Breastfeeding

Even though breastfeeding is a natural process, it’s not always easy. Talk your physician about your intent to breastfeed and discuss any concerns or questions you may have. You may also wish to solicit the advice and training from a lactation specialist. Our Peoria area hospitals have lactation specialists on-staff, who are readily willing to discuss your concerns prior to or after the birth of your baby.

There are several benefits to breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that moms breastfeed babies as soon as possible after birth, preferably within the first hour. Your baby benefits from the easy-to-digest proteins, vitamins, and minerals–as well as from the protective antibodies in colostrum, the yellowish, translucent fluid which your breasts secrete for the first two to three days. In addition to helping both you and baby adjust to breastfeeding, frequent and early nursing also helps you. Baby’s sucking causes your uterus to contract decreasing vaginal bleeding. Also, it helps your uterus shrink to its prepregnancy size more quickly. If you’ve had a cesarean section, it’s still important to breastfeed baby as soon after birth as possible.