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Benefits of Breastfeeding

Experts Say...

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of your baby's life, and continue breastfeeding with the addition of complementary foods until your baby is at least one year old.

In 2011, then-Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin of the US Department of Health and Human Services stressed the importance of everyone supporting the successful continuation of breastfeeding after you return to work.

Breastfeeding is an important opportunity for you and your baby. Some of the many benefits are listed below. Because of these benefits, it is important that you are able to breastfeed after returning to work for as long as it is the right choice for you and your baby.

Children

  • Breast milk has the perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat needed for the best physical and mental growth of children.
  • Breastfed children are healthier with lower rates of gastrointestinal illness, respiratory illness, ear infections, multiple sclerosis, and allergies.
  • Breast milk is easier to digest.
  • Breastfed infants are more likely to gain the right amount of weight as they grow rather than become overweight children.
  • Breastfed children score higher on cognitive and IQ tests.

 

Mothers

  • Breastfeeding leads to quicker postpartum recovery and earlier return to pre-pregnancy weight.
  • Breastfeeding mothers are healthier with reduced risks of breast and ovarian cancers.
  • Breastfeeding provides quiet time for mom and baby to bond.
  • Breastfeeding families save money on food and health care.

 

Employers

  • Employers who provide breastfeeding support experience reduced turnover and enhanced employee loyalty.
  • Breastfeeding mothers take shorter maternity leaves.
  • Mothers who breastfeed have lower absenteeism due to sick children.
  • Productivity of employees with new children increases.
  • Lower and fewer health insurance claims are filed.
  • Employer has positive image in the community.

 


Updated 02/26/2015