Breastfeeding Benefits | Obstetrics | Dartmouth-Hitchcock
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Breastfeeding Benefits

Research shows that breastfeeding gives your baby the best start in life.

Benefits for babies

  • Breastfed babies receive the best start with nutrition.
  • Breastmilk changes as your baby grows and provides just the right amount of nutrients.
  • Breastmilk protects your baby’s intestinal tract from infection.
  • Breastmilk reduces the risk of childhood diabetes.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) Statistics reveal that for every 87 deaths from SIDS, only 3 are breastfed.
  • Breastfeeding promotes facial structure development, enhanced speech, and straighter teeth.
  • Breastfed infants have higher IQ's and better brain growth.
  • Breastfed babies enjoy a special warm bonding and emotional relationship with their mothers.

Benefits for moms

  • Breastfeeding helps the uterus contract to control bleeding after childbirth.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of low iron in the blood.
  • Women who have breastfed for 12 months or more have stronger, thicker bones with less chance of hip fracture later in life.
  • Breastfeeding helps the mother's body return to its pre-pregnancy weight faster.
  • Mothers who breastfeed develop a special emotional relationship and bonding with their child.
  • Breastmilk is free. Artificial milks cost $1,500 to $2,000 the first year of a baby’s life.
  • Breastfed babies are sick less which decreases healthcare costs to your family in health care provider office visits, prescriptions, over the counter medicine purchases, and hospitalizations.
  • Breastfeeding moms miss less time off from work due to child-related illnesses.
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