Maternal and Infant Health Program Maternal and Infant Health Program

Phone:
  SLC area: (801) 538-9970

FAX:
  SLC area: (801) 538-9409

Mail:
 Maternal and Infant Health Program
  P.O. Box 142001
  Salt Lake City UT
  84112-2001




Breastfeeding
The Best Start for You and Your Baby

Give your baby the best food around. Breastfeed your baby! No formula in the world is as healthy as breastmilk. Breastfeeding is an act of love! It will be sure to give you a very close bond with your baby.

Doctors say: “Breast is Best.”

In 2006, the American Academy of Pediatrics said:

“Human milk is the preferred feeding for all infants…It is recommended that babies exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months, and breastfeeding should continue for at least the first 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mutually desired.”

Exclusive breastfeeding means no other liquids or foods are needed for a healthy infant.

Healthy Babies

Your baby needs breastmilk to get the food he or she must have to grow and develop. Studies prove time and time again that breastfed babies are healthier.

  • There are over 100 things in your breastmilk that are not in any formula. These make your baby’s immune system stronger.
  • In the first year, babies who nurse are ten times less likely to be put in the hospital.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to die of SIDS.


Happy and Healthy Mothers

Women don’t just nurse their babies because they “have to.” They nurse because they enjoy it!

  • During breastfeeding, levels of the hormones prolactin and oxytocin go up in your body. Prolactin gives you feelings of bonding and love. Oxytocin helps the uterus to shrink to its normal size.
  • Breastfeeding helps to prevent bone weakness and cancer of the breast, uterus, and ovaries.

Economic, Family and Environmental Advantages

  • Breast milk is free!
  • Billions of dollars are saved with less health care costs and less time off from work.
  • Less energy used to produce, transport, and dispose of artificial feeding products.

Did you know?

...giving your baby formula can cause you to make less breastmilk?

It is best to wait until you baby is at least 2 to 3 weeks old, and has learned how to breastfeed, before giving any formula. After a few weeks, a bottle once in a while should not hurt your milk supply. However, using a lot of formula will decrease the amount of breastmilk you make.

Try to avoid giving your baby formula after breastfeeding. Remember that breastfed babies will often take a bottle after they nurse because they have strong suckling reflexes. This does not always mean they are still hungry.

Going to work or school?

Many mothers are able to keep breastfeeding while they are working or going to school. Check out these breastfeeding links for more information.

If you feel like you don't have enough breastmilk, try:

  • Nursing the baby more often. Little babies need to be nursed at least 8-12 times every 24 hours.
  • Nursing the baby as often and as long as he or she needs. Rest assured that if your baby is growing well he/she is getting enough from breastfeeding.
  • Using both breasts at each feeding.
  • Avoiding extra formula or water that your baby doesn't need.

Growth Spurt

Babies go through times when they need more breastmilk to grow. This is normal. If this happens, just nurse your baby more often for a few days. Your breastmilk supply will build up to meet your baby's needs.