The healthiest way to get babies and families off to the right start is to breastfeed.
Research shows that breastfeeding is recognized as the best source of nutrition for most infants.
- Breastfeeding is an investment in health, not just a lifestyle decision. In the US, low rates of breastfeeding add 3 billion a year to medical costs for the mother and child in the United States.
- Research has shown that breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for most infants.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months, with continued breastfeeding alongside the introduction of the right complementary foods for 1 year or longer.
- The World Health Organization recommendation is the same, but with continued breastfeeding along with right complementary foods up to 2 years of age or beyond.
It takes a village
The success rate among mothers who want to breastfeed can be greatly improved through active support from their families, friends, communities, clinicians, health care leaders, employers and policymakers.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Benefits for Mom
Breastfeeding can help lower a mother’s risk of:
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
- Ovarian cancer
- Breast cancer
Benefits for Baby
Infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Ear and respiratory infections
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting)
- Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for preterm infants
Benefits to the Family
- Decrease time to prepare a bottle
- Lower health care costs ($150 billion increase in medical costs each year in US for formula fed infants)
- Is so much handier and energy efficient
- Infant formula costs approximately $7 each day or $2,555 for a year. This money can be spent on furniture, clothing, vacations, school or other wants of the family.
- Get breastfeeding help early
- Be patient
- Get the right latch with your baby
- Make sure your drinking plenty of fluids
- Experiment with different breastfeeding positions
- Burp your baby
- Create a space for breastfeeding
- Expect that breastfeeding will be challenging