10 Amazing Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mother and Baby

Dr. Rita Goel

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rita Goel

Gynaecologist and Obstetrician

7 min read

Key Takeaways

  • Strong immunity is one of the crucial benefits of breastfeeding for baby
  • The benefits of breastfeeding for mom includes improved weight loss
  • Colostrum in breastmilk provides the necessary nourishment for newborns

Breastfeeding or nursing a child means that your child is fed directly from the breasts. While breastfeeding is a personal decision, you should be aware of the many benefits of breastfeeding. The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend that a child be breastfed primarily for 6 months. After 6 months, mothers can continue breastfeeding for up to 2 years. [1] It is mainly because the health benefits of breastfeeding for both child and mother are key for healthy development and recovery, respectively.

For more insight on this, take a look at some of the amazing health benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby.

Benefits of Breastfeeding For Baby

There are many benefits of breast milk for babies. From better nutrition to building immunity, read to know a few crucial advantages of breastfeeding for baby. 

Gives Adequate Nutrition To Kids

The main benefits of breastfeeding lie in the nutritional value of breast milk. No wonder doctors recommend mothers to breastfeed infants until the age of six months exclusively! Your breastmilk contains all essential nutrients required for your baby, which also change according to the growing needs of your child.

Immediately after you give birth, your breasts produce colostrum, a thick and yellow color fluid called colostrum is produced. It is rich in proteins and vitamins A, K and B12 with less sugar and fat in its composition. It is also known as wonder food or superfood for your babyColostrum is the first milk that your breasts produce and can be easily digested by your baby’s stomach. As your baby grows and requires more milk, your milk supply increases naturally, too. You must know the importance of breastfeeding so that your baby is not deprived of essential nutrients during his or her growth phase.

benefits of breastfeeding

Helps Fight Infections By Improving Immunity

The other reason for the importance of breastfeeding for the baby is that this leads to its healthy development and immunity. Breastfeeding protects your baby from all kinds of gut-related disorders as breast milk is easily digestible. Even the incidence of respiratory and ear infections is less in breastfed babies. Breastfeeding may also reduce the risk of skin allergies and diabetes in kids.

One of the most notable advantages of breastfeeding is that breast milk is packed with antibodies. They help build the baby’s immunity by fighting against different infectious microorganisms. The formula doesn’t provide this benefit and can leave the child vulnerable to infections. Colostrum is a key part of this benefit. It is rich in immunoglobulin A. This antibody protects your baby by forming a shield in the digestive system, nose, and throat of the baby. [2]

Increases The Weight of Babies

Studies also reveal additional weight gain-related benefits of breastfeeding for babies. Infants who are breastfed gain healthy weight without being obese [3]. This is one of the key advantages of breastfeeding. The main reason for healthy weight gain could be the production of different beneficial gut bacteria. These bacteria prevent the storage of fat in the body. Another reason is the presence of leptin in breastfed babies. The leptin hormone plays a vital role in body metabolism and fat storage.

Enhances Cognitive Skills in Babies

Since breastfeeding involves physical touch and eye contact with your baby, it may result in the better functioning of the baby’s brain. Research reveals that vital nutrients present in the breastmilk provide the required nutrition to a newborn infant's brain. This enhances the neurocognitive skills of a child. By understanding the importance of breastfeeding for babies, you can help improve their overall well-being.

breast milk vs formula milk infographics

Improves Your Baby’ Sleeping Patterns

It is normal for babies to wake up frequently during the night for milk. One of the main advantages of breastfeeding is that babies sleep quickly after you feed them your milk. When your baby breastfeeds, a hormone called oxytocin is produced. This hormone helps your child sleep instantly after he or she is well-fed. Your breastmilk also contains various nucleotides that help your baby develop healthy sleeping and waking patterns.

Benefits of Breastfeeding For Mothers 

The importance of breastfeeding is not only limited to babies but also includes mothers. There are numerous breastfeeding benefits for a mother’s health. A few benefits of breastfeeding for mothers are as follows.

Helps You Shed Your Weight Easily

One of the most important benefits is that it helps you lose weight effortlessly. Research reveals breastfeeding moms burn more calories than non-lactating mothers [4]. When you produce breast milk, your body burns approximately 300-500 calories daily. This way, lactating mothers healthily lose their pregnancy weight. Consider the importance of breastfeeding in this way – you no longer need to follow any more fad diets to get back to your original weight before pregnancy!Benefits of breastfeeding for children

Shrinks your Uterus Faster

Another aspect of the many benefits of breastfeeding is that it helps the uterus contract faster. During pregnancy, the uterus expands in size to accommodate the growing fetus. Post-delivery, the act of breastfeeding is said to stimulate the uterus to contract back to its original size. This is due to oxytocin, a hormone that aids in uterus contraction. Oxytocin is produced abundantly in breastfeeding mothers.

Minimizes Postpartum Depression Problems

This is one of the vital advantages of breastfeeding for mothers. Postpartum depression, which is quite a common post-childbirth, is minimal in women who breastfeed. This condition results in increased anxiety, guilt, and emotional instability among mothers. When you breastfeed, there is a sense of fulfillment within you. It can enhance your mood and instills positive thoughts. This reduces your risk of postpartum depression, which may occur anywhere from the first month to 12 months post delivery. 

Reduces the Risk of Cancer and other Health Concerns 

Breastfeeding also reduces diseases like arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, breast cancer causes, and type 2 diabetes [5]. No wonder the importance of breastfeeding is paramount for mothers! If you breastfeed your child, there is less risk for breast or ovarian cancer. This way, breastfeeding provides you with long-term protection against various ailments and improves your overall well-being.

Develop a Close Connection With Your Baby

While the benefits of breastfeeding for moms are crucial, the most important is the closeness the mother feels with her baby. This is one of the most vital advantages of breastfeeding for a mother. The physical and emotional connection between the mother and the baby is unparalleled. The glances and cuddles you exchange with your baby during breastfeeding time help establish a strong bond between the two of you. You’ll be amazed to see your little one grow with the help of your breast milk and develop a healthier relationship too. 

Additional Read: How to Lose Weight with an Easy Indian Diet Plan

Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding:

Now that you know about the importance of breastfeeding, seek professional help if you find it difficult to breastfeed your baby. Here are a few pointers that can help you.

  • Breastfeeding is the most natural way of feeding your baby. While formula feeding has costs and risks associated with it.
  • Formula-fed babies are prone to diarrhea and respiratory infections. This is because formula milk does not provide the necessary antibodies to your baby. [6]
  • Formula milk is not easily digestible; babies may develop some allergies or milk intolerance.
  • Breast milk is also loaded with nutrients; formula milk does not always contain all the required high-value nutritional components [7].
  • Breast milk delivers the right proportions of fat, protein, carbohydrates, and calcium. If these are lacking, it could adversely affect the baby’s health.
  • Breastfeeding nurtures the mother-baby bond. It releases oxytocin in mothers, with numerous benefits from elevated moods to better recovery.

There are numerous mental and physical benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. However, not every mother may breastfeed their child. Some problems may arise due to health conditions. If you have difficulty breastfeeding, contact a lactation consultant using Bajaj Finserv Health. Book an appointment with a specialist near you and get the help you need in no time.

Published on 3 Aug 2021Last updated on 13 Apr 2023
  1. https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding#tab=tab_2
  2. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-019-0480-9?utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=commission_junction&utm_campaign=3_nsn6445_deeplink_PID100090071&utm_content=deeplink
  3. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0122534
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4312189/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2930900/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19759351/
  7. https://americanpregnancy.org/healthy-pregnancy/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-vs-bottle-feeding-formula/

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

Dr. Rita Goel

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Rita Goel

, MBBS 1 , MD - Obstetrics and Gynaecology 3

Dr Rita Goel is a consultant gynecologist, Obstetrician and infertility specialist with an experience of over 30 years. Her outstanding guidance and counselling to patients and infertile couples helps them to access the best treatment possible. She addresses problemsof adolescents and teens especially PCOS and obesity. Besides being a renowned gynaecologist she also has an intense desire and passion to serve the survivors of emotional abuse and is also pursuing a Counselling and Family Therapy course from IGNOU. She helps patients deal with abuse recovery besides listening intently to their story.


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