The benefits of breast milk

Published: Jan. 13, 2017 at 6:44 PM CST
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Breast feeding your baby is a blessing, but for some women, it's not as easy as it seems.

"I was able to breast feed until about five months and then after that unfortunately, you know, I had to give up. It was kind of stressful for me," said Emily Klimek, an expecting mother.

For Klimek and other women, breast feeding is not always possible. And doctors say that's too bad because breast milk has many benefits.

"It reduces the likelihood of getting certain bacterial infections as they get older. It reduces the chances of bacterial sepsis, meningitis, increases the ability of the digestive tract to effectively digest nutrients, and absorb calories," said Dr. Daniel Leonard, a local pediatrician.

Mothers also get major benefits. It stops postpartum bleeding and burns 500-calories a day.

A woman who donated 40-years ago says that babies still get the same nutrients or even more from breast milk.

"It's so good for those babies. They thrive so much better with donated breast milk," said Kathy Kamard, a registered nurse at Mary Lanning.

Employees at Mary Lanning Hospital can donate breast milk. And CHI Saint Francis in Grand Island has just begun a donor program which supplies a breast milk bank.

"We are now offering donor breast milk, human milk, we can give to babies who are unable to have their mother's milk right away after birth," said Brandi Stein, a lactation nurse at CHI Saint Francis Hospital.

For the expected mother, donation can give her child the same health benefits as the others.

"This gives them the opportunity to have the same nutrients and get those immunities and things like that, that are so great," said the expecting mother.

And if any mothers are looking to donate, find where the nearest milk bank is to you.