Benefits of Breastfeeding

You probably know that breastfeeding and breast milk are good for your baby. Breast milk provides all the nutrients a baby needs in the first 6 months of life, along with antibodies that protect against allergies, infection and illnesses ranging from colds, viruses and ear infections to intestinal disorders, salmonella, e coli and even meningitis.

Seriously, breast milk is pretty magical. But did you know that breastfeeding is also good for you?

For you, breastfeeding:

  • Reduces the risks of breast and ovarian cancer
  • Helps lessen blood loss after birth

For you and your baby, breastfeeding:

  • Reduces the lifetime risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and other diseases
  • Offers greater protection against the above diseases the longer you breastfeed

This is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed their infants exclusively for the first 6 months, and that they continue breastfeeding through at least the first year as other foods are introduced.

The World Health Organization goes even further, recommending that breastfeeding continue (even once solid foods have been introduced) for up to the first 2 years.

See also ...

•  More breastfeeding benefits—especially for moms

•  How breastfeeding saves you money

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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