GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The first week of August is known as World Breastfeeding Week.
Tonya Warren, a nurse at Corewell Health’s Maternal Infant Health Program, said numerous studies have shown there are many health benefits of breastfeeding, including for the mother.
“There’s many benefits for mom. That risk of preventing osteoporosis, diabetes. It helps with that maternal bond,” said Warren.
Studies have shown the breastfed baby benefits from fewer ear infections and upper respiratory infections, and less diarrhea.
“Your breast milk actually adapts to your baby’s needs. Something you’re just not going to find from a product on the shelf. Breast milk adjusts, day, nighttime, illness, just to meet your baby’s needs,” said Warren.
Warren encourages pregnant families who are considering breastfeeding take a breastfeeding class before the baby is born. She also said pregnant families should pinpoint their breastfeeding goals and identify the people in their lives who will support them in the process.
Corewell Health offers Breastfeeding Support Group options in Kent County every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. You can also make an appointment with a Certified Lactation Counselor through several home visiting programs.
Warren said a lot of the success in breastfeeding comes in the moments after the baby is born. That’s part of what a designated Baby-Friendly hospital offers.
“One of those key things is skin-to-skin right after birth. We want babies to room in with their moms. Moms really get to know those feeding cues with that support from the nurses in the hospital,” said Warren.