Breastfeeding, often considered the first act of nurturing a newborn, goes beyond mere sustenance. It establishes an irreplaceable bond that carries profound benefits for both mother and child. Infused with all the essential nutrients and antibodies, breast milk is nature's perfect formula for promoting infant health and development. Beyond nutrition, the act of breastfeeding fosters a unique emotional connection, offering comfort and security to the baby.

12 Benefits of Breastfeeding for Both Mom and Baby
Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mom And Baby. Shutterstock Image

For mothers, it's not just about providing nourishment; it's an experience that encompasses physical well-being, emotional health, and an innate sense of fulfillment. Through the lens of scientific research and heartfelt testimonies, we uncover the myriad advantages that breastfeeding brings into the lives of families, underscoring why so many choose this natural, effective path for their children's early life.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby

  • 1. Improved Immune System: Breast milk is a powerhouse of antibodies, providing infants with crucial protection against infections and illnesses. Studies, such as those conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), have demonstrated that breastfed babies have lower rates of respiratory infections, ear infections, and gastrointestinal issues compared to formula-fed counterparts.[1]
  • 2. Nutritional Advantages: Breast milk contains an ideal balance of nutrients, perfectly tailored to meet the needs of growing infants. It provides essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins in easily digestible forms, promoting optimal growth and development. Research published in the Journal of Nutrition highlights the superior nutritional composition of breast milk compared to formula.[2]
  • 3. Lower Risk of Infections and Diseases: Breastfeeding has been linked to a reduced risk of various chronic conditions in infancy and later in life. According to studies cited by the World Health Organization (WHO), breastfed babies are less likely to develop allergies, asthma, obesity, diabetes, and even certain types of cancer.[3]
  • 4. Cognitive Development: The benefits of breastfeeding extend beyond physical health, positively impacting cognitive development. Research suggests that breastfed infants may have higher IQ scores and improved cognitive abilities later in life, attributed to the unique nutrients and fatty acids found in breast milk.[4]

Speaking about benefits, Cindy Rubin, general pediatrician and breastfeeding medicine specialist, emphasized that babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of ear infections, asthma, lower respiratory infections, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, vomiting and diarrhea, sudden infant death syndrome, and leukemia. In the moment, infection-fighting cells and proteins are transferred to babies from their moms via breastmilk and help babies fight off the specific illnesses that they have both been exposed to. This is especially important in young babies who have not yet developed a fully mature immune system.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom

Breastfeeding Benefits to Mom

Breastfeeding Benefits to Mom. Shutterstock Image

  • 5. Faster Postpartum Recovery & Postpartum Weight Management: Breastfeeding triggers oxytocin release, aiding in uterine contraction and reducing postpartum bleeding. It also promotes the return to pre-pregnancy weight by burning extra calories.

    Breastfeeding mothers experience more rapid weight loss postpartum compared to non-breastfeeding mothers, thanks to the energy expended during breastfeeding and the body's utilization of stored fat to produce milk.

  • 6. Bonding with the Baby: The intimate act of breastfeeding fosters a deep emotional bond between mother and child. Skin-to-skin contact, eye contact, and the release of bonding hormones like oxytocin and prolactin during breastfeeding promote feelings of closeness and attachment.
  • 7. Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers: Breastfeeding offers protective effects against breast and ovarian cancers for mothers. A study suggests that the longer a woman breastfeeds, the greater the reduction in her risk of developing these cancers, attributed to hormonal changes and the shedding of breast tissue during lactation.[5]

Emotional and Psychological Benefits for Both Mom and Baby

Psychological Benefits for Both Mom and Baby

Psychological Benefits for Both Mom and Baby. Shutterstock Image

  • 8. Enhanced Emotional Connection: Breastfeeding strengthens the emotional bond between mother and baby through physical closeness, nurturing touch, and mutual gaze. This closeness promotes feelings of security, comfort, and trust, fostering a secure attachment relationship.
  • 9. Reduction in Stress-Anxiety Levels: Breastfeeding has calming effects on both mother and baby, reducing stress hormones such as cortisol and promoting relaxation. The act of breastfeeding triggers the release of oxytocin, known as the “love hormone,” which induces feelings of calmness and well-being.[6]

    Breastfeeding is associated with lower rates of postpartum depression and anxiety in mothers. Breastfeeding mothers experience fewer symptoms of depression and report higher levels of maternal satisfaction and well-being.

Economic Benefits

  • 10. Substantial Household Savings: Families engaging in optimal breastfeeding practices can significantly cut costs, saving an estimated $1,200 to $1,500 on infant formula within the baby's first year. This reduction in expenses allows families to allocate funds to other essential needs, fostering a more financially stable environment for the child's growth and development.
  • 11. Reduced Healthcare Expenditure: Breastfeeding contributes to healthier infants with lower rates of hospitalizations and medical visits. This healthy start translates into decreased healthcare costs, benefiting families and healthcare providers. Research supports that breastfeeding minimizes the financial burden on the healthcare system by lowering the treatment costs associated with common childhood illnesses.

Environmental Benefits

  • 12. Reduced Carbon Footprint & Waste from Formula Packaging: Breastfeeding not only minimizes carbon emissions by eliminating the need for formula production and distribution but also reduces plastic waste generated from formula packaging.

    This eco-friendly feeding choice significantly lowers greenhouse gas emissions and diminishes the environmental burden of plastic bottles, cans, and packaging materials.

    Embracing breastfeeding exclusively can empower families to make a positive impact on the environment and foster a more sustainable future.


Breastfeeding offers a myriad of benefits for both mom and baby, encompassing physical health, emotional well-being, economic savings, and environmental sustainability. As evidenced by numerous studies and research findings, breastfeeding is a powerful tool for promoting maternal-infant health and nurturing strong, resilient families. By understanding and appreciating the multifaceted advantages of breastfeeding, we can support and empower mothers to make informed choices that benefit themselves, their babies, and the planet.

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We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[1] American Academy of Pediatrics Calls for More Support for Breastfeeding Mothers :
[2] Review of Infant Feeding: Key Features of Breast Milk and Infant Formula:
[3] Breastfeeding:
[4] Impact of breast milk on IQ, brain size and white matter development:
[5] 6 things to know about breastfeeding and your cancer risk:
[6] Understanding Oxytocin: The Love Hormone and its Role in Breastfeeding:
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Allison Lansman, RDN, LD

Allison has been practicing dietetics since 2017 and has worked in many settings, including hospitals, clinics, & foodservice industry.