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Benefits of Breastfeeding

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Some mothers decide to breastfeed their babies when they are born while others would rather not embark on this journey. The topic of breastfeeding tends to be a pretty sensitive one as there is a big divide amongst women who breastfeed and those who do not. While there are plenty of benefits to both mom and baby when it comes to breastfeeding, it is not for everyone and that’s ok too. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a mother breastfeeds her baby for the first year of life and there are many benefits of doing so.

Nutrition Basics
Breast milk is made up of all the right amounts of vitamins, fat and protein that a baby needs to thrive. This milk comes in a much more safe and natural form whereas store bought formula can be based off of not so great ingredients such as corn syrup solids and sugar. Not to mention that there is a perfect form of antibodies that help a baby develop a really strong immune system. This can be beneficial in helping fight off bacterial and viral based illnesses.

Development
Breastfeeding benefits are not just nutritionally based. There have been studies that show children who were breastfed for at least the first six months of like had higher IQ scores than those that were fed solely from formula. This isn’t just due to nutrition but also thanks to the physical contact a baby receives while they are nursing. Eye contact, skin to skin contact and being held can all help a child’s emotional and intellectual development. Babies that are breastfed are at a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome as well.

Immune Support
The benefits of breastfeeding occur during the period of time that a baby nurses but these benefits can often last a lifetime. Breastfeeding has been proven to reduce a lifetime risk of allergies and asthma. There is a decrease in ear infections, illness and stomach upset when breastfeeding takes place. More research will be done in the future to determine other benefits, but it is suspected that breastfeeding can reduce a number of cancers, diabetes and also obesity later on in life.

Benefits For Mom
In addition to breastfeeding being beneficial for the baby that is receiving the mother’s milk, nursing can also benefit the mother as well. With all of those extra calories being given to the baby, those post partum pounds can be shed quite fast. Oxytocin is a hormone that is released during the nursing process and the uterus reacts by shrinking faster than normal. As for long term benefits, breastfeeding can decrease the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer throughout the rest of the mother’s life, not just the months where breastfeeding occurs.

The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the benefits of formula feeding is nursing is something you can accomplish. It’s not an easy journey to embark on but it is worth the work that you put into it. Utilizing the services of a trusted and reputable lactation consultant can help you address any issues that might be going on whether it be an issue with latching, staying latched or milk production. It is important to remember that only you can decide what is best for your baby. You may want to enlist the help of your medical professional as well when determining what is best for you and baby. Certain prescription medications can be harmful to a baby if passed through the breast milk, so always check with your doctor regarding this fact as well.

 

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Avoid Food Allergies This Holiday Season

Large family eating Christmas dinner

This holiday season, you may be planning to travel and to visit places where you can relax, or you may want to stay at home and spend time with your family and friends. The most significant aspect of holidays is the food. It is what makes a holiday fun and exciting, along with creating great memories with the people you love.

However, this is also the season for food allergies. Because of this, preparing for the holidays with food allergies is a must. You should keep in mind that it is not only you who can suffer from allergies but also your visitors or guests. If you are the guest, there are things you should consider protecting yourself.

Today, we will go over several ways to avoid food allergies this holiday season. Let’s get started!

When Traveling

Plan your route and itinerary ahead of time. There should be places that will cater to your diet and any allergies you might have. You can ask these restaurants what specific ingredients they use to keep you safe. If you happen to be staying in a hotel, it’s best to check again with the hotel staff for food that might be an issue.

However, it is best if you bring some foods which you know are safe for you to eat. It’s easy to pack up items from home and bring them along with you, unless you are traveling on a plane. Even so, you can ask the airlines for a list of ingredients so you are safe.

The main concern here is that is if someone is unsure what is in the ingredients of a specific food, and if you have any doubt that it may be something you may be allergic to, then you should avoid this food.

Dining at Home

You may also have a choice to spend holidays at home. Before you invite your friends, ask them or try to know what kind of food they prefer. Also, ask if anyone who is coming might have any food allergies in order to help cater towards their needs.

If you have a friend or family member who does have a food allergy, then you should have a variety of food ready and always read the labels to see the instructions and indications about allergic reactions.

Dinning at Your Friend’s House

Of course, you cannot just demand for something. As courtesy, you should make your friend feel you appreciate whatever he or she has prepared for. The best way is to offer for help. Go to your friend’s home early and suggest foods to prepare.

You can tell your friend ahead of time about your allergy. If you visit another person whom you are not that very close, you can bring some food or snacks for you or for your kids in case you run out of choices.

If you receive an invitation, this is your chance to politely ask what foods to expect and mention you have some allergies. There is nothing wrong with being straightforward than being too late.

Food allergies are a major concern for a lot of people these days, especially during the holiday season. To enjoy the season and all it has to offer then make sure you eat what’s safe for you, and if you have a friend or relative with a food allergy make sure to make them food that is safe for them and always remember to read the label. Nevertheless, there are still more ways to navigate the holidays with food allergies.

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