hove, said.

First-time Mom, Jenna Hove says it didn't take long for 7-week-old baby Norah to learn how to breastfeed.

"Maybe about a week to get both of us on the same page and then after that she kind of took off," Hove said.

But like most new mothers and babies there's still a learning curve.

"I think it's a gradual process it definitely was a learning process for us and some days are better than others," Hove said.

Hove says this is something she knew she wanted to try even during her pregnancy.

"I wanted to try just because the benefits are so good for mom and baby," Hove said.

Lactation consultant, Martha Pap says the goal is to keep babies and mothers healthy and that starts with breastfeeding.

"Breastfeeding is by far the standard and it's the healthiest for the mom and the baby," Sanford Lactation Consultant, Martha Pap said.

Pap says the nutrients found in breast milk are easier for babies to digest.

"The breast milk iron is easy to absorb and extra iron in the babies tummy can lead them to infection because a lot of the bad bacteria need the iron so your breast milk has just the right amount and it's easy for the baby to use," Pap said.

Some mothers fear they won't have enough time to consistently breastfeed.

"I always try and help them realize that the time that they spend with the baby is so valuable for the baby," Pap said.

Others may worry they won't be able to produce enough milk.

"Maybe they knew someone who had trouble and that's almost always a preventable or we can help with situation. So often it's a case that your baby is growing and everything is fine there isn't a low supply," Pap said.

However, Hove had an abundant supply,

"I had some issues with just my milk coming in too much so some engorgement so I went to the new arrivals group and they went through some ideas on what to do and that definitely helped," Hove said.

It’s a bond between a mother and a child that creates lasting health benefits.

Health experts say for the first few weeks most newborns will breast-feed round-the-clock or every two to three hours.

Early signs of hunger include restlessness, lip movements or sucking motions.

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