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Home > Health Topics > Podcasts > Breastfeeding: Good for Both Baby and Mom

Breastfeeding: Good for Both Baby and Mom

May 20, 2008

William Walker, MD
Contra Costa Health Services

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Breastfeeding Tips & Information

Breastfeeding is a gift for a lifetime. It's one of the best ways you can help give your baby a better chance at a healthy life.

Breastfeeding is a natural and low-cost way to help reduce your child's risk of infection, chronic disease and obesity. It's also good for moms, and helps a woman lose the weight she gained during pregnancy and also reduces her risks for breast and ovarian cancer later on.

I'm Dr. William Walker, Director of Contra Costa Health Services, and I'm here to talk to you about the importance of breastfeeding.

We recommend women feed their children breast milk exclusively for the first six months and then breast milk along with solid foods until the baby is one year old. I know that sometimes moms face pressures not to breastfeed, like the idea that baby formula is a more acceptable, easier way to nourish an infant. That isn't true, formula is not equivalent to breast milk.

Why is breast milk so important? Breast milk is the most complete form of nutrition for infants and helps protect them from many problems like ear infections, allergies and chronic diseases like diabetes and Crohn's disease. Breastfeeding also helps baby and mom bond.

Most women are able to breastfeed and, except in rare cases, breastfeeding is always the best choice for the baby. It helps if a woman starts breastfeeding right away in the hospital after birth, and there also are many breastfeeding support services available to help mothers overcome the challenges.

If you know a new mom, help support her. New mothers need help with care of older children or household chores. Dads can bond with the baby by holding, especially skin-to-skin, bathing and diapering the baby. Employers can make a comfortable, private space and allow time for breastfeeding employees to pump breast milk for their infants.

For more information about breastfeeding and support resources, visit the services section on our website at

Thanks for listening.

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