Learn more about this healthy way to bond with your baby.

We know you want your baby to be as healthy as possible …

And breastfeeding is a great start! At HealthStar Physicians Premier Medical, we encourage new moms to breastfeed. There are amazing benefits for both baby and mama, from mental health to boosted immune systems!

Read on to learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as a few tips to make it a better experience for you and your little one. 

So, how long should you breastfeed your baby?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding until your baby is six months old. {link: }  After that, the AAP recommends breastfeeding along with introducing other, appropriate foods until your baby is one year old. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding along with other foods until your little one’s second birthday. 

In Tennessee, about half of all six-month-olds are still exclusively breastfeeding. That’s pretty good … but we can do better!

 

What are barriers to breastfeeding?

According to the CDC, many factors prevent mothers from breastfeeding, or from breastfeeding as long as they should, including:

  • Difficulties in lactating, or getting baby to latch.
  • Worries over whether a baby is getting enough nutrition, or is underweight.
  • Concerns over taking medications while breastfeeding.
  • No parental leave, or other unsupportive workplace policies.
  • Unsupportive culture and/or lack of family support.
  • Unsupportive hospital practices and policies.

 

How can we do better?

Breastfeeding isn’t just about mama and baby. There are lots of ways that loved ones, friends and coworkers can join in to support new mamas and babies.

  • Get grandparents and fathers involved! Having supportive caregivers on board can help mothers feel less overwhelmed.
  • Get help from healthcare providers. Professional, compassionate advice can go a long way toward keeping breastfeeding on track.
  • Find a supportive network. Other moms are going through exactly what you are! Ask them for advice. Sometimes, all it takes is a recommendation of a favorite tea, lactation cookie, or nursing position to fix a breastfeeding roadblock. 

 

Boost your baby’s immune system.

Breastfeeding passes your own immunities to your baby, helping to protect her from viruses and other infections.

In addition to all the nutrition your baby needs, breast milk contains antibodies and other immune cells made by your body. That means that even if you have a cold or other illness, your body will pass along the tools your baby needs to fight it off! This is a major reason why breastfed babies are much less likely to get sick. 

 

Boost your mood.

Breastfeeding is proven to help relax you and your baby! In addition to helping your baby feel less cranky, breastfeeding releases a whole lot of feel-good hormones in your bloodstream, reducing your stress levels almost immediately. Dopamine and endorphins are only two of these mood-elevating chemicals that mamas pump out as soon as baby latches on!

 

Resources and tips for breastfeeding:

In addition to local Facebook mom groups, church groups, your family and your healthcare provider, you can find information and support here:

 

If you can’t breastfeed your baby …

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And, NO, you’re not ruining your baby!

According to the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), about 83 percent of newborns are breastfed. Over time, those numbers drop off: only about 25 percent of six-month-olds are still getting breast milk exclusively. 

Sometimes, breastfeeding just can’t work, for many reasons. There are support groups for you, too.

The best thing you can do for a mom struggling to breast feed is to give her support.

The experts at HealthStar Premier Medical are ready to help you, whether you’re a formula or breast milk mama. 

We can help.

Contact HealthStar Premier Medical. We can help answer all your breastfeeding questions. 

Don’t forget to bring in your older kids for their checkups, too! 

 

How has COVID-19 affected HealthStar Premier Medical’s office visits?

If you’re concerned about visiting the doctor’s office, know that we’re taking precautions. We’ve always worked to maintain a sterile, clean environment in all our offices. For our employees’ and patients’ protection, we now screen every patient who comes in with health history questions, and a temperature reading. We continue to disinfect all our surfaces often, and wear face masks. 

HealthStar Physicians Family Practice is now HealthStar Premier Medical!

We’re still Newport’s compassionate, experienced Osteopathic healthcare providers. We offer a wide range of care, including everything from DOT physicals, vaccines and weight loss management. Click here to learn more. 

We’re accepting new patients, and we accept most forms of health insurance. Contact us to find out more.