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Health Experts Urge New Mothers: "Breast is Best"

August marks breastfeeding awareness month

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Westport, CT | Added on August 28, 2014 At 05:49 PM

 "Breastfeeding for me is a really special moment for me," said Jenna LoGuidice.

Jenna is a mom to two girls.  The youngest being Isabella, just two months old.

 "It's our time where it's just the two of us - I get to stare down at her," she said.

And so far the benefits of breastfeeding ring true.

"I feel really fortunate that we breastfed my daughter.  My oldest one didn't have one cold for the first year of life," said Jenna.

"I would say try it.  You can always stop," said Nancy Manister, a certified lactation specialist.

August marks breastfeeding awareness month; and, over the past few weeks health experts have been promoting natural nursing, saying quite simply "breast is best."

"I think moms know it's good for a baby, they just don't know how good it is for themselves," said Dr. Manister.

One benefit that will likely make all womens' ears perk is that breastfeeding can help a woman lose weight faster, and with that weight loss comes a number of other health benefits, like protection from: diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer. Plus, babies nursed naturally are less likely to be hospitalized than those using formula.

"We want women to breastfeed for a year or longer.  And we want them not to supplement.  Just give milk or breastfeed for six months of life.  Then, at that point, it's the weening period," said Dr. Manister.

But still, social stigmas exist.

"It's important to note: there is a law on the books that says women can breastfeed anywhere in public," said Theresa Agondezzi of Norwalk Department of Health.

"I've breastfed in every public place I can imagine," said Jenna.

"It's natural.  It's the way things have gone for a number of years," added Jenna's husband.

"There are a lot of images of women in the media and I think this image of a woman nourishing her baby in a very healthy way is an image we should see more regularly," said Theresa.

Around the United States, around 79 percent of women breastfeed upon the birth of her child, but that number drops to just 18 percent at the sixth month mark.  The CDC recommends all women breastfeed for about a year.





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