Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for babies and mothers. Some of the many advantages for babies include: improving IQ, boosting the immune system and promoting healthy teeth. Breastfeeding also lowers a baby's risk of developing diabetes, obesity, heart disease, asthma, allergies, pneumonia and respiratory and ear infections. The benefits to the mother are increased bonding with the child and burning 300 to 500 calories a day.
To Wean Your Baby from Breast Milk:
• Breastfeed at least until your child’s first birthday
• Start by dropping a feeding every five to seven days
• Stop your least favorite feeding time first
• Wait a few days until your supply decreases and then drop another feeding
• Avoid nipple stimulation
OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson demonstrates how nipple stimulation causes the hormone prolactin to produce breast milk.
Tip! If breastfeeding has left you sore, using cold packs and cool compresses can provide relief.
Breast-Like Baby Bottle
The Very Hungry bottle by mimijumi is a 100 percent BPA-free baby bottle that looks like a woman's breast and is intended to help babies transition from breastfeeding to bottle feeding.
"I think a lot of moms, if they are trying to breastfeed and maybe have to use a bottle, they are kind of hesitant, because they don't want to cause nipple confusion," Dr. Jim says. "This might [help].
"But this is kind of new, so just because it looks like a nipple doesn't mean it's going to work just like Mom's nipple," he adds. "So we have to see what the evidence shows after more babies use this."
Dr. Lisa explains that while the Very Hungry bottle may be a good option for parents, breastfeeding is important.
• Breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk shares the dos and don't of breastfeeding