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Help for Moms to Stick with Breastfeeding

A new study finds that breastfeeding your baby may improve their IQ. But nursing can be challenging, especially for new moms.
A new study finds that breastfeeding your baby may improve their IQ.  But nursing can be challenging, especially for new moms.

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed a newborn, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"Babies who are breastfed have lower rates of infections they have lower rates of common infections like colds and diarrhea illnesses they also have lower rates of serious infection," notes pediatrician Dr. Robert Wiskind.

But breast feeding is not always easy and can be exhausting, especially for new moms.  Newborns may need to eat every 2 - 3 hours around the clock - that's 8 - 12 times a day.

If things aren't going well, get help from a lactation consultant.   "There are hormones in the brain that are released when the baby suckles at the breast that make milk," says Joy Nichols, a lactation consultant and RN.  "And if the mom can understand that breast feeding is supply and demand and the more the baby nurses the more the milk is made."
 
If you can make it through the first 2 or 3 weeks, nursing your baby gets a little easier.

Health officials recommend infants be fed breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life.

If possible, they say, moms should continue to nurse their child until the baby is at least a year old.

For some new moms, this is not practical, but any amount of breastfeeding can provide benefits for baby.


(Susan Hendricks for CNN's Health Minute)

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