SD WIC Fun Facts: August 2022
A Monthly Message to Superhero Caregivers from your Sidekicks at SD WIC
Breastfed From the Start: Helpful Tips for Mastering Breastfeeding
Happy National Breastfeeding Month!
Breastfeeding greatly impacts the health and wellbeing of mothers and their babies.
All major medical authorities recommend exclusive breastfeeding (meaning only breast milk) for the first six months of life with continued breastfeeding for at least one year.
The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends mothers breastfeed for a minimum of 2 years.
Breastfeeding reduces mom’s risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and more.
Breastfeeding reduces baby’s risk of ear and respiratory tract infections, asthma, allergies, eczema, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), childhood obesity, some childhood cancers and more.
The longer you breastfeed, the greater the health benefits!
Breastfeeding Starts in Pregnancy – As your body is preparing to breastfeed, your brain can too! Learn all you can about breastfeeding and find your support network.
- Participating in WIC during pregnancy improves breastfeeding success.
- Attend a Breastfeeding Class or Mother’s Group. The more you learn during your pregnancy, the more prepared you will be after your baby is born.
- Join an online Class or Group. Registration is required. Text a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor at 605-789-4357.
- Ask your local WIC staff if they offer in-person Breastfeeding Classes.
Create Your Circle of Support – Breastfeeding is a team effort – find people in your life that can support your breastfeeding goals.
- WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselors are individuals who have personally breastfed and can answer questions and connect you to other breastfeeding experts.
- Choose health care providers and a hospital that supports breastfeeding and have knowledgeable staff to support you.
- Plan for your time away from your baby – find a child care provider that supports your breastfeeding goals and share information and resources with your employer.
- Connect with friends or parent’s groups, or ask your health care provider or local hospital if breastfeeding groups are available – these are usually free and open to anyone.
Advocate for Your Family – Talk with your partner, family, friends and health care provider about your needs and goals.
- Work with your partner to create a birth plan and set breastfeeding goals. This will help you get on the same page about what breastfeeding success looks like.
- At the hospital, speak up and share with your care team your plans to:
- Breastfeed within the first hour after delivery;
- Room in with your baby;
- Breastfeed often, every 1½ to 3 hours; and
- Not use pacifiers or formula.
Don’t Wait to Ask for Help – Whether you’re just starting out on your breastfeeding journey or having unexpected challenges, you are not alone!
- WIC is here to support you every step of the way by providing you with breastfeeding experts and peer counselors.
- While feeding your baby from your breast is best, sometimes pumping and/or hand expression can be helpful. WIC offers breast pumps to support your needs.
- Good nutrition helps support making plenty of milk for your baby. WIC provides various higher value food packages based on how often you breastfeed your baby.
Reaching YOUR Goal – Breastfeeding is natural but may not always happen naturally. It takes time and practice to learn what works best for you and your baby.
- Breastfeeding can build confidence – you can make the food your baby needs and care for your baby, like you did during pregnancy.
- Breastfeeding saves time. Less time spent making formula or struggling with product recalls or shortages. Feeding can occur anywhere, at any time, with no preparation necessary.
- Breastfeeding strengthens your baby’s immune system because breast milk contains antibodies, nutrients, vitamins, and much more that are not available in formula.
- The longer breastfeeding occurs, the more health benefits mom and baby receive.
Want more information on breastfeeding?! Check out the WIC Library – Breastfeeding.
This post was last updated on August 1st, 2022 at 8:06 AM
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