HealthWatch-The importance of breastfeeding

Every week, health and fitness experts from across the Black Hills bring you tips and advice for living your healthiest life.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 10:11 AM MDT
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The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented. It’s important, but it’s definitely not always easy. Dr. Ann Hibbs from Creekside Medical Clinic takes a look at the advantages in this week’s edition of HealthWatch.

“Hi I’m Dr. Annie Hibbs from Creekside Medical Clinic. I’m a family medicine doctor who also practices breastfeeding medicine and this week is world breastfeeding week. The benefits of breast milk and breastfeeding are well established. Those who breastfeed have lower risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Infants who are breastfed have lower risk of SIDS, childhood cancers, respiratory infections, ear infections and other infections and have lower risk of developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease later in life. Despite the numerous benefits, those who choose to breastfeed can face many obstacles. These can range from problems with breastfeeding like difficulty with latch, pain, low milk supply, over supply and associated complications like mastitis, and inflamed milk ducts. Many of these problems stem from lacking breastfeeding support. In this country, those who choose to breastfeed often face inadequate maternity leave and lack of employer support for pumping on return to work. Some also lack support from family and friends. They also face possible public shaming of breastfeeding in public or without a cover and many places do not offer a private and sanitary place to feed. In our area, we are very fortunate to have some great support in the form of our amazing local lactation consultants. They can be reached for appointment at 605-755-8494. They also host a local breastfeeding support group that meets every Tuesday at Monument health at 1 o’clock p.m. This is free and a great opportunity to get help with breastfeeding and have a chance to weigh your baby before and after a feeding. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, The American Academy of Pediatrics, The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Family Physicians all support breastfeeding until age 2 and beyond for those who so desire. I am passionate about supporting all those who choose to breastfeed and helping anyone who is struggling with breastfeeding. I encouraged you all to support and celebrate those you know who are breastfeeding or wish to breastfeed during this world breastfeeding week and every week during the year.”