and August 1st through August 7th is world breastfeeding week. This years theme is “Breastmilk and the Body,” educating mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding.

Did You Know …

  1. Breastfeeding burns between 500-600 calories a day. That means some moms might end up losing weight without any additional exercise.
  2. Breast milk is a living substance that contains live cells, including stem cells, which go on to become other body cell types like brain, heart, kidney, or bone tissue.
  3. Breast milk also contains antibodies and live white blood cells that help your baby fight against infection. And, when you or your baby are sick, the amount of these cells in your breast milk increases.
  4. Colostrum  contains special proteins that coat your baby’s intestinal tract to protect from harmful bacteria right from the start.
  5. Your brain releases the hormones prolactin and oxytocin during breastfeeding, which help you to bond with baby and ease those normal feelings of stress and anxiety.
  6. The smell and taste of your breast milk changes depending on the foods you eat. Exposing your little one to more flavors during breastfeeding can lead them to be better eaters once you begin introducing solids.
  7. Breast milk is not always white. It can be blue, green, yellow, pink, or orange depending what you eat or drink. Don’t worry, it’s OK for baby.
  8. The amount of breast milk you are able to produce has nothing to do with your breast size. A mom with small breasts can have just as much (or more!) milk-making tissue as a mom with large breasts.
  9. Your breast milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of your growing baby. From month-to-month, throughout the week, day-to-day, and even throughout a single feeding.
  10. Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. And, the longer a woman breastfeeds in her lifetime, the more protection she receives.
  11. Moms of preemies have breast milk with more protein, fat, and other minerals for bone and brain growth as well as the most protective factors to prevent illness and infection.
  12. Premature babies fed more breast milk in the first 28 days of life have better brain development by the time their original birth date arrives, and see benefits to IQ and memory skills later in childhood.

Heritage Valley Pediatrics is one of only a few pediatric practices in the area that offer lactation consults with a board certified lactation consultant. Liz Leon, IBCLC is available at Heritage Valley Beaver’s Maternal Child Health unit as well as Heritage Valley Pediatrics. Call 724-773-6842 to make an appointment today!

Meet our Lactation Consultant: My name is Liz and I am a mother of 4, a grandmother of 3 and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I have been working with breastfeeding families for over 20 years and have been with Heritage Valley Pediatrics for the last 7 years. I see new babies on the Maternal Child Health Unit at Heritage Valley Beaver most mornings and I see outpatients at Heritage Valley Pediatrics most afternoons. I am happy to meet with anyone who may have questions or concerns about breastfeeding. I am here to educate you, encourage you, support you and help you reach your personal breastfeeding goals.

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