Benefits of Breastfeeding



Benefits of Breastfeeding

In Texas, more than eight out of ten mothers breastfeed their babies. A growing body of research continues to support the many benefits associated with breastfeeding. Not only are the health benefits significant for babies, but studies indicate breastfeeding helps improve mothers’ health as well. We encourage you to review the following information to gain a greater understanding of the emotional and physical health benefits that mothers and babies experience as a result of healthy breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mothers

  • Breastfeeding causes normal contractions and the release of oxytocin that both help the uterus return to its normal size more quickly post-pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding reduces mothers’ risk for developing several types of cancer such as breast, uterine, endometrial or ovarian cancer. Mothers who are diabetic also improve their health by breastfeeding since the amount of insulin that is required decreases post-pregnancy.
  • Breastfeeding helps new mothers lose more weight after giving birth. Lactating mothers burn up to 600 calories per day since their bodies are constantly producing milk.
  • Breastmilk is portable and does not require extra preparation, cutting down on time spent preparing and warming formula.
  • Breastfeeding cuts down on costs for new parents. Breastmilk substitutes cost between $900 and $4,700 the first year. Not only is breastmilk free, but breast-fed babies are less likely to need medical attention as they grow, minimizing future medical costs. Mothers are also less likely to miss more days of work due to infant illness.
  • Breastfeeding offers mothers the opportunity to bond with their babies on a very intimate level, which enhances the relationship between a mother and a baby and results in fewer feelings of anxiety. Oxytocin is released during breastfeeding, which enhances bonding and helps both mothers and babies relax.
  • Breastfeeding can result in a newfound sense of confidence for mothers. Mothers can feel confident and comforted knowing they are producing all of the healthiest nutrients their babies need.


Breastfeeding Benefits for Babies          

  • Breastfeeding ensures babies are receiving the healthiest nutrients they need to grow. Breastmilk has increased properties to meet the special nutritional needs of infants.
  • Breastfeeding protects against a variety of health problems. Breast-fed babies have a lower likelihood of developing diabetes, obesity, hypertension, ear infections, respiratory infections, and immune system diseases in adulthood.
  • Breastmilk protects against SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
  • Breastmilk is more easily digestible and results in better illness protection for the infant and less constipation due to more frequent feedings.
  • Breastfed infants receive increased emotional and psychological benefits due to the intimate bond they develop with their mothers.
  • Breastfeeding calms babies quickly, resulting in babies experiencing less stress.
  • Breastfed babies have a better antibody response to vaccines.