For current Texas Children's Health Plan Members only

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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding benefits for your baby

Breastfeeding is beneficial for many reasons – for both you and your baby. Below are ways your baby will benefit from breastfeeding.

Early breast milk
The milk you make during pregnancy and just after birth is called colostrum. Colostrum is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby.

Your milk changes as your baby grows.
After the first few days after delivery, colostrum changes into “mature” milk. Mature milk has the perfect amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby grow. Though it is thinner than colostrum, it has just the right amount of nutrients and antibodies to continue to benefit your baby.

Breast milk is easier for the baby to digest.
This is true for most babies, especially premature babies. Breast milk is easier to digest than formula, which is produced from cow’s milk. Infants’ stomachs are not quite ready to digest this type of milk.

Breast milk helps fight disease.
The antibodies, cells, and hormones in breast milk fight disease and protect your baby from illness. Formula-fed babies are more likely to suffer from ear infections and diarrhea as well as have a higher risk of:

  • Obesity

  • Asthma

  • Type 2 diabetes

  • Lower respiratory problems