MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – Bringing home a newborn is a joyous, but challenging time in a parent’s life. Everything is new and could be a bit overwhelming, but when it comes to providing them with the very best, that should be easy. The very best could come from mom herself.

August is breastfeeding awareness month. The breastfeeding campaign, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, hopes to empower women to commit to breastfeeding.

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It’s something mother of two Rebecca Lyescas decided was the right thing for her and her baby.

“It’s wonderful. You get to know your baby. She gives you wonderful expressions, mostly with her eyes,” said Lyescas.

The special bond Rebecca shares with her newborn is overwhelming; she says it is a feeling like no other. Rebecca did not breastfeed her first daughter, but this time around she knew it was the right thing to do.

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“Because of the nutritional factors breast milk is much more nutritious, I did my research this time,” Lyescas said. “They say babies who are breastfeed have a higher IQ; so I wanted to do her that favor.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, families who follow optimal breastfeeding can save between $1,200-$1,500 on infant formula in the first year alone.

  • There are other factors to consider as well when it comes to breastfeeding:
  • Breastfeeding protects babies from infections and illnesses that include diarrhea, ear infections and pneumonia.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to develop asthma.
  • Children who are breastfed for six months are less likely to become obese.
  • Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

At the WIC offices in Florida City, they offer classes on breastfeeding and have lactation consultants on hand to help all mothers free of charge.

For more information on breastfeeding and helpful information check out these websites: www.hhs.gov; www.cdc.gov; www.womenshealth.gov.

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There’s also a Breastfeeding hotline for WIC: (786)336-1336.

Marybel Rodriguez