The Pregnancy Show Presents: Learn about Breastfeeding from a Midwife
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Melanie Raposo: So midwives are big breastfeeding advocates and I know a lot of women aren't sure if it's best to breastfeed or not? Why do you think it's important for women to breastfeed? Female speaker: Well, starting with the mum we know that it reduces her overall lifetime risk of developing breast cancer which for women is a really big concern. As well even in the immediate postpartum, it helps the woman's uterus act normally after birth preventing bleeding. It helps her kind of get back to her body faster than women who aren't breastfeeding. For the baby, it's wonderful in so many ways. There's the bonding and closeness with the mum that provides. It also provides perfect nutrition that changes from the moment the baby's born until the baby stops breastfeeding. It provides important antibodies so that babies are healthier. We know that it helps them reduce their risk of developing things like diabetes and other health concerns. It also helps babies you know gain their weight, an ideal weight - whatever that weight is for that baby and it confers so many health benefits for babies. I mean there're going to be women for whom breastfeeding isn't advised, for instance if they have HIV or they have other active infections. That's a small percentage of the population. And I think one of the reasons that midwives do promote breastfeeding so much is that we know that we can provide that support women may need to continue breastfeeding. For some women, it's not easier to get go. You don't know what kind of baby you're going to get. You may have a bay who nurses beautifully. You may have a baby who really doesn't know how to do it and then it needs lots of practice and if you don't have the supports in place and we're not very good at having those supports in place. There's not a lot of public and medical support for breastfeeding as far as practical advice, the midwives really do end up providing most of that support for women. We see women in the home for the first few days, for the first week or 10 days postpartum and sometimes we're there everyday helping the women and her baby breastfeeding and making sure that that's going well.