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NER Update December 7th, 2019
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Aug

05

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World Breastfeeding Week

Posted by on August 5th, 2019 Posted in: Blog, NLM Resources, Patient Engagement, Public Health
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The World Health Organization has named the first week of August as World Breastfeeding Week! You can read lots of important health information about breastfeeding on Twitter using #WorldBreastfeedingWeek.

Most of us know that health professionals recommend that babies be breastfed for the first 6 months, if possible. Initially, breastfeeding may require a little time and energy to get the hang of, but usually after a short time, both mother and baby settle into a routine that becomes very convenient.

One of the most important benefits of breastfeeding is the bonding that occurs between mom and baby. According to NLM’s MedlinePlus website (https://medlineplus.gov/) the following bullet points provide other health benefits of breastfeeding:

  • Breast milk naturally has all the nutrients babies need to grow and develop.
  • Breast milk has antibodies that can help prevent your baby from getting sick.
  • Breastfeeding can help prevent health problems in your baby, such as allergies, eczema, ear infections, and stomach problems.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to be hospitalized with breathing infections.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to become obese or have diabetes.
  • Breastfeeding may help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Mothers who breastfeed find it easier to lose weight after pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding may help lower the risk for breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes, and certain other diseases in mothers.
  • You can breastfeed almost anywhere and anytime your baby is hungry. You do not need to make formula before feeding, worry about clean water, or carry it with you when you go out or travel. And you save money on formula, which can cost $1,000 or more a year.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse or NIDA provides current info about using medical marijuana and other drugs during and pregnancy and breastfeeding. The website also has many helpful materials you can share https://www.drugabuse.gov/nidamed-medical-health-professionals/marijuana-other-drugs .

Another useful tool for breastfeeding mothers is NLM’s LactMed database (https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/newtoxnet/lactmed.htm) that contains information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed.

LactMed includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant. Suggested therapeutic alternatives to those drugs are provided, where appropriate. All data are derived from the scientific literature and are fully referenced. A peer review panel reviews the data to assure scientific validity and currency.

Image of the author ABOUT Susan Halpin
I am a former health and wellness educator who joined the NNLM NER in August of 2016, Excited to be promoting the excellent resources developed by the NLM and to provide training for anyone who would like to access the free and trusted information the NLM offers.

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This has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine, under cooperative agreement number UG4LM012347 with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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