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What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

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According to research, breastfeeding carries many health benefits for infants and mothers, as well as potential economic and environmental benefits for communities.

Among the known health benefits are nutritionally balanced meals, some protection against common childhood infections, and better survival during the first year of life, including a lower risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.1

Research also shows that the skin-to-skin contact of breastfeeding may have physical and emotional benefits.2

Other studies suggest that breastfeeding may reduce the risk for certain allergic diseases, asthma, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. It also may help improve an infant’s cognitive development. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

For more specific information about the health benefits of breastfeeding, visit one of the following resources:

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). (2012, February 27). Breastfeeding and the use of human milk.Pediatrics, 129, e827–e841. External Web Site Policy [top]
  2. UNICEF. (n.d.). Skin-to-skin contact. External Web Site Policy [top]

Last Updated Date: 10/06/2015
Last Reviewed Date: 12/19/2013
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