We know breastmilk is best for baby because the benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition – but breastfeeding takes teamwork. Support from dad, family, friends, physicians, and business owners can all play a critical role in making breastfeeding successful.
Knowledge is one of the most powerful tools. No matter what your role – support materials and information are available. Here are a few great places to start:
Physicians & Healthcare Providers
SD WIC: Physicians
Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Babies
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding an infant exclusively for the first six months of life with breastfeeding continuing for 1 year and beyond with appropriate supplemental foods. Breastfeeding passes on powerful antibodies to babies, which help protect their immune systems from disease. Breastmilk is the perfect way for nutrients to be delivered to your baby.
Breastfed babies are healthier:
- Fewer ear infections
- Less colic, gas, & spitting up—because breastmilk is so easily digested
- Fewer stomach problems or constipation
- Less risk of pneumonia & respiratory illnesses
- Less risk of allergies & asthma
- Less risk of SIDS
- Less risk of obesity in childhood
- Less risk of diabetes
- Better brain development
- Exposure to a variety of tastes — which makes it easier to introduce solids later
- Helps promote proper jaw, tooth, & speech development
Additional Breastfeeding Support
Many South Dakota communities have prioritized breastfeeding to help moms overcome barriers and breastfeed longer. Look for these breastfeeding supporters in your community:
- The WIC Program – The This Department of Health Program provides counseling and advice on breastfeeding. WIC also supports breastfeeding by supplying women who need to go back to work or school with breast pumps.
- Hospital Lactation Consultants – These breastfeeding experts can be found in hospital and clinics and are ready to help with questions after delivery.
- Breastfeeding Peer Counselors – These women have had experience in breastfeeding and want to see you succeed! They will provide advice and personal experience to help you and your baby get the most out of breastfeeding. To find a peer counselor in your area, contact your local WIC office.
- La Leche League and other support groups – Support groups are filled with moms who either need breastfeeding help or just want to connect with other moms that are breastfeeding. Local WIC offices will have information on breastfeeding support groups in your community.
- Family and Friends – This group of people is considered one of the most important for breastfeeding success! Find a family member or close friend that has breastfed. More than likely, she will want you to feel the same bonding that she felt with her baby.
- Dads – South Dakota fathers are champions when it comes to breastfeeding support. They know their family better than anyone and can help make a huge difference in breastfeeding success!
- Online Resources – Families can also find plenty of breastfeeding support through the internet. Here are a few places to start:
La Leche League