Why The Breast Is Best! 10 Breastfeeding Benefits for Baby and Mama!

by | Feb 16, 2021

Breastfeeding Benefits- It’s the topic of so many conversations for mama’s within the community for good reason too!

For many (myself included), breastfeeding can be challenging, and oftentimes I felt like giving up and reaching for the formula bottle…..

But I knew what benefits breastfeeding had for me, and more importantly- my baby.

Breastfeeding is an amazing gift that we mothers can give to our babies. It’s empowering that our bodies can produce the exact thing that our babies need! 

What’s more incredible is that as our baby’s needs change- so too does our breastmilk! 


When I first learned that I was blown away. 

Our bodies truly are amazing- without a doubt…   

In this post, I’m laying out 10 breastfeeding benefits. If you are on the fence about whether to breastfeed or not- or need some motivation to continue breastfeeding, then this post is for you!  

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby 

     1. Better Nutrition

There’s no question that breastfeeding is by far the best way to feed your newborn baby in terms of nutrition. 

Your breastmilk is loaded with important proteins, enzymes, amino acids, hormones, vitamins, and minerals. All designed to support your baby in the best possible way. 

What’s even more amazing like I mentioned earlier is that the nutritional makeup of breastmilk changes to match the needs of your baby. 

For example, our breasts create colostrum up until about 3 days after birth which is the time our milk comes in. 

Colostrum has a different nutritional makeup from breastmilk and it’s designed that way- because your baby’s nutritional needs are different at birth through day 3, then they are after day 3!

Our breastmilk AM breastmilk is different from our PM breastmilk- which contains more melatonin. This helps baby to fall asleep and overtime sets their circadian rhythm

Truly awesome isn’t it!

     2. Lower Infant Mortality

The thought of infant mortality makes me upset just thinking about it. Not every baby can be saved, it’s life- I get it. But it still doesn’t make it any better for me….

But did you know that breastfeeding can reduce infant mortality?

By quite a bit!

This US study reported that babies who are breastfed have a 21% lower risk of death in their first year compared to babies that never breastfed.

While this is important to know- I also want you to know something….

If you are unable to breastfeed your child- please do not freak out!!

To put things into perspective, the infant mortality rate in the US in 2018 was 5.7 deaths per 1,000. 

While high when compared to other developed countries- this is still a very small number. If we take that ratio and convert it to a percentage it comes out to be a .57% chance of infant mortality.

Whenever I look at “the chances of” getting sick, dying, etc…. I always break it down this way. 

Seeing that percentage instead of a ratio just always helps to give me some perspective as to what the real risk is. 

So my message to those mothers who can’t breastfeed is this…..

It’s ok, you’re doing the best you can do- your baby is going to be just great! Please don’t ever feel ashamed, embarrassed, or feel like you’re a bad parent. Because it’s simply not true. 

I haven’t been able to produce enough breast milk so I’ve been having to supplement with formula after our breastfeeding sessions, so my son gets enough to eat.

It’s been a challenge trying to find a good formula that doesn’t contain soy and other crap ingredients in it. But I think I’ve found one that works. 

That will be a whole other blog post- as that in itself is a pretty large topic. 


     3. Stronger Immune System

As natural-minded mama’s- we understand the importance of a healthy immune system. 

Especially when it comes to our little babes!

It’s now widely known that breastfed babies have stronger immune systems than those who are formula-fed. 

Why is this? 

It goes back to the breastmilk and the important combination of nutrients it contains.

More specifically, breastmilk helps support the baby’s microbiome- the bacteria within their gut. 

With a stronger microbiome comes a stronger immune system.

The immune system and how it works is a great topic and one that we’ll cover more in-depth in a later post. 

But for now, just know that by breastfeeding your baby- you are supporting their immune system tremendously which is important for their overall health and quality of life!


     4. Fewer Allergies

According to research, breastfeeding also reduces the likelihood of babies suffering from allergies. 

This study concluded that breastfeeding has a “preventive effect on the early development of allergic disease. If you’re concerned about allergies or have a family history of allergies- this is something that you will definitely want to delve further into!


     5. Improved Brain Maturation

Another huge benefit to breastfeeding- even if you can’t do it exclusively, is that it does wonders for baby’s brain development!

Why is this?

Breast milk is loaded with omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids! Both of these are vital for good brain development. 

The evidence is compelling that breastfeeding or maternal milk feeding benefits child neurodevelopment.

Brain development is obviously important! So it’s great to know that breastfeeding can help this process. 


Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mama


     1. Important physical and emotional bonding between mama and baby

If you’ve watched enough Animal Planet growing up, you know that when an animal is born- it’s critical to its survival that the mother recognizes the baby and accepts them quickly.

When talking about the emotional bonding between a mother and her newborn some similarities can be drawn between us and our furry companions in the animal kingdom!

One of the more obvious ones is that breastfeeding is really important for bonding and emotional attachment between a mama and her baby.

Being able to breastfeed has really helped me bond well with my little guy. It’s brought us much closer- even at those 3am feeding sessions! 

Mama Tip: In addition to breastfeeding, skin-to-skin is an amazing way to bond with your baby. I do this as well and it’s amazing the connection I feel to him during and after doing it. 


     2. Increases confidence and self-esteem- good for new mamas

As a new mama, I didn’t know what to expect- or have firsthand knowledge on how to do anything when it came to taking care of my newborn. 

I only knew what I learned and read online….

This was a great help- don’t get me wrong. But being a mother isn’t something you can just read about and expect to be able to do it well on day one. 

There have been times when I’ve doubted myself and my confidence was lower than it should’ve been. 

But I noticed that the more I breastfed, my confidence started to increase. 

And when my confidence in myself increased I noticed that my self-esteem went up as well!

Now, this didn’t happen smoothly instead, it was up one day, down the next, then up, then down again. 

But over time, it eventually went up and stayed up to where I am now.

For me, being able to provide something to my baby that my body can produce on its own is truly awesome!

It’s a feeling that can’t be fully described until you’ve done it.   


     3.Promotes faster weight-loss

Losing weight after birth is something that is on the front of a lot of mama’s minds. 

We all want to look and feel our best- and losing weight has a lot to do with!

Did you know that by breastfeeding you can potentially lose weight faster? 

I say potentially because other factors go into losing weight besides choosing to breastfeed. 

Like eating healthy and exercising…

This has been studied and it’s said that women who breastfeed burn on average 595 calories per day in the first two months and up to 695 per day as baby continues to grow.

This means that if you eat healthily, and maintain a moderate amount of exercise, you should absolutely see some weight reduction!


     4. Lower risk of breast cancer

Breast cancer is something that we hear about all too often. However, through breastfeeding- women can reduce their chances of getting it. 

Studies show breast cancer risk is reduced by 7% for each baby a woman has and that for every 12 months she breastfeeds (not necessarily consecutively) she decreases the risk by a further 4.3%.

Why is this?

The science behind it isn’t exactly concrete. But some potential reasons are….

-Mothers tend to live a healthier life while breastfeeding. Less drinking, less smoking, healthier eating, etc…

-Breastfeeding tends to shift a woman’s hormonal levels, which keeps the cells inside the breast tissue from becoming cancerous 


     5. Less risk of postpartum depression

While I was pregnant with my son I kept reading about and wondering if I would have postpartum depression. 

Almost to the point where I was nervous about it…

Luckily I’m six weeks in and I haven’t experienced it! But I know that it could come at any time within the first year or so… 

However, many other mamas out there aren’t as lucky. There are TONS of articles and posts about postpartum depression- this is a sign that many struggle with it. 

Some good news is that breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the chances of mamas getting postpartum depression.  Research suggests that women who breastfeed their infants reduced their risk of developing PPD. This is especially true in the first 4 months after birth.

This is potentially related to the “feel good” endorphins that are released within the body while breastfeeding. 


Breastfeeding is a Journey!

Breastfeeding is truly an amazing gift. One that every mother should try if they’re able to. 

It’s not easy!  But the benefits of breastfeeding are known and more are being discovered each year with new research being published. 

This gives us mamas motivation and reason to keep trying if you’re finding it difficult.  

If you’re on the fence about breastfeeding- I hope this article helped shed some more light on the subject for you.

For those of you who can’t breastfeed- don’t get discouraged. There are other things you can do- like skin to skin, and looking for the highest quality formula that you can afford!  

Not being able to breastfeed isn’t the end of the world. My husband and I weren’t exclusively breastfed- and we turned out just fine! Everyone’s journey is different, do what works for you!

Hi there! We're Kelly and Greg!

Hi there! We’re new parents- who are learning as we go! Realizing what it takes to raise kids in today’s crazy world, we strive to live healthier lives while finding natural alternatives to solve everyday problems. The world is complicated! Raising Them Naturally doesn’t have to be.
About Greg & Kelly Quante

About Greg & Kelly Quante

Kelly & Greg Quante are new parents and the creaters of Raising Them Naturally– a blog about preparing for and raising kids naturally! They share their challenges of parenting- and the things they’ve done to overcome them. They created this blog as a way for them to help others along the way.