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Benefits Of Breastfeeding
October 4, 2013

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox New data released by the Centers for Disease Control this summer show breastfeeding rates have continued to rise over the past decade. The percent of babies breastfeeding at six months increased from 35 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2010. Also, the percent of babies breastfeeding at 12 months has gone up from from 16 percent to 27 percent during. The CDC data said babies who started breastfeeding increased from 71 percent in 2000 to 77 percent in 2010.

Babies who are breastfed have lower risks of ear and gastrointestinal infections, diabetes and obesity.

"Your breast milk changes as a baby grows, and it changes when the baby gets sick. There's immunities the saliva communicates with us and we provide immunities like the very next breastfeeding. If they're going through a growth spurt, we start producing more like the very next time," Jennifer Williams a La Leche League Leader in Huntington, said.

There are also significant benefits to mom.

"There's lower chances of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and all sorts of others, because you breastfeed," Williams said.

But just because it seems natural, it doesn't mean it comes easily to some moms.

"This is the first time your body has had to do this, so I felt like,when I gave birth the first time, that it would be natural and my baby would know what to do,"Williams said. "I would know what to do, it would be no big deal. It's not exactly like that. There's some learning that needs to be done between mom and baby."

Williams was new to Huntington last year when she gave birth to her youngest child, and started a Facebook page as a way to connect with other breastfeeding moms.

"I didn't know really any other breastfeeding mothers, and I created a Facebook page and tried to tell everybody that I knew that may have friends that were breastfeeding and the word started getting out and now it's really a pretty good sized group," she said.

Pregnant women, new moms, and veterans meet a couple times a month to talk through some breastfeeding success and possible concerns like:

-baby's slow to gain weight
-not latching properly
-supply concerns

"There's things in our group that I can help with. Whether it's positioning, or reassurance that you need to hold on and keep working past it," Williams said.

Williams recently became a La Leche League leader, and hopes to reach even more moms with help.

"The first two weeks are always the hardest, but if you can get past that, then you can get into a really good rhythm and good relationship with your baby," she said.

If you have any questions or concerns you can contact Jennifer Williams at 304-525-1551 or LLLofHuntington@gmail.com.

You can find a schedule of meetings here:

Copyright ©2013 WCHS-TV Eyewitness News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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