Breastfeeding your baby can provide many positive health benefits both to you as a mother and to your child. Breastfeeding creates a unique bond with your baby that is critical to establish during the first weeks of life. Breastfeeding provides all the nutrition your baby needs, at the right temperature, on demand, all at no cost. Research suggests that breastfed babies have lower risks of childhood leukemia, ear infections, childhood obesity, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), type 2 diabetes, and more. A mother's breastmilk carries cells, hormones, and antibodies that help protect babies from illness. A mother's breastmilk is unique and changes to meet her baby's needs. Here are more Reasons Why Breastfeeding Is Important from the Office on Women's Health in the Department of Health and Human Services.
Are you a new mother or recently welcomed a new child into the world?
Bayfield County Health Department offers free home visits from a public health nurse for families with a new baby in the home. Find out more about our Maternal Child Health program and newborn visits.
If breastfeeding is so important for a baby's health, why don't more women breastfeed?
In the United States, most mothers hope to breastfeed, and about 79% of babies start out being breastfed. However, research shows that only 19% of babies are exclusively breastfed 6 months later. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months of a baby's life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.
One of the most common reasons why women stop breastfeeding or supplement breastfeeding with formula is due to a lack of breastfeeding support. The success rate among mothers who want to breastfeed can be greatly improved through active support from their families, friends, communities, clinicians, health care leaders, employers, and policymakers. Given the importance of breastfeeding for the health and well-being of mothers and children, it is critical that women be aware of community resources to help support them in achieving their breastfeeding goals.
Community Breastfeeding Resources
There are a variety of local resources available to help support breastfeeding mothers. Bayfield County residents may call Bayfield County Health Department at (715) 373-6109 to speak with a public health nurse or staff person trained in breastfeeding support with any breastfeeding questions they may have. The lactation specialist or counselor may be able to help a woman troubleshoot any breastfeeding problems she may be experiencing, or help reassure her that breastfeeding is going well. The following is a list of Chequamegon Bay Area Breastfeeding Resources available to breastfeeding mothers in northern Wisconsin. Also, there is a National Breastfeeding Helpline staffed Monday through Fridays from 8 am to 5 pm at 1-800-994-9662.
Note: Bayfield County does not necessarily endorse, recommend, or favor any of following the agencies, businesses, or organizations.