The ability of nearly every woman to breastfeed her children, if she chooses, is possible. It is not always easy, but with support, education and a loving sisterhood of other moms it can make all the difference. Lactaction Specialist are extremely helpful especially early in your Baby's nursing. It is frustrating to constantly hear conflicting advice from friends, relatives, and healthcare providers. Just like birthing and labor, breastfeeding can be helped through education, encouragement, and support.

Top Ten Reasons to Breastfeed

**as presented by La Leche League

1. Human milk for human babies. Surely nature did not intend a cow's milk to feed your human baby. There is no other milk in the world that is more perfect for your infant.

2. Bonding. Breastfeeding by it's very nature requires the skin to skin contact that babies need. it is a uniquely bonding experience.

3. Immunities. Your baby will be protected against disease, intestinal disorders, colds and infections starting at birth with colostrum. Colostrum is the clear, sometimes yellowish fluid in the first few days that precedes mature breastmilk. The immunities passed through your breastmilk each day will be beneficial to your baby for a very long time. Research has shown that breastfed babies are healthier.

4. Free! Breastfeeding mothers save about $100 a month over bottle feeding in purchasing formula, feeding equipment, and hot water for cleaning bottles.

5. Availability. You can breastfeed anytime, anywhere. It is always the right temperature. You never have to worry about how many bottles to bring or about not having enough to feed baby.

6. Night feedings are easier. There is nothing to prepare for nighttime feedings. No opening of cans or heating of bottles.

7. No equipment. No bottles,nipples,bottle liners, dishwashing or sterilizing.

8. Not so stinky!! Your infant's stools will be sweeter smelling while exclusively nursing. Diaper leaks and spit ups clean up much easier with breastfed babies.

9. Mothering! Breastfeeding makes mothering easier. You will know your baby (see #2) so well that you will learn to anticipate his needs. Breastfeeding mother's respond to their babies more intuitively and with less restraint.

10. Digestibility. Breastmilk is easier to digest than formula. Your breastmilk will change constantly to meet your babies needs. Infant formula remains the same.

As your Doula, some of the topics we can discuss are:

* How do I know baby is getting enough?

* Should I supplement?

* Match the latch?

* How long do I do this?

* How do I know I am making enough milk?

* Feeding cues

* Pumping

* Kangaroo mother care

Remember, Human Milk is GREEN!

Ecologically speaking...

* It's a natural, renewable resource and is all the baby needs for the first six months of life.

* It requires no resources for packaging, shipping or disposal.

* No precious energy is wasted producing artificial baby milk and related products.

* No land needs to be deforested for pasture or crop production.

* It does not create pollution from the manufacturing of human milk substitutes, bottles, nipples and cans.

* It helps space babies by suppressing fertility in the mother.

*** This message is brought to you by La Leche League International ***

La Leche League

La Leche League (LLL) is an international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing education, information, support, and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed.

Visit the La Leche League Website It's a great resource!

Other Resources for Breastfeeding

Mama's Latte - a Tucson-based service that provides in-home breastfeeding support.

Breastfeeding Reference Table - this is an excellent resource that outlines the progresson of breastfeeding the first three weeks of life.

The Natural Child Project - this website offers several articles on breastfeeding that my clients have found useful.

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