Breastfeeding Your Baby

Photo: Breastfeeding your baby.The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first 6 months.  After six months, gradually introduce iron-enriched solid foods to complement the breast milk diet.  It is further recommended that breast feeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter, for as long as mutually desired.

At Malheur County WIC our goal is to support breastfeeding. Studies show that frequent breastfeeding and avoidance of pacifiers and formula bottles in the early weeks leads to breastfeeding success. For this reason, we do not routinely provide formula during the first month of life. 

Breastfeeding is more than just food:

It is the beginning of a special relationship between you and your baby.  When you breast feed, you have a relationship with your baby that no one else can have.

Breast milk is the superior infant food that supplies perfect nutrition for your baby:

  • Each time you breast eed you will be helping your baby fight germs
  • Your breastmilk requires no preparation or sterilization and is readily available when your baby wants it.  Anytime. Anywhere.
  • Your breast milk changes to meet the needs of your growing baby.
  • Breast milk is easily digested so babies have less gas, constipation, diarrhea and spitting up

Risks of NOT Breastfeeding:

For baby:

  • Increased risk of  food allergies, intestinal problems, and asthma
  • More frequent ear and respiratory infections
  • Increased  risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Increased risk of childhood cancers such as leukemia
  • Increased risk of obesity and diabetes
  • Lower IQ

For the mother:

  • Increased bleeding after delivery
  • Increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer
  • Increased risk of osteoporosis
  • Difficulty losing weight after giving birth

Breastfeeding benefits families by:

  • Saving money
  • Working moms miss fewer days of work
Breastfeeding may not be recommended for mothers who use controlled substances or have medical conditions such as untreated/active tuberculosis or HIV.

  *Many medications are safe for the breastfed infant.  Have your doctor refer to Medications and Mothers' Milk by Thomas W. Hale, PhD for more information about medications and breastfeeding safety.

For more answers to your breastfeeding questions, call or stop by WIC:

1108 S.W. 4th ST
Ontario, OR 97914