Personal Health Division

WIC - Breastfeeding Benefits

Breast milk (human milk) is the best food for all babies. Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and baby and is a rewarding experience.

Benefits for Baby:

  • Breast milk provides all the nutrients for good growth and development. Breast milk is easy to digest. Breast milk is far better than any infant formula.
  • Breast milk protects baby against common infant illness. Antibodies in breast milk protect the baby against diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory infections and other illness.
  • Breastfed babies have fewer allergies than formula-fed babies. Breast milk provides protection against asthma, food allergies and hay fever.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Breast milk tastes better than formula. Formula is bland. Breast milk is sweet and tastes like the food you have eaten. There is less spitting up and bowel movements smell better too!

Benefits for Mom:

  • Breastfeeding promotes a special bond between you and your baby. Nothing is more beautiful for an infant (of any age) to hold, cuddle and exchange smiles while breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding decreases your risk of cancers such as ovarian and breast. Breastfeeding gives you stronger bones (less Osteoporosis). The longer you breastfeed, the greater the protection.
  • Breastfeeding helps you lose weight after delivery. Breastfeeding helps your uterus shrink quickly to pre-pregnancy size. Your body uses about 500 calories a day making milk.
  • Breastfeeding your baby helps you feel good about yourself. It is the best feeling to see your baby grow and know you provided the nutrition. You have made a smart choice.
  • Breastfeeding is convenient. You don't need to heat bottle in the middle of the night. Breast milk is always available and always the right temperature.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months after birth and continuing for 12 months and thereafter for as long as mom and baby desire.

Kalamazoo County Health & Community Services is committed to providing equitable, culturally competent care to all individuals served, regardless of race, age, sex, color, national origin, religion, height, weight, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. 

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