Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is best for your baby’s overall health and well-being; new research also provides the strongest link yet between breastfeeding and reducing the risk of SIDS. Start early to prepare for breastfeeding and establish a support network to ensure your success.
- If you can, give your baby only breast milk for at least the first six months.
- Breastfeeding gives you lots of time to cuddle and bond with your baby.
- Breastfeeding helps protect against many illnesses.
If you are breastfeeding, we urge you to pay close attention to safe feeding and sleeping practices and be aware of the hidden dangers of falling asleep with your baby in an adult bed, sofa, chair or other unsafe place. Room sharing is a great way to facilitate breastfeeding while sharing closeness with your baby and protecting him from SIDS, suffocation and accidents during sleep. It’s OK to nurse your baby in bed, but when it’s time to go to sleep, place your baby in a separate, safe sleep area alongside your bed.
- View First Candle’s brochure Room Sharing is Safer than Bed Sharing (English) (PDF)
- View First Candle’s brochure Room Sharing is Safer than Bed Sharing (Spanish) (PDF)
Many mothers who work outside the home find that breast pumps are an ideal way to express and save your milk so that your baby will not need to be supplemented with formula. There are many makes and models and most are very portable, making it easy to pump at work. A supportive bra is great when you’re breastfeeding. A supportive environment is even better.
- AAP’s Breastfeeding Support and Promotion Speakers Kit, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- Breastfeeding: Best for Baby, Best for Mom, The National Women’s Health Information Center
- Breastfeeding: Ideal for Babies, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA)
Every parent dreams about their baby’s nursery! But when it comes to safe sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS, suffocation and accidental infant deaths, less is best. All you really need is a crib that meets current safety standards with a firm mattress that fits snuggly, covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet. Cute quilts and comforters can be used as wall-hangings or tummy-time mats, soft or pillow-like bumpers should be avoided and stuffed toys and animals should be used for play time and displayed in baskets or on shelves. Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. They have not been tested for effectiveness or safety. Positioners or wedges should never be used to prop your baby up or keep him on his back. These products are dangerous, especially when your baby begins to wiggle around during sleep. When considering a home nursery monitor, remember that while they may be a great way to monitor movement, activity and temperature in your baby’s room, they are not effective at preventing or interrupting a SIDS death.