*Breastfeeding, also known as nursing, is feeding an infant human milk, usually directly from the parent’s breast. Right after a baby is born, they naturally look for milk from your breast.
Breastfeeding has benefits for babies, breastfeeding individuals and society:
- Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most babies. Breast milk changes to a growing baby's needs and is easy to digest, especially for premature babies. It helps develop a newborn's digestive, sensory and nervous systems.
- Reduces some illnesses and diseases in babies and breastfeeding individuals. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). They are also less likely to have infections (ear, urinary, blood, etc.) and digestion issues. You may prevent certain types of breast or ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes in yourself.
- Saves time and money. There is no buying, measuring or warming milk - babies can be fed anytime and anywhere. Breast milk is free and breastfed babies may be sick less often, lowering healthcare costs, hospitalizations, and time away from work or school.
- Promotes bonding with baby. Babies like skin to skin contact. It improves a newborn's health and boosts your levels of oxytocin, a hormone that helps breast milk flow and makes you feel calm.
- Helps you recover more quickly from childbirth. Breastfeeding burns calories faster helping you lose weight after childbirth, decreases post pregnancy bleeding and menstrual blood loss, helps the uterus return to normal, and promotes a healthier timeframe between pregnancies.
- Saves lives and is better for the environment. Research shows that if 90% of families breastfed exclusively for six months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented each year. Breastfeeding also reduces waste and pollution from formula cans and supplies.
*Information throughout the website is intended to be inclusive for all breastfeeding/chestfeeding/human milk feeding individuals and terms used are interchangeable.