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Benefits of breastfeeding

Nursing your baby; Lactation; Deciding to breastfeed

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Experts say that breastfeeding your baby is good for you and your baby. If you breastfeed for any length of time, no matter how short it is, you and your baby will benefit from breastfeeding.

Learn about breastfeeding your baby and decide if breastfeeding is for you. Know that breastfeeding takes time and practice. Get help from your family, nurses, lactation consultants, or support groups to succeed at breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is Good for Your Baby

Breast milk is the natural food source for infants younger than 1 year. Breast milk:

Your Breastfed Baby is Less Likely to get Sick

Your baby will have fewer:

Your breastfed baby may have a lower risk for developing:

Breastfeeding is Good for you too

You will:

Breastfeeding can Save you Time and Money

You can:

Get Help if Your Baby or you Have Special Needs

Know that most babies, even premature babies, can breastfeed. Talk to a lactation consultant for help with breastfeeding.

Some babies may have trouble breastfeeding because of:

You may have trouble breastfeeding if you have:

Breastfeeding is not recommended for mothers who have:

Related Information


Furman L, Schanler RJ. Breastfeeding. In: Gleason CA, Juul SE, eds. Avery's Diseases of the Newborn. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2018:chap 67.

Lawrence RM, Lawrence RA. The breast and the physiology of lactation. In: Resnik R, Lockwood CJ, Moore TR, Greene MF, Copel JA, Silver RM, eds. Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 11.

Newton ER. Lactation and breastfeeding. In: Landon MB, Galan HL, Jauniaux ERM, et al, eds. Gabbe's Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 25.

US Department of Health and Human Services website. Office on Women's Health. Breastfeeding: pumping and breastmilk storage. Updated July 9, 2018. Accessed March 2, 2021.


Review Date: 10/5/2020  

Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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