ALBANY, N.Y., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- A New York City public information campaign highlights the benefits of new mothers breastfeeding, which include burning some 500 calories a day, officials say.
"Breastfed infants are at reduced risk for asthma, obesity, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses throughout their lifetimes," Dr. Richard Daines, state health commissioner says in a statement.
Physicians recommend new mothers exclusively breastfeed their child for the first six months and continue to breastfeed for a year or longer.
Studies show breastfed babies have higher IQs, stronger immune systems and a lower risk of certain types of childhood cancers, allergies and respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments, Daines says.
However, new mothers also benefit from breastfeeding their children by:
-- Helping the mother's body recover from pregnancy and labor by shrinking the uterus back to size and reducing any bleeding after childbirth.
-- Burning about 500 calories a day, so mothers more easily lose weight gained during pregnancy.
-- Lowering the risk of ovarian cancer and some forms of breast cancer.
-- Strengthening bones, helping protect mothers against osteoporosis later in life.
-- Protecting the mother against type 2 diabetes.
-- Helping ward off depression.
-- Saving time and money because breast milk is always the right temperature and requires no bottles to wash and sterilize.