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Benefits of Breastfeeding

Why Is Breastfeeding Best?:  Compelling Reasons Why You Should Breastfeed Your Baby

Best for Baby:

  • Research shows that breastfed infants have fewer and shorter episodes of illness.
  • Breastfeeding is the most natural and nutritious way to encourage your baby’s optimal development.
  • Colostrum (the first milk) is a gentle, natural laxative that helps clear baby’s intestine, decreasing the chance for jaundice to occur.
  • The superior nutrition provided by breast milk benefits your baby’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ).
  • Breastfeeding is a gentle way for newborns to transition to the world outside the womb.
  • The skin-to-skin contact encouraged by breastfeeding offers babies greater emotional security and enhances bonding.
  • The activity of sucking at the breast enhances development of baby’s oral muscles, facial bones, and aids in optimal dental development.
  • Breastfeeding appears to reduce the risk of obesity and hypertension.
  • Breastfeeding delays the onset of hereditary allergic disease, and lowers the risk of developing allergic disease.
  • Breastfeeding helps the baby’s immune system mature, protecting the baby in the meantime from viral, bacteria, and parasitic infections.
  • Breastfeeding increases the effectiveness of immunizations, increasing the protection against polio, tetanus, and diphtheria vaccines.
  • Breastfeeding protects against developing chronic diseases such as: celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and childhood cancers.
  • The benefits of breastfeeding appear to last even after the baby has been weaned.

Lack of Breastfeeding increases the Risk to the Infant of:

            Ear Infections                                                                      Childhood cancers

            Gastrointestinal and diarrhea infections                                  Allergies

            Respiratory information                                                        Obesity

            Childhood diabetes                                                               SIDS

Best for Mother:

  • Research shows that breastfeeding benefits the health of mothers.
  • Breast milk is always fresh, perfectly clean, just the right temperature, and is the healthy choice at the least cost!
  • Increased levels of oxytocin stimulate postpartum uterine contractions, minimizing blood loss and encouraging rapid uterine toning.
  • From 3 months to 12 months postpartum, breastfeeding increases the rate of weight loss in most nursing mothers.
  • Breastfeeding offers some protection against the early return of fertility.
  • Because breastfed babies are healthier, their mothers miss less work and spend less time and money on pediatric care.
  • Breastfeeding women report psychological benefits such as increased self-confidence and a stronger sense of connection with their babies.

Lack of Breast-feeding Increases the Risk to the Infant of:

            Urinary tract infections

            Pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer

            Osteoporosis

            Ovarian cancer

 

Content provided with permission from Medela, Inc.

 

"Study touts benefits of breast feeding: Researchers link the practice to higher child IQ"
The Boston Globe , May 6, 2008

 

 

For more information or to discuss lactation support concerns please contact Partners Employee Assistance Program at 1-866-724-4EAP.

In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.


This content was last modified on: 08/21/2008

Partners EAP is not a service for the general public.

In case of emergency, please call 911 or your local hospital emergency service.

Call Us: 1-866-724-4EAP