Why It Matters
Low rates of breastfeeding add more than $3 billion a year to medical costs for the mother and child in the United States.
Breastfeeding Benefits Both Babies and Mothers
Benefits for Infants
Infants who are breastfed have reduced risks of:
- Type 1 diabetes.
- Severe lower respiratory disease.
- Acute otitis media (ear infections).
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting).
- Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for preterm infants.
Benefits for Mothers
Breastfeeding can help lower a mother’s risk of:
- High blood pressure.
- Type 2 diabetes.
- Ovarian cancer.
- Breast cancer.
“Breastfeeding provides unmatched health benefits for babies and mothers. It is the clinical gold standard for infant feeding and nutrition, with breast milk uniquely tailored to meet the health needs of a growing baby. We must do more to create supportive and safe environments for mothers who choose to breastfeed.”
Dr. Ruth Petersen, director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity