Skip Navigation

What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

Skip sharing on social media links

​What are the benefits of breastfeeding?​

​​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. Web Site Policy[top]
  2. UNICEF. (n.d.). Skin-to-skin contact. Web Site Policy[top]

​​ ​
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology