What's good for baby is also good for mother. When mothers follow nature's lead and breastfeed their babies, their own bodies benefit--so do their budgets!
- Reduces the risk of breast cancer. Women who breastfeed reduce their risk of
developing breast cancer by as much as 25 percent. The reduction in cancer risk comes in
proportion to the cumulative lifetime duration of breastfeeding. That is, the more months or
years a mother breastfeeds, the lower her risk of breast cancer.
- Reduces the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer. One of the reasons for the cancer-fighting
effects of breastfeeding is that estrogen levels are lower during lactation. It is thought that
the less estrogen available to stimulate the lining of the uterus and perhaps breast tissue also,
the less the risk of these tissues becoming cancerous.
- Lessens osteoporosis. Non-breastfeeding women
have a four times greater chance of developing osteoporosis than breastfeeding women and are
more likely to suffer from hip fractures in the post-menopausal years.
- Benefits child spacing. Since breastfeeding delays
ovulation, the longer a mother breastfeeds the more she is able to practice natural
childspacing, if she desires. How long a woman remains infertile depends on her baby's
nursing pattern and her own individual baby.
- Promotes emotional health. Not only is breastfeeding good for mother's body, it's good for
her mind. Studies show that breastfeeding mothers show less postpartum anxiety and
depression than do formula-feeding mothers.
- Promotes postpartum weight loss. Breastfeeding mothers showed significantly larger
reductions in hip circumference and more fat loss by one month postpartum when compared
with formula-feeding moms. Breastfeeding mothers tend to have an earlier return to their
- Costs less to breastfeed. It costs around $1,200 a year to
formula-feed your baby. Even taking into consideration the slight increase in food costs to a
breastfeeding mother, the American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that a breastfeeding
mother will save around $400 during the first year of breastfeeding.