13 Reasons Why Breastfeeding Is Best

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges women to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months after birth. They should keep breastfeeding until at least 1 year, along with giving other nutrition.

The reasons why the AAP supports breastfeeding are simple. Babies who are breastfed have lower rates of the following:

  • Respiratory infections

  • Ear infections

  • Diarrhea and digestive tract infections

Breastfeeding also protects babies against the following:

  • Chronic digestive diseases, such as ulcerative colitis

  • Allergic disease and eczema

  • Type 1 and type 2 diabetes

  • Obesity

  • Childhood cancer. These include leukemia and lymphoma.

  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Breastfeeding also has perks for mom. These include the following:

  • A lower risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

  • Breastmilk is free. Plus, it is always ready, no matter where you are.

  • Breastfeeding promotes a faster, easier recovery from childbirth. 

  • When you breastfeed, you form a special bond with your baby.

Talk with your healthcare provider about breastfeeding. Ask what is best for your baby and you. It may also help to meet with a lactation consultant.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPHFoley, Maryann, RN, BSN

Date Last Reviewed: 4/18/2016

© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.