Advantages to Breastfeeding

Experts agree that breastfeeding is the best method for feeding infants, and up until 6 months old, it is recommended to only feed your infant breast milk. From 6-12 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

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

For additional information on breastfeeding, see 'Breastfeeding Challenges.'