Benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby

Tips for parents / Sanitas Medical Center

Date: August 27, 2021
Benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby

Only 1 in 4 infants are exclusively breastfed as recommended by the time they are 6 months old.  Low rates of breastfeeding add more than $3 billion a year to medical costs for families in the United States.1

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months with continued breastfeeding while introducing appropriate complementary foods for 1 year or longer.2  The World Health Organization also recommends exclusively breastfeeding up to 6 months with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to 2 years of age or older.3

Breastfeeding is an investment in health and is a wonderful gift for you as well as your baby.

Benefits for babies

Babies who are breastfed have a reduced risk of:

  • Asthma, allergies, and eczema
  • Obesity
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Severe lower respiratory disease
  • Ear infections
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea / vomiting)

Benefits for moms

Breastfeeding can help lower a mother's risk of:

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Type 2 diabetes

Breastfeeding also promotes faster weight loss after birth and stimulates the uterus to contract and return to normal size.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/about-breastfeeding/index.html
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics: https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827
  3. World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding#tab=tab_1