In addition to the joyful bonding that occurs with breastfeeding, the health benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby are well-documented. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
- Exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months
- Continued breastfeeding as foods are introduced
- Continued breastfeeding for 1 year or longer (up to mom and baby)
Benefits for You:
Breastfeeding can improve your postpartum experience and reduce your risk for disease.
- More rapid return of uterus to pre-birth size
- Decreased postpartum blood loss
- Increase loss of baby weight (with 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding)
- Reduced risk of:
- Postpartum depression
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Cardiovascular disease
- Breast and ovarian cancers
Benefits for Your Baby:
Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk for developing many chronic conditions.
|Condition||Estimated Risk Reduction With Breastfeeding for Any Length of Time|
|Otitis Media (Ear Infections)||23%|
|Upper Respiratory Tract Infections||72%|
|Gastrointestinal Tract Infections||64%|
|Sudden Infant Death Syndrome||36%|
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding:
Source: Section on Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Pediatrics. 2012;129(3):e827
This information is for educational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a physician or other health care professional. If you have questions about your health or your baby’s health, please contact your health care provider.