International Breastfeeding SymbolInternational Breastfeeding Symbol

The purpose of an international symbol for breastfeeding is to increase public awareness of breastfeeding, to provide an alternative to the use of a baby bottle image to designate baby friendly areas in public, and to mark breastfeeding friendly facilities.

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  • Breastfed babies are far healthier than their bottle-fed peers. Formula can't possibly replace all the benefits of human milk.  (Smith, New Beginnings 1995; 12(3): 68-71.)
  • The antibodies in breastmilk that protect a newborn from pathogens, viruses and bacteria are still present in the milk of mothers nursing their toddlers. (M. Hamosh, Pediatric Clinics of North America 2001; 48(1): 69-86.)
  • The composition of human milk changes as the baby grows and its protection against illness is most evident during a baby's first six months of life with many benefits extending well beyond infancy. (http://www.llli.org/Release/nutrition.html)
  • Just as babies do, toddlers receive health benefits from breastfeeding. Your milk continues to provide immunities and vitamins, and can help protect your toddler from illness and allergies. If your toddler does get sick, nursing will help comfort him. In fact, a toddler with an upset stomach may be able to tolerate nothing but human milk. (http://www.llli.org/FAQ/advantagetoddler.html)
  • The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend that babies be breastfed for at least two years.
  • Colostrum, which is the first milk produced, is a concentrated form of nutrition specifically suited to a newborn's needs. In addition to providing superior nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals in the correct proportions, colostrum protects a newborn with a wide array of immunoglobulins, leukocytes, and anti-inflammatory factors. (http://www.llli.org/Release/nutrition.html)
  • Numerous studies show that breasfeeding promotes a higher IQ, including increased reading comprehension, math skills, and scholastic ability even into adolescence. (L. J. Horwood and D. M. Fergusson, Pediatrics 1998; 101(1): e9.)

The benefits of breastfeeding your baby are numerous.  Not only are these facts backed by scientific research but many nursing mothers know these facts based on motherly intuition!

  • Human milk provides the specific nutrients that babies need to grow, both in size and maturity.  Your milk is made to order for your baby.  (The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, 7th Revised Edition, page 340).
  • Mothers who choose to breastfeed are healthier. Recent studies show women who breastfeed enjoy decreased risks of breast and ovarian cancer, anemia, and osteoporosis.  They are empowered by their ability to provide complete nourishment for their babies. Both mother and baby enjoy the emotional benefits of the very special and close relationship through breastfeeding.  (Enger et al. Br J Cancer 1997; 76(1): 118-23.)
  • Women who breastfeed tend to lose weight more rapidly in the early postpartum period than women who do not breastfeed. (Fornes & Dorea J Am Coll Nutr. 1995; 14:61-65)
  • Families who breastfeed save money!  Human milk is FREE and breastfeeding provides savings on health care costs and related time lost from work to care for sick children. (Tuttle, C.R. et al. J Am Diet Assoc 1996; 96(9): 885-90.)
  • Breastfeeding is “GREEN.”  Breastfeeding is better for our environment because it uses none of the tin, paper, plastic, or energy necessary for preparing, packaging and transporting artificial infant formula.  Since there is no waste in breastfeeding, each breastfed baby cuts down on pollution and garbage disposal problems. (Rogan, W.J. and Gladen, B.C. Early Hum Dev 1993; 31: 181-93.)
  • Exclusive breastfeeding naturally spaces pregnancies.
  • Breastfeeding is convenient.  It is always available, ready and the right temperature.  There is no sterilizing, mixing, cleaning-up or heating.
  • Human milk is alive with beneficial bacteria that aid an infant's digestion and help prevent diarrhea.  (Smith, New Beginnings 1995; 12(3): 68-71.)
  • Human milk is the ultimate in renewable resources. It's there as soon as the baby arrives, in the quantity the baby needs, for as long as the mother and baby want it. Not only that, but in most cases it doesn't require any preparation on the mother's part. The baby is put to the breast and the milk starts to flow. (Smith, New Beginnings 1995; 12(3): 68-71.)

 

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