LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – If you’re a new or expecting mother, learning how to breastfeed properly can be intimidating. That’s why 6 News anchor Chivon Kloepfer spoke with McLaren lactation consultant Tammy Ashley in this week’s Monday for Moms.
“The reason I became a lactation consultant is my first child didn’t nurse well,” said Ashley. “The reason that I became a lactation consultant… I didn’t want anybody to go through this pain and suffering that I kind of went through in the beginning.”
While breastfeeding is challenging, doctors say it’s worth it.
Nurses at the hospital can help you right away after delivery. And if you need more support, you’ll have access to a lactation consultant like Tammy Ashley. There are also local support groups you can try.
There might be a consultant at your baby’s pediatrician’s office or at the hospital where you had the baby.
Breastfeeding can help mothers recover from birth quickly, as it helps the uterus shrink quicker and helps prevent breast cancer, ovarian cancer and diabetes.
And for the baby, Ashley says breast milk is customized food for them. It’s genetically pre-programmed for that baby and has all the nutrients they need. It also helps to lower the risk of asthma, diabetes, obesity, infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS.)
If a mom is exposed to a cold and gets it, those antibodies is going in the breast milk for the baby. If mom also kisses the baby, after it comes home from daycare, she’s ingesting all of those germs that are on the baby. And then she makes antibodies for the next day.
Breastfeeding can also help mother and baby fight off illnesses – as s long as the baby is getting fresh breastmilk. Freezing breast milk does kill those properties.
When it comes to COVID-19, the CDC says pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with the virus And it recommends the vaccine during pregnancy, while breastfeeding and if you’re trying to get pregnant.
Health officials say there’s no evidence that any vaccine, including COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems for women or men.
Officials say mothers who’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 should continue to breastfeed while they recover, but with a face mask on prior to touching the baby, and make sure she washes her hands before feeding the baby.