Whole Family Health

With a growing understanding that one family member’s health is linked to the health of the whole family, many doctors treat the family as a whole whenever possible. This is especially true for breastfeeding dyads—the health of mothers and babies is connected. 

That’s why it’s so important that you follow good health habits (though this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stop breastfeeding if you have a common illness, such as a cold). Check in with your baby’s healthcare provider if you are sick and worried about the effects on your baby.

As for more serious health issues, studies have shown that:

  • When a mother is depressed, her baby’s development may be delayed.
  • The children of parents who smoke are more likely to develop asthma and other breathing disorders. In fact, “third-hand smoke”—such as the toxic residue left in furniture and carpets—is considered a hazard for children.
  • Allergies and other chronic illnesses tend to run in families. Even the eating habits and mealtime practices of families can affect the overall health of all the members.

When health issues arise in your family, seek medical care for the individual, but also look at the overall health of your family. What are the connections and patterns that may relate to the issue?

See also ...

•  Self care for breastfeeding parents

•  Does your diet make a difference?

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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