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FOR RELEASE: February 17, 2004
Mom’s Milk is the Best Nutrition for Human Babies
Whenever you get a room full of moms and dads together with their babies, they love to admire each other’s babies and discuss what is best for their babies from infancy to pre-school. At the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Service, the conversations are also about babies, but with an emphasis on breastfeeding, which ensures that all babies in Oklahoma have the best start in life to protect them against diseases.
Babies who are not breastfed are at increased risk for developing Type 1 diabetes, childhood obesity, recurrent ear infections, leukemia, diarrhea and respiratory infections like asthma and pneumonia. Human milk provides the ultimate nutritional benefits and is easily digested. More than 50 known immunological factors that help prevent diseases are found in breast milk.
In addition, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed the first six months of life and continue breastfeeding for at least the first year of life. But oftentimes, mothers who breastfeed experience difficulties continuing to breastfeed after they return to work or school. Due to financial reasons, many mothers must return to work within three months of giving birth.
WIC breastfeeding educators and lactation consultants are available to help those mothers transition back to their previous lifestyles and find ways to express and store their milk so they may continue breastfeeding for longer periods of time after the birth of their baby, when they cannot physically be present.
“We find that many employers are beginning to understand that healthier babies help moms be more productive and miss less work. Moms benefit from breastfeeding through bonding and nurturing, and babies get the healthiest nutrition available - mom’s milk,” said OSDH WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator Rosanne Smith. “Our breastfeeding educators are available to work with families and businesses to find ways to meet the needs of all concerned,” Smith said.
Some important points that WIC consultants tell new moms and dads are:
For more information about breastfeeding, consult with a lactation consultant or breastfeeding educator at your county health department, WIC office, local health clinic, or hospital.
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