Breastfeeding Benefits

Mom & Dad Kissing Baby's Cheeks

Full Term Infants Who Breastfeed Are At A Lower Risk for Developing:

  • Lower respiratory tract infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
  • Asthma
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Otitis media
  • Colds, ear and throat infections
  • Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)
  • GI tract infections
  • Celiac disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Atopic dermatitis, eczema
  • Higher Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Type I and II Diabetes
  • Leukemia: ALL, AML

Preterm Infants Who Breastfeed are at a lower risk in the short term for:

  • Decreased rate of sepsis
  • Decreased rates of Necrotizing Enterocolitis, NEC
  • Fewer hospital re-admissions within one year of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) discharge
  • Improved clinical feeding tolerance and attainment of full enteral feeds
  • Decreased severe retinopathy and prematurity

Long Term Breastfeeding Benefits for Preterm Babies Include:

  • Improved neurodevelopmental outcomes
  • Decreased metabolic syndrome
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • Increased leptin and insulin metabolism
Breastfeeding Baby
Mom with Sleeping Baby

Benefits for Moms Who Breastfeed:

  • Helps Create an Everlasting Bond between You and Your Baby
  • Saves You Precious Time and Money
  • Lower Risk of Breast or ovarian cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and Postpartum depression
  • Burn More Calories- lose pregnancy weight faster
  • May Lower Your Risk of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis

Breastfeeding is Better for You, Baby, and Your Bank Account

Breastfeeding provides significant financial benefits to both Mom and Baby as well as the Healthcare system at large. By breastfeeding your baby for the first six months you could save $3,172.

Total US
A detailed pediatric cost analysis based on a report prepared by the US Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) concluded that if 90% of US mothers would comply with the recommendation to breastfeed for 6 months, there would be a savings of $13 billion per year.1

Per Infant
Each baby that is breastfed for six months provides an estimated healthcare cost savings of $3,172 per infant.1

Pre-Term Infant
Preterm infants who receive breast milk for >50% of their feedings in the first 14 days of life have a six-fold decrease in developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). This can decrease cost and length of stay, saving $74,000 per case and 12 additional days for medical NEC and $198,000 for 43 additional days per case of surgical NEC.2,3

Read more about what to expect during your first month of breastfeeding.

Mom and Baby Smiling at Camera
  1. Bartick M, Reinhold A. The burden of suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: a pediatric cost analysis.  Pediatrics. 2010; 125(5). Available at:,  accessed 3/21/13.

  2. Sisk PM, Lovelady CA, Dillard RG, Gruber KJ, O’Shea TM. Early human milk feeding is associated with a lower risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in very low birth weight infants. J Perinatol. 2007;27:428-33.
  3. Ganapathy V, Hay JW, Kim JH. Costs of necrotizing enterocolitis and cost-effectiveness of exclusively human milk-based products in feeding extremely premature infants. Breastfeed Med. 2012;7(I):29-37.

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