The experience of breastfeeding is special for so many reasons, including:
- The joyful bonding with your baby
- The perfect nutrition only you can provide
- The cost savings
- The health benefits for both mother and baby
Breastfeeding is a learned skill. It requires patience and practice. For some women, the learning stages can be frustrating and uncomfortable. The decision to breastfeed is a personal one, and, as a new mom, we’ll give you the support you need, no matter how you decide to feed your baby.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is more than a way to feed your baby — it becomes a lifestyle and an important health choice. Every day that you breastfeed will benefit both you and your baby. Here are some of the ways in which breastfeeding is different from feeding your baby formula:
Benefits for Baby
- Human milk is the most complete nutrition for infants. Mother’s milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein needed for a baby’s growth and development. No one has been able to duplicate all the vital components of human milk.
- Human milk has antibodies that help protect infants from bacteria and viruses. These antibodies are not found in breast milk substitutes, such as formula. Babies who are breastfed for 6 months are less likely to have ear infections, diarrhea, or respiratory illnesses.
- Human milk contains complex hormones and ingredients that help protect against the development of chronic illnesses, including asthma, diabetes and obesity.
- The process of feeding a baby at the breast is known to calm and quiet a baby. Research is showing that breastfeeding helps a baby to socialize and promotes healthy, normal relationships as a baby matures into adulthood.
Benefits for Mom
- Breastfeeding burns extra calories, making it easier to lose weight after giving birth.
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and promotes health bones.
- Breastfeeding is a normal, natural process that has survived thousands of years; it creates a biological connection between a mother and her baby that promotes self-confidence and enhances feelings of calmness.
- Breastfeeding saves time and money. There is no formula to buy or mix, and no bottles to warm in the middle of the night!
Benefits for Society
- Breastfeeding saves on health care costs. Breastfed babies need fewer doctor visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.
- Breastfeeding contributes to a more productive workforce. Breastfeeding mothers miss less work because their infants are sick less often. Employer medical costs are lower and employee productivity is higher.
- Breastfeeding is better for our environment. There is less trash and plastic waste compared to formula use.
What's in breast milk?
Guide to Breastfeeding
Office on Women's Health
Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition
Count the Kicks
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention