"Breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition. Given the documented short- and long-term medical and neurodevelopmental advantages of breastfeeding, infant nutrition should be considered a public health issue and not only a lifestyle choice."

PEDIATRICS Volume 129, Number 3, March 2012

More Articles on A Healthy Pregnancy

Thinking About Getting Pregnant?
Congratulations on Your Pregnancy! (for those who are newly pregnant)
What is a healthy pregnancy weight gain?
Can I continue to eat a vegetarian diet during pregnancy?
A Pregnancy Menu For You and Your Baby
Treating Nausea and Vomiting
What About Seafood?
Don't Eat That!
Pregnancy and Cholesterol
Wash Those Veggies!
Breastmilk, the Healthiest Diet for Babies
What DOES that Broccoli Do for My Baby?
Vitamin D Supplements in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
New Research Affirms Individualized Vitamin D Supplementation for Pregnant Women
Breastfeeding: Developing a Future Gourmet
What to Do About The Flu
Gestational Diabetes
Decreasing the Risk of Gestation Diabetes
Keeping and Storing Breastmilk
Pregnancy Weight Gain Guidelines – Do We Need New Ones?
Breastfeeding: A Woman's Health Issue
Eating During Labor
Probiotics and a Decreased Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy - a Time to be Active!
Clearing the Air : Quit Smoking for You and Your Child
What is a Healthy Pregnancy Diet for Obese Women?
Does Iron Intake Matter?
One Fish, Two Fish... Full Term Birth?
Folic acid in pregnancy and language development
A Mediterranean Diet, Pre-Pregnancy
There is No Substitute for a Healthy Diet
Honest Healthy Diets for Babies
Exercise for New Moms
A Healthy Pre-Pregnancy Diet and Gestational Diabetes
Vitamin D and Gestational Diabetes
Great News About Breastfeeding
Peanuts and Pregnancy
Fried Foods and Gestational Diabetes
Iodine supplements - should you take them?
Prevent Gestational Diabetes with a Mediterranean-style diet
FDA Updates Recommendations for Fish Consumption in Pregnancy

Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN

Faith Bontrager, RN, BSNFaith's passion in nursing is to help people find the options they need to discover their personal path to optimum health. Ask her friends and they will tell you that their appreciation of nutritious food has grown through Faith. About Faith Bontrager, RN, BSN


A Healthy Pregnancy

Great News About Breastfeeding

The CDC released some great news this week.  From 2000 to 2008 the percentage of mothers who initiated breastfeeding increased over 4 percentage points. 

This is great news for babies and their mothers.  Regular readers of this column are already aware that breast milk is the best food for young babies and breastfeeding also provides important health benefits for women.

Talk to your doctor (or the pediatrician you have chosen for baby) about breastfeeding support where you plan to give birth.  Ask if your hospital is "Baby Friendly."  This is a designation earned by hospitals who agree to support The 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.  These 10 steps are endorsed by major maternal and child health authorities.

If there are not hospital-based programs in your community, ask about lactation consultants or La Leche League community groups. Women who receive great support are more likely to initiate breastfeeding and to be more successful at breastfeeding.

Further supporting breastfeeding, the Canadian Medical Journal (CMAJ 2013; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.121189) just published research indicating that breastfed babies have more of the beneficial gut bacteria and fewer harmful bacteria than their formula fed peers. Researchers speculate that is may be one reason that breastfed babies have a lower incidence of obesity and diabetes.

Plan to breastfeed. Know how to access support if you need it.

Nourish yourself and your baby!