The benefits of breastfeeding

Most mothers want to breastfeed their babies, but a lot of women can find it hard to breastfeed and may stop earlier than they wanted to.

It’s important that as a new mother you feel supported when you start to breastfeed and know about the benefits of breastfeeding, so that you can enjoy breastfeeding for longer.

Health benefits for your baby

In a pre-term baby breastfeeding may:
  • Reduce the risk of inflammation and infection of the tummy (known as necrotising enterocolitis) – a serious condition seen in premature babies.
  • help protect them from infection.

In a full-term baby breastfeeding may reduce the risk of:
  • Stomach bugs
  • Coughs and colds
  • Middle ear infections

It may also reduce the risk of:
  • Eczema
  • Childhood leukaemia
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Health benefits for you

Breastfeeding helps the womb return to its normal size and reduces bleeding.
Breastfeeding while you wean your baby onto solid food may also reduce the risk of food allergies.

Some studies suggest that Breastfeeding may also reduce the risk of:
  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Osteoporosis

Other benefits of breastfeeding

  • Helps you bond with your baby.
  • More economical than bottle feeding.
  • Delays further pregnancy.
  • Convenient, hygienic and always ready at the correct temperature.
  • Night feedings are much simpler.
  • Travelling is easier.
  • Uses around 500 calories per day, so it’s great for losing that extra weight you gained during pregnancy.

Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance. Philips AVENT cannot be held responsible for any damages that result from the use of the information provided on this website.

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