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Benefits of Breastfeeding and Lactation Support | Altru

Benefits of Breastfeeding and Lactation Support | Altru

August is National Breastfeeding Month. Breastfeeding is a natural and healthy way to feed your baby, but it can be anything but easy! It can leave you with questions, fears and anxiety. At Altru we are here to care for you and your baby and offer any help you need by answering questions, offering lactation consultants during your stay and holding breastfeeding support meetings.  

Benefits of Breastfeeding 

Your breast milk is made specifically for your baby, and breastfeeding provides many benefits for women’s health. Here are just a few reasons you may want to breastfeed: 

  • Your body provides just the right amount of nutrients for your baby. 
  • Breast milk changes to meet your growing baby’s needs and is easy to digest. 
  • Breastfeeding decreases the baby’s risk for health issues such as asthma, colds, earaches, eczema and food allergies, while also leading to less colic, diarrhea and constipation. 
  • Breastfeeding is inexpensive. 
  • Breastfeeding helps your body recover from childbirth faster. Weight loss can be easier, and it helps your uterus return to its normal size. 
  • Breastfeeding helps establish a strong bond between mother and baby. 

What to Eat While Breastfeeding 

New mom watches as baby breastfeedsWhen breastfeeding, you need to eat a variety of healthy foods, just as you did when you were pregnant. Breastfeeding requires 500 extra calories a day, which allows your body to make the milk your baby requires. These extra calories should come from eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking eight to 10 glasses of water a day. 

Breastfeeding Support and Education Services 

Altru offers a variety of opportunities for breastfeeding education. Our lactation professionals are available for breastfeeding support and education services. They will answer any questions and can even assist you once you’ve gone home. To reach the lactation staff, please call 701.780.5467

Altru and Altru Health Foundation provide complimentary walk-in breastfeeding clinics for breastfeeding mothers, as well as for pregnant women interested in learning more about breastfeeding their new baby. Altru’s Breastfeeding Clinic is held every Wednesday from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. at Altru Family Medicine Center in the small conference room located on the lower level. 

Breastfeeding clinics are designated for moms to ask our certified lactation consultants questions and get help with any barriers they are facing. Some topics of discussion might include: 

  • Getting started breastfeeding 
  • Helping your baby latch correctly 
  • Bottle-feeding versus breastfeeding 
  • Low milk supply and oversupply 
  • Pain after breastfeeding 
  • Introducing a bottle to your baby 
  • Clogged milk ducts and mastitis, a condition where the breast tissue becomes inflamed and/or infected 
  • Preparing to go back to work and pumping 

At the breastfeeding clinic, you will be able to breastfeed or pump as you wish, and certified lactation consultants and counselors can offer guidance and feedback if needed. A BabyWeigh Scale will be available to check your baby’s weight and milk intake during a feeding. These meetings also allow you to find breastfeeding support from other mothers through great conversation and encouragement. 

At Altru we are here to care for you and your baby and offer any help you need. Click here for more information and resources on breastfeeding.