Written by Kimberlydawn Wisdom, MD, MS
A: Breastfeeding can be a big commitment, but one that can make a world of difference to you and your baby. It provides your newborn with natural nutrients and antibodies that are not found in any formula. Breastfeeding also helps to protect her from infection, disease and certain conditions throughout her life, like high blood pressure and diabetes, and may decrease the likelihood of her developing allergies, asthma and eczema. For the mother, breastfeeding helps stop bleeding after childbirth, helps with losing pregnancy weight, and helps lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Q: Where can I get more information about breastfeeding?
A: You can usually find breastfeeding classes through your local hospital. Your obstetrician may also have information about classes in your area. Also, when you get to the hospital to have the baby, tell the hospital staff you plan to breastfeed, and ask for assistance in getting off to a good start. The La Leche League is a good resource for breastfeeding mothers. The La Leche League provides meetings for breastfeeding mothers and information from mothers specially trained in breastfeeding. To find the nearest chapter, call 1-800-525-3243. You can also find a certified lactation consultant in your area by accessing the International Board Certified Lactation Consultants on the Internet at http://gotwww.net/ilca/.
Send questions to Ask the Surgeon General, 201 Townsend St., Lansing, MI 48913 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (type “Ask the Surgeon General” in the subject field).