Advantages to Breastfeeding

Experts agree that breastfeeding is the best method for feeding infants, and up until six months old, it is recommended to only feed your infant breast milk. From six to twelve months of age, breast milk in addition to semi-solid and solid foods is encouraged.

Breastfeeding Benefits

There are many health advantages of breastfeeding to both mother and baby, as well as financial benefits to the family.

Baby’s Health

  • Early breast milk provides infants with important antibodies that protect against infections.
  • Breast milk provides the perfect balance of nutrients for healthy growth and development.
  • Breast milk decreases risk for allergies, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and infections.
  • Breast milk reduces risk of future health problems such as obesity, diabetes, asthma, and leukemia.

Mother’s Health

  • Breastfeeding lowers the risk for diabetes, post-partum depression, and breast or ovarian cancer.

Cost Savings

  • Twelve months of baby formula costs about $1500, but breast milk is nearly free, since just a small number of extra calories are needed to produce breast milk!
  • Breastfed babies are usually healthier than formula-fed babies, meaning lowerhealthcare costs.
  • A healthy baby can result in fewer missed workdays for parents.

For additional information on breastfeeding, see Breastfeeding Challenges.

Did You Know?

Breastfeeding is not only a great way for the mother and infant to connect, but also enables healthy development for the baby.

Through breastfeeding:

Infants feel warm, comforted, and safe, and form a strong bond with their mother.

The strong mother-child connection made through contact can lead to improved brain development.