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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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Is Breast Best?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 70 percent of women in the U.S. don’t follow new recommendations that they should exclusively breastfeed their babies for their first six months. Why? Well, lactation experts say there are a number of reasons, including marketing pressure by infant formula companies, lack of social support, and workplaces that don’t encourage breastfeeding. For these reasons, U.S. mothers find it difficult to meet the recommendations made by pediatricians.

Worry is another reason many moms choose not to breastfeed. One of the most common questions among new breastfeeding moms is, “Is my baby getting enough breast milk?” However, most women do produce enough milk to nurse their babies successfully. It’s estimated that only approximately 5-15 percent of all breastfeeding mothers actually have a low milk supply. Still, the uncertainty is natural, since you can’t actually see how much milk your newborn is getting.

With National Breastfeeding Awareness Month taking place in August, it’s important for expecting mothers to know and understand why mothers choose not to breastfeed, the many benefits of breastfeeding, and the resources available to make breastfeeding a positive, confident and comforting experience.

Concerns over insufficient milk consumption

Breastfeeding can come with many complications and frustrations. While most moms are able to provide their babies with all the milk they need, there are times when babies don’t get enough. After all, how is a mother supposed to measure the amount of breast milk her baby is eating without using a bottle for measurement? When babies don’t get their recommended amount of breast milk, a baby can suffer from dehydration and failure to thrive, both of which are uncommon but serious.

According to the World Health Organization, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life to achieve optimal growth, development, and health. However, the following statistics have been recognized:

  • 4,000,000 women in the USA give birth every year
  • 3,200,000 will choose to breastfeed exclusively
  • 1,600,000 women stop breastfeeding because they fear over concerns about insufficient milk

Breastfeeding benefits for both moms and babies

There are dozens of health benefits for moms and babies who choose to breastfeed, but here are a few of my favorites:

  • Healthier Baby – Breastfeed your baby and reduce his or her risk of developing chronic conditions, such as type I diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. Incidences of pneumonia, colds and viruses are also reduced among breastfed babies. Additionally, it’s more likely that neither of you will become obese, and both of you can decrease your risk of cancer.
  • Healthier Mom – In addition to stronger bones, moms who breastfeed are also known to incinerate up to 500 calories a day from breastfeeding alone. Breastfeeding moms also have a better post-delivery healing process.
  • Environmental – By breastfeeding, you have less of a need for baby bottles, helping to reduce the amount of plastic waste.
  • Economical – According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, the United States would save about $13 billion per year in medical costs if 90 percent of U.S. families breastfed their newborns for at least six months.

How the Smart Breastfeeding Meter can help

To support mothers of newborns and serve as a guide through their breastfeeding journeys, Momsense has created the Smart Breastfeeding Meter, which utilizes patented technology in a microphone-embedded sensor that is simply placed underneath baby’s earlobe and connects to a smart phone application to track and report how much breast milk the baby is consuming. This allows mothers to obtain peace of mind by know how much their baby is consuming during the breastfeeding process, while also taking advantage of the many benefits of breastfeeding.

There are other ways to ensure that your baby is getting enough breast milk, such as counting the number of wet diapers, bowel movements and weight gain. But with today’s generation of tech-savvy moms, there is something about having real-time data in the palm of your hand that reduces the worry and wonder about whether your breastfed baby is getting enough milk.

Momsense understands what nursing mothers undergo, and the notion that sometimes, mothers just need help. That’s why Momsense supports women and hopes to build their confidence, intuition and knowledge by showing them how much their baby has nursed.

 

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