Amarillo, TX- A new clinic in Amarillo is giving new and expecting mothers a place to discuss the benefits of breastfeeding.
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center has been funded by a generous donation from the Children's Miracle Network to open Amarillo's first baby cafe.
Thomas Hale, a Professor of Pediatrics at TTUHSC, said the biggest problem with supporting breastfeeding is that women don't have anyone to talk to, or the necessary professional help needed to help them succeed with breastfeeding.
The Baby Cafe gives women a welcoming and encouraging environment that emphasizes the importance of breastfeeding your child.
Hale said he discourages the use of formula because it comes from cow milk which is high in protein and causes gastrointestinal discomfort and has no immunity value.
However, he says breast milk has been proven to enhance babies health.
"There is a 20 percent reduction in mortality in breast-fed babies, 75 percent reduction in ear infections, 80 percent reduction in upper respiratory tract infections, and G.I. tract infections are rare in breast-fed babies," Hale said.
Not only does the health in infants increase, but also the health of the mother.
According to Hale, for every month a woman breastfeeds, she reduces her risk of breast cancer by one percent.
Marian Tompson, who is famously known throughout the world for her breastfeeding awareness campaign, La Leche League International, said breastfeeding is not only inexpensive for mothers, but it is also impacting the community.
"A lot of people that get sick can't afford hospitalization and it comes down to our tax dollars," Tompson said. "When mother's are nursing their babies, they're less likely to get sick, less likely to be hospitalized...and when this is paid for by our tax dollars because there's no other way to take care of it, that's going to be decreased immensely... they say several million dollars a year."
Tompson adds mothers who breastfeed have been proven not to struggle with anxiety because of a natural hormone released when breastfeeding.