The benefits of breastfeeding

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Apr 6, 2010

by Lianne Castelino

A new study out of the U.S. says that if 90 per cent of new mothers breastfed their kids in their first six months, the U.S. would save $13 billion a year in healthcare.

As someone who breastfed all three of my children, each on average of about 14 months the benefits are indisputable. Yes, your body can feel like a milk-producing machine at times, and there may be the challenges of engorgement or spillage to contend with but it really is the best way to nourish your newborn not to mention so convenient and cost-effective.

The study out of the journal Pediatrics found breastfeeding infants in the first six months o life would help to prevent more than 900 deaths. The study looked at the medical issues breastfeeding has been shown to prevent, such as childhood asthma and leukemia.

They looked at the direct and indirect costs of these issues, such as parents being off from work. Researchers then compared those totals to how much they foresee being saved if new moms breastfed.

While it is a commitment and certainly not always easy, especially at 2 in the morning when you feel like you’re on an island, I never once had any doubt that I was doing the best thing for my baby. In fact with each additional baby, I thought to myself, I’m not going to physically be able to breastfeed for one year. And in each and every case, I ended up breastfeeding for longer than the previous child.

The study’s conclusion is: Current U.S. breastfeeding rates are suboptimal and result in significant excess costs and preventable infant deaths. Investment in strategies to promote longer breastfeeding duration and exclusivity may be cost-effective.”

The key is to remember to get help. Don’t wait til its too late and the frustration has set in and you’re past your breaking point. Get educated, ask for help and be proactive.

Check out our videos on breastfeeding and nutrition for more helpful tips:

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