ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va -- Wednesday marked the start of World Breast-Feeding Week. It is a week that has been celebrated in 170 countries to improve the health of babies around the world. The purpose is to let people know the benefits to breast-feeding for both the infant and the mother.
For the baby, it can prevent diabetes, asthma, obesity and help the baby's immune system. It also reduces the mother's chances for breast cancer and helps moms lose weight they gained during their pregnancy.
An expert at Rockingham Memorial Hospital says breast feeding provides the best nutrition for an infant because of how the milk is created.
"Breast milk is of course the best nutrition for the baby because it is actually designed for the baby,” said Sarah Koontz, a certified lactation consultant. “Every mammal makes milk that is special for its own babies, so all the nutrition that the baby needs is provided in the breast milk. There's actually 200 components of breast milk, and we're not really sure why they're all there, but they are there for a reason, to provide the optimal nutrition for the baby."
People with the World Health Organization want this week to be a reminder that breast-feeding is the healthiest option for both the mom and baby.
RMH offers year round classes for new moms and highly encourages breastfeeding.
There is also a recipe for cookies to help new moms breast feed. They are called " Major Milk Makin' Lactation Cookies."
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