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A mother breastfeeding her baby.

NICHD Breastfeeding and Breast Milk Research Information

NICHD's research on breastfeeding goes beyond the mechanics of the process to include a variety of topics ranging from the neurodevelopmental, nutritional, and emotional benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies to the cultural and societal impacts of breastfeeding on families and communities. The Institute's research portfolio also includes studies of the biological and immunological properties and components of breast milk and how they influence disease and short- and long-term health. Institute researchers also take part in trans-NIH and trans-government efforts to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding for overall health and to educate families and health care providers about breastfeeding benefits.