20 Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom and Baby 20 Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom and Baby
Reduced ear infections? Check. Lower risk for asthma? Yup. Bump in IQ? Sure. Breastfeeding your baby brings all these benefits—plus a whole lot more.... 20 Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom and Baby

Reduced ear infections? Check. Lower risk for asthma? Yup. Bump in IQ? Sure. Breastfeeding your baby brings all these benefits—plus a whole lot more.

1. A healthier baby
“The incidences of pneumonia, colds and viruses are reduced among breastfed babies,” says infant-nutrition expert Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and OB-GYN at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y., and the author ofBreastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession (Elsevier-Mosby). Gastrointestinal infections like diarrhea—which can be devastating, especially in developing countries—are also less common.

2. Long-term protection, too
Breastfeed your baby and you reduce his risk of developing chronic conditions, such as type I diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease.

3. Stronger bones
According to Lawrence, women who breastfeed have a lower risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. “When a woman is pregnant and lactating, her body absorbs calcium much more efficiently,” she explains. “So while some bones, particularly those in the spine and hips, may be a bit less dense at weaning, six months later, they are more dense than before pregnancy.”

4. Lower SIDS risk
Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome by about half.

5. Fewer problems with weight
It’s more likely that neither of you will become obese if you breastfeed him.

6. A calorie incinerator
You may have heard that nursing burns up to 500 calories a day. And that’s almost right. “Breast milk contains 20 calories per ounce,” Lawrence explains. “If you feed your baby 20 ounces a day, that’s 400 calories you’ve swept out of your body.”


7. It’s good for the earth
Dairy cows, which are raised in part to make infant formula, are a significant contributor to global warming: Their belching, manure and flatulence (really!) spew enormous amounts of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.

8. Better healing postdelivery
The oxytocin released when your baby nurses helps your uterus contract, reducing postdelivery blood loss. Plus, breastfeeding will help your uterus return to its normal size more quickly—at about six weeks postpartum, compared with 10 weeks if you don’t breastfeed.

9. Less risk of cancer
Breastfeeding can decrease your baby’s risk of some childhood cancers. And you’ll have a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer, an often deadly disease that’s on the rise.

10. An unmatched feeling of power
“It’s empowering as a new mother to see your baby grow and thrive on your breast milk alone,” Lawrence says.

11. A custom-made supply
Formula isn’t able to change its constitution, but your breast milk morphs to meet your baby’s changing needs. Colostrum—the “premilk” that comes in after you deliver—is chock-full of antibodies to protect your newborn baby. “It’s also higher in protein and lower in sugar than ‘full’ milk, so even a small amount can hold off your baby’s hunger,” says Heather Kelly, an international board-certified lactation consultant in New York City and a member of the Bravado Breastfeeding Information Council’s advisory board.

When your full milk comes in (usually three to four days after delivery), it is higher in both sugar and volume than colostrum—again, just what your baby requires. “He needs a lot of calories and frequent feedings to fuel his rapid growth,” Kelly explains. “Your mature milk is designed to be digested quickly so he’ll eat often.”

12. More effective vaccines
Research shows that breastfed babies have a better antibody response to vaccines than formula-fed babies.

13. A menstruation vacation
Breastfeeding your baby around the clock—no bottles or formula— will delay ovulation, which means delayed menstruation. “Breastfeeding causes the release of prolactin, which keeps estrogen and progesterone at bay so ovulation isn’t triggered,” Kelly explains.

“When your prolactin levels drop, those two hormones can kick back in, which means ovulation—and, hence, menstruation—occurs.”

Even if you do breastfeed exclusively, your prolactin levels will eventually drop over the course of several months. Many moms who solely nurse will see their periods return between six and eight months after delivery, Kelly adds; others don’t for a full year.

14. Less time off work
Your baby will be ill less often, so that means fewer sick days for you.

15. It’s cheap!
According to La Leche League International, the cost of formula can range anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. That’s $1,608 to $5,892 in one year!

16. A great way to learn about your baby
“You have to read your baby’s ‘satiety cues’ a little better, because unlike with a bottle, you can’t see how much he’s eaten,” Kelly says. “You have to rely on your own instincts and your baby’s behavior to know when your baby is full.”

17. You can stash the condoms—for now
Breastfeeding can be 98 percent to 99 percent effective as a post-baby birth control option if a few guidelines are followed: Your period must not have resumed; you must breastfeed at least every four hours around the clock; you must not give your baby any pacifiers, bottles or formula; and you must be less than six months postpartum.

According to Kelly, nighttime feedings are the most important to the “lactation amenorrhea method,” so do not let your baby (or yourself ) sleep through a feeding. “Going long stretches at night without nursing seems to be directly responsible for the return of ovulation,” she says. Prematurely sleep training your baby can also hasten ovulation.

18. There’s nothing easier
Simply pull up your shirt and nurse. Breast milk is always available and always at the right temperature.

19. Benefits for all
According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, the United States would save about $13 billion per year in medical costs if 90 percent of U.S. families breastfed their newborns for at least six months.

20. Better friendships
“Breastfeeding helps cultivate relationships with other moms,” Kelly says. Whether it’s talking about parenting styles, nighttime feedings or engorgement, nursing allows women to forge positive postpartum relationships. Adds Kelly, “Women are supposed to be sitting together, nursing and taking care of babies.”

Henry Okafor

  • Charlene

    2017-02-27 #1 Author

    Breastfeeding is the best

    Reply

    • Tayonia mills

      2017-02-27 #2 Author

      Breastfeeding reduces important things that mother’s don’t think of & it’s very important that you breastfeed your child.

      Reply

  • Cortney

    2017-02-27 #3 Author

    I find this very knowledgeable and helpful because I am also a breast-feeding mother so this informed me on a lot of things I didn’t now about breast-feeding

    Reply

  • Melissa Chambers

    2017-02-27 #4 Author

    Personally I think breastfeeding is wonderful for both mums and babies.I breastfed for the first 9 months with my first daughter, who will be 15 this year. I have also chosen to do the same with my now 8weeks old daughter. You know what they say… “Breast is best!” As I mum I know my baby is getting all the nutrients she needs- as I do eat very well. I have also lost my baby weight! Yippee!!

    Reply

  • Mrs chichi

    2017-02-27 #5 Author

    Good moring ma Pls my baby Is six month and anytime time I feed her wit pap she will feel like trowing up and she also run temprature pls wat do i do?

    Reply

  • Lashay Pettus

    2017-02-27 #6 Author

    breast feeding Is wonderful and it’s so good for you baby! I breastfed for the first couple of months with my daughter. My daughter is going on 4 months but I had to stop because I couldn’t produce a lot been with my baby was born a 28 weeker. But she is a healthy baby now I advise everybody to breastfeed

    Reply

  • Mira Vanste

    2017-02-27 #7 Author

    My daughter has one year is still breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is best for our children! ☺️♥️

    Reply

  • Shanieve

    2017-02-27 #8 Author

    Breastfeeding is the best !

    Reply

  • Melvina Brown

    2017-02-27 #9 Author

    breast feeding Is wonderful and it’s so good for you baby!

    Reply

    • Ishmearine primes

      2017-02-27 #10 Author

      Helpful article.. I breastfeed my daughter for two years. In those two years period she never got sick I love it..

      Reply

  • Miesha

    2017-02-27 #11 Author

    I’m reading this as I’m breastfeeding lol what a coincidence! Very helpful article

    Reply

  • Kyra

    2017-02-27 #12 Author

    My son breastfeed so good, to be 5 days old ! And he is a little pro ! Breastfeeding is the best thing ever … it’s a special bond between mom and child

    Reply

  • Elesse

    2017-02-27 #13 Author

    Breastfeeding is so beneficial I’m still feeding my baby by breast and she’s 8 months 😊

    Reply

  • Jessica

    2017-02-27 #14 Author

    Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing , I’ve done it with my 7 month old . It’s wonderful .

    Reply

  • Alicia

    2017-02-27 #15 Author

    I absolutely love breastfeeding my daughter it’s a beautiful bond that we share with our babies 💕

    Reply

  • Tayonia mills

    2017-02-27 #16 Author

    Breastfeeding reduces important things that mother’s don’t think of & it’s very important that you breastfeed your child.

    Reply

  • Unshay

    2017-02-27 #17 Author

    I have a beautiful 5month who I’m so happy I’ve had the pleasure of breastfeeding. I think it’s the best.

    Reply

  • Mealia

    2017-02-27 #18 Author

    Breastfeeding Is Beautiful , I Think Every Mother Should Breastfeed. The Colostrum Is Very Important In The Developing Of Your Baby. I Support It 100%

    Reply

  • Mealia

    2017-02-27 #19 Author

    Breastfeeding Is Beautiful , I support it 100%❤

    Reply

  • Amber Hall

    2017-02-27 #20 Author

    I breastfed my baby until he was 8 months and I loved it! He never got sick and we had the best bond out of all my kids.

    Reply

  • Ishmearine

    2017-02-27 #21 Author

    Helpful article.. I breastfeed my daughter for two years. In those two years period she never got sick

    Reply

  • Amber Hall

    2017-02-27 #22 Author

    I breastfed my son until he was 8 months and he never got sick! I loved it! We had the best bond.

    Reply

  • Katasia Taylor

    2017-02-27 #23 Author

    I tried it but my son didn’t do so well I’m hoping to try it with my new baby.😘

    Reply

  • Krystal cox

    2017-02-27 #24 Author

    Breastfeeding is the best.

    Reply

  • Shae

    2017-02-27 #25 Author

    Breastfeeding is the best thing you can do for your child Easy , Healthy & Bonding Time.

    Reply

  • Mae Manalang

    2017-02-27 #26 Author

    breastfeeding is the best for babies ..!

    Reply

  • Kayla

    2017-02-27 #27 Author

    Breastfeeding turned out to be a lot harder than I imagined it would but the benefits for both my babies has been amazing!

    Reply

  • Ke T Bryant

    2017-02-27 #28 Author

    Breastfeeding is very beneficial ❤

    Reply

  • Breanna Henry

    2017-02-27 #29 Author

    Breast feeding is great bond between you and your baby 😍

    Reply

  • Amanda

    2017-02-27 #30 Author

    Breastfeeding is awesome it builds ur child amine system

    Reply

  • Shanicquia

    2017-02-27 #31 Author

    This was such an interesting read! I had no idea that it helps slow down ovulation as well!

    Reply

  • Shan White

    2017-02-27 #32 Author

    Such an interesting read!

    Reply

  • Zedequah Humphries

    2017-02-27 #33 Author

    Yesss i loved breast feeding.. I breastfeed both of my kids

    Reply

  • Laura Reynoso

    2017-02-27 #34 Author

    My baby is 5 months old, I breastfeeding her.. and I will keep breastfeeding because our milk is more healthy than formulas and also it is more easily digested than formula.. interesting and helpful article..

    Reply

  • Niña Corpuz

    2017-02-27 #35 Author

    My daughter is 10 months old and exclusively breastfeeding! Not only breastmilk is the best for baby but also for us mums. I find it very relaxing specially when my baby is sleeping and she wants milk. I dont need to get up from bed and mix a formula milk! Yay! 😂❤️

    Reply

  • Naja

    2017-02-27 #36 Author

    Sysgx djaixnnc aifn cj

    Reply

  • Nina

    2017-02-27 #37 Author

    My daughter is 10 months old and exclusively breastfeeding! Not only breast milk is the best for baby but also for us mums. I fond it very relaxing specially when my baby is sleeping and wants milk. I dont to get up from bed and mix a formula milk! So we both have a very good night sleep ❤️☺️

    Reply

  • kindell

    2017-02-27 #38 Author

    I love this !!!! -cherri

    Reply

  • Quien

    2017-02-27 #39 Author

    Breastfeeding is the best !!

    Reply

  • Sharnell P

    2017-02-27 #40 Author

    Breastfeeding is very good and healthy

    Reply

  • Lo

    2017-02-27 #41 Author

    That’s crazy that’s a lot to know about breastfeeding

    Reply

  • Lucky

    2017-02-27 #42 Author

    I breast fed my last two kids and their nice and chucky ( healthy ) 😍😍

    Reply

  • Jeraneishia Olloway

    2017-02-27 #43 Author

    Breastfeesind is best for the baby. #13 is my favorite. A break from period!

    Reply

  • Milannia

    2017-02-27 #44 Author

    I breastfeed my daughter until she was 6months. I believe it actually made our bound a lot stronger now because we had an extra connection during feeding time

    Reply

  • Lauren

    2017-02-27 #45 Author

    I wish I would have kept breastfeeding with my son it’s so beneficial 😍 I know now with my next child

    Reply

  • Aby

    2017-02-27 #46 Author

    Breastmilk is good for the baby,you and I always love doing it for my kids

    Reply

  • Shantalle

    2017-02-27 #47 Author

    Want to try breastfeeding again! But I’m nervous from my first experience with my first daughter.

    Reply

  • Talia Marie

    2017-02-28 #48 Author

    I’m actually breastfeeding now I ALMOST gave up ALOT of times but the pros out weighs the cons. It’s very frustrating if your baby doesn’t latch right away my son latched the first day but wouldn’t anymore but I was offered a shield to help get him back on track And a couple days later he’s off the shield an eating without it! I actually think breastfeeding was the best choice I made an this article proves it!!!!

    Reply

  • Quarnesha Gatlin

    2017-02-28 #49 Author

    Breastfeeding is Awesome. I enjoyed breastfeeding both of my children. Also Don’t Be Ashamed to Breastfeed in public despite the disgusting stares you get from people. Try it You’ll love it

    Reply

  • Amr

    2017-03-01 #50 Author

    I must congratulate you and thank you for sharing your experience and insight information with us

    Keep up the great work 🙂

    Reply

  • Chelsea Mae

    2017-03-01 #51 Author

    This article has a lot of great points about the benefits of breastfeeding! I like that they did not shame parents who choose not too. I had a low supply and ending up formula feeding at 3 weeks and received some backlash. This article is important for new and veteran moms as a reminder!

    Reply

  • Mae Manalang

    2017-03-01 #52 Author

    breastmilk is the best for babies .. it gives more nutrition to our babies

    Reply

  • Courtney Griffin

    2017-03-01 #53 Author

    I’m so happy that I get to experience this with my baby this go around. I couldn’t get the hang of it at first but now it is a breeze and I’m loving it
    !

    Reply

  • That johnson

    2017-03-02 #54 Author

    Also breast feeding help burns calories !!!!!

    Reply

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