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Benefits of Breastfeeding

Both babies and mothers gain many benefits from breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is more than a lifestyle choice; it’s an important health choice. Any amount of time that you can breastfeed will help both you and your baby.


Benefits for Babies, Moms and Families

  • Breast milk has disease-fighting cells called antibodies that help protect infants from germs, illness and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

    Infant formula cannot match the exact chemical makeup of human milk, especially the cells, hormones and antibodies that fight disease.
Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of these health problems:
In Infants: In Moms
  • Ear infections
  • Stomach viruses
  • Diarrhea
  • Respiratory infections
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • Childhood leukemia
  • SIDS
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Postpartum depression (PPD)
  • Your milk changes over time to meet your baby's needs. The breast milk you make by the third to fifth day after birth has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein that your baby needs to grow. The milk will be thinner, but still full of all of the nutrients and antibodies for your baby.

  • For most babies, breast milk is easier to digest than formula. It takes time for their stomachs to adjust to digesting the proteins in formula because many are made from cow's milk.

  • Premature babies do better when breastfed compared to premature babies who are fed formula.

  • When you breastfeed, there are no bottles and nipples to sterilize. Unlike human milk straight from the breast, infant formula has a chance of being contaminated.

  • Breastfeeding makes your life easier. You do not have to purchase, measure and mix formula and there are no bottles to warm in the middle of the night.

  • Breastfeeding can save you between $1,160 and $3,915 per year, depending on the brand of formula.

  • Breastfeeding requires a mother to take some quiet relaxed time for herself and her baby, which helps them bond. Physical contact is important to newborns and can help them feel more secure, warm and comforted.

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