Breastfeeding doesn’t just have short term benefits, it develops and strengthens your baby’s body for a lifetime of good health. It also has loads of healthy benefits for mums.

Benefits for women:

  • Reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Protects against osteoporosis.
  • Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Burns up to 500 calories per day, helping to get your body back into shape.
  • Promotes bonding time with your baby.
  • Releases hormone ‘prolactin’ which helps you get back to sleep at night.
  • Saves money meaning less financial worries.
  • Saves time and can be quicker once established, leaving more time to enjoy your baby and feel happier.
  • Releases oxytocin and endorphins which are the ‘feel good hormones’ reducing stress levels and promoting a feeling of love towards your baby.

For babies, it reduces risks of:

  • Gastrointestinal tract infections – Any breastfeeding reduces the risks of non-specific gastrointestinal tract infections by 64%. 
  • Respiratory tract and ear infections – Serious cold, ear and throat infections reduced by 63% in babies exclusively breastfed for 6 months. 72% reduction of hospitalisation for lower respiratory tract infections for infants exclusively breastfed over 4 months.
  • Necrotizing Enterocolitis – 77% reduction of NEC in pre-term infants fed exclusively on breastmilk
  • Sudden infant death and infant mortality – 36% reduction in breastfed babies.
  • Allergic disease – Exclusive breastfeeding for 3-4 months reduces eczema, dermatitis, and asthma by 27% in a low risk group and 42% with family history
  • Celiac disease – 52% reduction in infants that are fed at the time of gluten exposure (weaning)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease – 31% reduction in breastfed babies
  • Obesity – 15-30% reduction of obesity in adulthood with any breastfeeding. 
  • Diabetes – 30% reduction in type 1 diabetes in babies breastfed up to 3 months. Up to 40% reduction in type 2 diabetes.
  • Childhood Leukemia and Lymphoma – Reduction of 15-20% in different cancers in babies exclusively breastfed for 6 months.

REFERENCE: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827