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Ages & Stages

  • Breastfeeding babies tend to be healthier than formula-fed babies—and you won’t have to deal with bottles, expensive cans of formula, or other equipment. You will save money that you would have spent to purchase formula.
  • Breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer in a mother’s later life and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding women use the weight (fat stores) they accumulated during pregnancy to produce breast milk.
  • Women who breastfeed for more than twelve months during their lifetime tend to have lower risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes.
  • A mother’s perception of her partner’s attitude toward breastfeeding is one of the greatest factors influencing her decision to breastfeed.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding, with no supplemental formula or solid feedings, delays the mother’s ovulation and works as a natural form of birth control for the first six months after childbirth, if the mother has not resumed her menstrual cycles and if her baby is continuing to breastfeed fully both day and through the night.
  • A breastfeeding mother whose partner supports her by taking care of household responsibilities is likely to be more successful and keep breastfeeding longer, enjoy family life more, and have more energy left over for her adult relationships.
  • Babies’ brain development depends on frequent verbal, physical, and emotional interaction with a familiar, loving caregiver. Babies need to be sung to, rocked, and played with as much as they need time breastfeeding. The baby needs these things and they will not spoil her.
  • Eye contact between parent and infant is important for infant development. Mother and baby frequently make eye contact during breastfeeding. The non-breastfeeding partner can maintain eye contact while changing her diaper, giving her a bath, and playing with her.
  • Growing children benefit from experiencing the different but complementary parenting styles of two different adults.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months. When you add solid foods to your baby’s diet, a mother can continue breastfeeding until at least 12 months. A mother can continue to breastfeed after 12 months if she and your baby desire. Check with your child’s doctor about vitamin D and iron supplements during the first year.

 

Last Updated
7/10/2014
Source
Adapted from New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding, 2nd Edition (Copyright © 2011 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.