Celebrate National Breastfeeding Month with an FSA

On August 6, 2011, the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee partnered with a number of national healthcare organizations to create the public health initiative, National Breastfeeding Month. Each August, National Breastfeeding Month aims to empower women to embrace the practice as a pivotal role in their children's growth and development.

The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists highly recommends breastfeeding during infancy, but ultimately this is a personal decision that is left up to the mother. Research over the past several decades has illuminated how positive the practice can be for mother and child, as well as the many lasting health benefits of breastfeeding.

If you're expecting or know someone that is, make sure you spread the important message of National Breastfeeding Month this August! Best of all, if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can pick up breastfeeding essentials like pumps, storage bottles and accessories with your tax-free funds by shopping at FSAstore.com!

Check out our extensive selection of baby care products, as well as thousands of other health and wellness products that are FSA eligible!

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Check out FSA eligible Medela products for baby!

Here are a few major ways that breastfeeding can help:

Benefits for Babies

Optimal Nutrition

  • Simply put, breast milk produced late in pregnancy and after the child is born is the most nutritious source of food for a newborn. Known as colostrum, this thick yellow breast milk is rich in nutrients and antibodies to support the child's immune system. As the child matures, the composition of the milk changes with the optimal amount of fat, sugar, water and protein the baby needs to grow properly.

Easily Digestible

  • The vast majority of newborns, especially premature babies, will have a much easier time digesting breast milk than formula. Because most over-the-counter formula is made from cow's milk, babies may not be able to digest formula immediately and receive the right level of nutrition necessary to support their needs.

Long-term Benefits

  • In long-term studies of babies fed formula versus breast milk, the list of lasting benefits for breastfed children is too substantial to ignore. Babies who were breastfed exclusively are at a much lower risk for asthma or allergies, obesity, diabetes and certain cancers. Additionally, breastfed babies also showcase much lower frequencies of ear infections, respiratory illnesses, hospitalizations and trips to the doctor's office. In some studies, breastfeeding has even been linked with higher IQs and expanded vocabulary in later childhood, which may be attributable to the beneficial fatty acids found in breast milk.

Benefits for Moms

Boost Your Post-Pregnancy Recovery

  • In addition to helping you form a strong bond from the get-go with your newborn, breastfeeding also has innumerable benefits to help you get back on your feet post-pregnancy. First and foremost, the practice burns calories to lose weight gained during pregnancy, as well as releasing the hormone oxytocin that promotes relaxation and helps the uterus return to normal size and prevent any lingering bleeding issues.
  • Breastfeeding is the strong foundation that can allow a baby to flourish, but the practice also has immediate and long-term benefits for mothers as well. Breastfeeding has been linked to a lower risk of postpartum depression, breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Additionally, women who breastfeed report much lower stress levels and a much stronger bond with their child, which could form a strong foundation as they transition into motherhood.

A Time and Money Saver

  • With all of the money you would spend on bottles, formula and other accessories, breastfeeding is just about as friendly for your wallet as childcare can be! Additionally, since you don't have to warm bottles, clean and sterilize your supplies and measure out formula each day, it's wonderful to know that providing optimal nutrition for your newborn is as easy as finding a comfortable spot to relax with your bundle of joy.

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