Why is breastfeeding healthy for moms?

Breastfeeding is healthy for moms for a number of reasons. The risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer can drop significantly if a mom breastfeeds her babies. The chances of osteoporosis later in life are also reduced.

Breastfeeding moms have fewer instances of postpartum anxiety, postpartum depression, and have better emotional health in general. Breastfeeding also promotes postpartum weight loss, which helps moms return to their pre-pregnancy weight quicker. Mothers of breastfed babies miss less work after maternity leave because their babies are healthier over all.

This content originally appeared on
First of all, nursing is a wonderful bonding experience that only you and your little one can share.  Two hormones, prolactin and oxytocin, are released during breastfeeding which increase feelings of relaxation, nurturing and love.  Further, the health benefits of breastfeeding are numerous. Studies show that women who breastfeed have a decreased future risk of cancer and diabetes.  Recent research suggests that breastfeeding may protect against osteoporosis and bone fractures in older age.  Since breast milk provides your infant with immunity against bacteria and viruses, moms who breast feed typically have less missed work days caring for a sick infant.  This also means that fewer germs are shared with the family.  And if that wasn’t enough of an incentive, moms who breastfeed return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster than moms who don’t breastfeed since breastfeeding burns 300 to 500 calories a day! 
In addition to being healthy, breastfeeding is also practical, convenient, and good for the environment.  Breastfeeding is virtually cost free, while formula is expensive.  It is also convenient to be able to feed your baby anytime, anywhere, without having to carry formula, bottles and nipples in your diaper bag.  When your infant is still feeding at nighttime, many moms find it easier to simply nurse then to prepare a bottle.  Dads can still help by bringing the baby to mom, burping him and changing him while mom dozes back to sleep after the feeding.  Further, the environment benefits when moms nurse since there are fewer bottles to wash and no formula cans to throw away. Most moms who breastfeed their first baby choose to breastfeed future children.

Continue Learning about Breastfeeding A Baby

Breastfeeding, the Next Olympic Sport
Breastfeeding, the Next Olympic Sport
This week’s cover of Time shows a young mother breastfeeding her son—a boy, nearly 4 years old, who is standing on a chair to reach his mother’s breas...
Read More
What should I consider when deciding whether to breastfeed?
Intermountain HealthcareIntermountain Healthcare
Besides the health benefits for your baby, other factors may also affect your decision to begin or...
More Answers
How should I thaw my stored frozen breast milk for serving?
Dr. Tanya R. Altmann, MDDr. Tanya R. Altmann, MD
To thaw breast milk for serving, hold the bag or bottle containing the frozen milk under warm runnin...
More Answers
I Heard That Babies May Be Getting Toxic Chemicals from Breast Milk. Is That True?
I Heard That Babies May Be Getting Toxic Chemicals from Breast Milk. Is That True?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.