Breast Feeding is Good For Baby and Mom

Welcome to the world of 3 month old Virginia Austin Driver. She's the latest of 3 children in this family to be breast fed by their mother.

Claire Austin Driver loves being a breastfeeding mom, "I think probably all the research and reading I had done and advice I had gotten from people was how healthy it would make your baby."

And that's what the state health department is trying to drive home to physicians and new moms.

Dr. Don Williamson is Alabama's State Health Officer.  He says,  "Infants who are breast fed are less likely to have infections during childhood. They are at lower incidence of childhood obesity and childhood diabetes."

Driver adds,  "My first daughter that i breast fed for 9 months, she never had a cold, fever or anything until she was probably 19 months old."

Experts say it can even be lifesaving.

Dr. Marsha Raulerson is a practicing pediatrician who says, "The research, nationally, shows that babies who are breast fed have a decreased incidence of sudden infant death syndrome.

There are also benefits for moms like Claire.

OB/GYN, Dr. Jeff Collins adds,  "We now know that there's a decreased risk of ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and possibly even breast cancer for those who breast feed for at least 6 months."

Driver says,  "Not to mention, the bonding that comes along with nursing an infant."

All are sound reasons why this mom says she will council others to give it a try.

A few more reasons to breast feed include:  Breast feeding could increase the intelligence quota of the child by as much as 10 points.  And health care costs could be lowered, by as much as $400 dollars, for the first year of life for the child...that adds up to fewer days off for the breast feeding mom, which is good news for the employer.

Reporter:  Ashley Anderson