There's nothing like breastfeeding to put kids on the path to good health. Breastfeeding has multiple benefits for babies, including lower risk for ear and respiratory infections, allergic skin disorders, intestinal infections, type 2 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends breastfeeding for six months. At 6 months of age, the AAP recommends adding solid foods and continuing with breastfeeding for at least one year. Breastfeeding can continue as long as both the mother and baby wish.
The benefits of breastfeeding extend beyond the time of infancy.
Research shows that children who were breastfed are less likely to be overweight adolescents than children who were formula-fed as infants. And, the longer a baby is breastfed, the odds of being an overweight child decrease even more.
Mom wins, too
Benefits for breastfeeding moms include decreased risk for breast and ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes. Breastfeeding can also help you lose the pounds you put on during pregnancy.
Tips for moms who work
Here are some suggestions to make breastfeeding easier for working moms:
Start the day with a long nursing session so your baby is content during the morning rush.
Find a caregiver near work so you can visit and nurse during your lunch break.
Buy a reliable, comfortable breast pump.
Tell your employer about breastfeeding's benefits. A healthier baby means you miss less work.
Start to pump before you head back to work, and store the milk in the freezer. You'll feel better with a backup supply. You can store your milk in special bags. Milk can be stored in a standard freezer for up to six months.