The Truth About Breastfeeding

Hide Video Transcript

Video Transcript


How will you feed your newborn? Here are some key facts to know about breastfeeding. Is breastfeeding better for your baby than formula feeding? Yes.

Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits. But you might need formula if breastfeeding is a problem, or if your baby can't get sufficient nutrition from breast milk. Is breast milk actually better for your baby? Usually, yes.

Mother's milk typically helps protect your baby from a number of illnesses such as asthma and allergies, and it can reduce the risk of SIDS. But formula may be the safer choice if you take certain medications or use illegal drugs, or if you have health problems like HIV and others. Talk to your doctor about your health history before you breastfeed.

Can breastfeeding help the mother's health, too? Yes. You burn calories when you breastfeed, which might help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. You also tend to heal more quickly, and are less likely to get high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, and some breast cancers.

Can I get pregnant while breastfeeding? Yes. Breastfeeding makes you less likely to get pregnant, especially in the first few months after birth, but it is still possible. The best way to avoid pregnancy is to use a reliable birth control method.

Is it legal to breastfeed your baby in public? Yes. All 50 states have laws that allow you to breastfeed anywhere you please. Do you have to get permission to pump milk at work? No.

Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable time, and a private space for you to pump breast milk for a year after childbirth. But your employer is not required to pay you for that time. Bottom line-- breast milk is best. But the most important thing is to feed your baby on a regular schedule that keeps you and your baby healthy, and works with your body and your life.