Benefits of breastfeeding


Experts say that breastfeeding your baby is good for you and your baby. If you breastfeed for any length of time, no matter how short it is, you and your baby will benefit from breastfeeding.

Learn about breastfeeding your baby and decide if breastfeeding is for you. Know that breastfeeding takes time and practice. Get help from your family, nurses, lactation consultants, or support groups to succeed at breastfeeding.

Alternative Names

Nursing your baby; Lactation; Deciding to breastfeed

Breastfeeding is Good for Your Baby

Breast milk is the natural food source for infants younger than 1 year. Breast milk:

Your Breastfed Baby is Less Likely to get Sick

Your baby will have fewer:

Your breastfed baby may have a lower risk for developing:

Breastfeeding is Good for you too

You will:

Breastfeeding can Save you Time and Money

You can:

Get Help if Your Baby or you Have Special Needs

Know that most babies, even premature babies, can breastfeed. Talk to a lactation consultant for help with breastfeeding.

Some babies may have trouble breastfeeding because of:

You may have trouble breastfeeding if you have:

Breastfeeding is not recommended for mothers who have:


Office on Women's Health. US Department on Health and Human Services. Breastfeeding: pumping and breastmilk storage. Women' Web site. Updated August 3, 2015. Accessed January 2, 2017.

Lawrence RM, Lawrence RA. The breast and the physiology of lactation. In: Creasy RK, Resnick R, Iams JD, Lockwood CJ, Moore TR, Greene MF, eds. Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 9.

Newton ER. Lactation and breastfeeding. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL, et al, eds. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 24.

Review Date: 11/11/2016
Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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