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Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be one of the most enjoyable and special experiences for a new mother, and the health benefits for both mother and baby are significant.

Nutritional Benefits
Your breast milk is perfect for your baby. It is custom-designed to meet the specific needs of your baby at each stage of development. Before your baby is born, you begin to produce breast milk that is very high in protein and provides essential nutrients that are perfect for your baby when he/she arrives. Milk in this first stage also contains a large amount of antibodies that help to protect your baby against many respiratory and digestive infections.

Three to five days after your baby is born, you will begin to produce mature milk, which contains water, protein, vitamins and minerals, and the right amount of fat to help your baby feel satisfied and develop properly. As your baby nurses, the milk gradually thickens until it resembles cream. This “hind milk” is higher in fat content. It is important to remember that your baby needs to nurse long enough to get the “hind milk” to ensure adequate weight gain. This usually takes about 15 minutes on each breast, but let your baby finish on the first breast before offering the second.

Breastmilk is all the infant needs for the first six months of life, and the mother’s breastmilk constantly changes to meet the baby’s growing needs. Breastfeeding is based on supply and demand. The more your baby nurses, the more milk you will produce.

Emotional Benefits
When your baby is breastfeeding, he or she is back in a familiar place, hearing sounds of your voice, your breathing and your heartbeat. The closeness of the breastfeeding experience creates a very strong emotional bond between mother and baby, and helps the baby feel loved and comforted.

Breastfeeding Quick Tips
  • Breastmilk is perfect for your baby at the moment of birth. The composition of that first milk is just what your baby needs to get a healthy start in life.
  • Breastmilk will help protect your baby from acute and chronic illnesses during and for years beyond the breastfeeding period.
  • Breastmilk is constantly changing, hour by hour, day by day, and week by week since the mother’s body is completely in tune with the needs of her baby.
  • Breastmilk is always available at the right temperature and amount without any mixing, measuring or fuss.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, with the introduction of solid foods in addition to breastfeeding at 6 months.
Natural & Learned Technique
While breastfeeding is natural, it is a learned skill for a new mother and baby, which is why mothers often have questions about the process. Our dedicated lactation consultants are available to provide you with breastfeeding support, helpful information and recommended techniques to make breastfeeding easier for you and your baby. Please feel free to call (850) 278-3995 for questions or guidance.

Sacred Heart also offers a regularly-scheduled Breastfeeding Class. Please call (850) 278-3995 to register for an upcoming class.



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Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast | 7800 U.S. Hwy. 98 West; Miramar Beach, FL 32550 | Tel (850) 278-3000 | Toll Free 1-866-591-3600
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