Penn Ob/Gyn Care

Breastfeeding Health Benefits

Extensive research documents the compelling advantages of breastfeeding for infants, mothers, families and society. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that a mother's milk is uniquely tailored for infant feeding. Breast milk contains appropriate amounts of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and provides digestive enzymes, minerals, vitamins and hormones that infants need.

Health Benefits for Babies

Human milk is easy to digest. Breastfed babies spit up less often and have less diarrhea and constipation. Babies who are breastfed for at least the first six months of life also benefit from:

Health Benefits for Mothers

Moms who breastfeed find that it:

  • Aids in returning the uterus to its normal size
  • Reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancers
  • Aids in gradual, healthy postpartum weight loss
  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis/hip fractures
  • Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome

Additional Benefits

  • Convenient
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Economical
  • Saves time

Choosing how and what to feed your baby is a personal decision that deserves careful and thorough consideration. How and what a baby eats may ultimately depend on the infant's physical condition and the mother's health after birth. If a mother decides to feed a baby formula as soon as the baby is born, commercially prepared formulas for bottle feeding are adequate sources of nutrition.