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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust

Why Breastfeeding is Important

Breast milk helps to protect babies from infections in a way that can’t be found anywhere else. Every day counts, the longer a mother breastfeeds the greater the benefits to her and her baby.

Babies who are breastfed are less likely to:

  • Develop eczema
  • Be hospitalised through gastroenteritis and ear and chest infections
  • Be fussy about new foods when they grow up
  • Be constipated
  • Be obese, which means they are less likely to develop associated illnesses when they are older
  • Develop diabetes

There are important health benefits for mothers too:

  • Breastfeeding lowers the risk of Mum getting breast and ovarian cancer
  • Breastfeeding naturally burns about 500 extra calories a day so Mums who breastfeed often find it easier to go back to pre-pregnancy weight reducing disease associated with obesity
  • Breastfeeding saves money – formula feeding can cost as much as £45 a month

The latest scientific research shows that each day and week of breastfeeding has a cumulative affect on protecting baby against infections and strengthening their ability to fight disease. Giving formula can reduce the protection from breast milk. Mum’s milk changes daily, weekly and monthly to meet baby’s growing needs. Exposing babies to different flavours via breast milk helps them to develop a taste for a greater variety of foods later on. Breast milk doesn’t require bottles or sterilising equipment and is always the right temperature.