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DIRECTOR’S CORNER

From the Director's Desk: August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month

Whether you’re a mommy-to-be for the very first time or have earned the title “mommy” several times over, making the decision to breastfeed, or even how long you should do so, can be difficult. It’s especially tough when you hear the breastfeeding myths, which are all too common in minority communities, particularly for African Americans.

The truth is, breastfeeding is a healthy way to feed your baby, but the decision to do so is personal.

Benefits of breastfeeding

The benefits of breastfeeding are incredible for both mommy and baby. Breastmilk is loaded with nutrients, vitamins and even antibodies, which help protect your baby from getting sick. Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of asthma, diabetes, ear infections, diarrhea, colds and infections. Since African Americans are at an increased risk for many of these health problems, it's important to recognize these lifelong benefits.

For moms, breastfeeding helps your body to recover from pregnancy and childbirth more quickly due to a release of hormones that help to shrink the uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size. It also helps to lower your risk of breast and ovarian cancers and may even help you to lose weight. In addition, breastmilk is filled with special components that help fight infection and cut down on swelling in the breast.

If you do choose to breastfeed, remember, your baby eats what you eat. To maintain a healthy diet, be sure to drink plenty of fluids, limit drinks with added sugars, take your multivitamins (if instructed to do so by a doctor), and establish a nutritional plan that is right for you.

For more information on breastfeeding, visit womenshealth.gov.

Thanks for stopping by the Director’s Corner, where your health is our priority!