What Are The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Moms and Babies?

The current shortage of infant formula certainly emphasizes one of the best reasons for breastfeeding—breast milk for your baby is seldom in short supply. Unfortunately, women are sent home so soon after delivery that they seldom have the time to become comfortable breastfeeding before they leave the hospital. In any case, when you have your baby, you will be faced with the decision whether or not to breastfeed.  

“It’s important to recognize that if you are worried or distressed — if you think you won’t be able to nurse your baby — you are more likely to struggle. If you have confidence that you can nurse your baby, the better your chances of success,” says Dr. Lindemann. 

What is Colostrum? 

A few days before birth, your body begins producing colostrum. This is what your baby will get from nursing the few days before your breast milk comes in. Colostrum contains nutrients vital to your baby’s health. These include antibodies to protect your baby from infection, factors to help activate a newborn’s immune system, and factors to populate your baby’s intestinal system. 

How Does Breastfeeding Help Your Uterus Get Back to Normal? 

After your delivery, your body will adjust, and your uterus will start shrinking back to it’s normal size. The hormone that helps this process is called oxytocin. Your baby’s nursing helps stimulate your body to produce oxytocin. 

How Often Should I Breastfeed My Baby? 

Whenever your baby cries it is a good time to offer the breast. In my experience, 95 percent of crying babies are hungry. 

There is some differences of opinion about whether you should supplement breast milk with formula, but even if you do, your baby will still have the advantage of having some breast milk.  

Your baby should gain 5 to 7 ounces a week. Years ago we used to weigh babies before they nursed and again after nursing so we could tell how much milk the baby got. If you are concerned about whether you baby is getting enough milk, you could always purchase a baby scale and try this old-fashioned method of tracking how much your baby eats.  

If your baby isn’t gaining 5 to 7 ounces a week, you might consider supplementing your breast milk with formula.  

What If My Baby isn’t Gaining Enough Weight 

Failure to thrive is the term used for babies who aren’t gaining as much weight as they should. Some babies are admitted to the hospital shortly after returning home with their mother because they are not gaining weight as the rate most babies their age do.   

If your baby isn’t gaining weight, it is most likely because the baby isn’t getting enough to eat. This is something you need to discuss with your baby’s physician. 

Should I Breastfeed my Baby? 

This is a decision only you can make. I recommend breastfeeding. If you are new to breastfeeding, there are all kinds of support groups to help you learn and become comfortable with nursing. Some hospitals even have lactation specialists to help you become comfortable nursing your baby. In some communities there are lactation specialists available to you once you go home.   

If you work, you can always use a breast pump to collect and store your milk for your baby to drink later. nursing your baby is also a great way for you to bond with your baby. This is especially helpful to new Dads. It provides them an opportunity to feed their new baby.and bond with them as well. 


Dr. Alan Lindemann

Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB/GYN)​

He is an obstetrician and maternal mortality expert with 4 decades of medical practice beginning in Minnesota and presently in North Dakota. He has delivered around 6,000 babies with zero maternal deaths.

Why should you support Rural Doc Alan?

Dr. Lindemann delivered 6000 babies for over 40 years with no maternal mortalities, no eclampsia, and no babies with cerebral palsy. He tells his story here of how he did this in a medical environment that really doesn’t do well with deliveries. He openly admits that much he learned about safe pregnancy came from his patients, not medical books. Donating here will help spread the word to women everywhere so they can learn about safe pregnancy.