Hudson Valley Birth & Bodywork
Ulster Park, NY 12487

Phone: (845) 258-7143
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Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfed Babies:

  • Experience far fewer ear infections than formula fed babies. They also require fewer surgeries and other medical treatment for effects of chronic ear infections. Otitis Media is three to four times more prevalent in formula fed babies. Each year in the U.S., thirty million visits to the pediatrician are related to this condition, at a cost of 1 billion dollars.
  • Are much less likely to have upper and lower respiratory tract infections, digestive tract disease and disorders, allergies (often manifested as chronic nasal stuffiness and chest congestion-which can lead to infection-asthma, eczema, and other skin rashes), meningitis, influenza, and pneumonia.
  • Are less likely to develop health disorders related to an improperly functioning immune system. Artificial baby milk stresses the baby’s immature immune system. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of developing the following diseases during their lifespan: celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and insulin dependent juvenile diabetes.
  • Are less likely to develop lymphoma. Formula fed babies or babies fed breast milk for less than six months are six times more likely to develop this type of cancer.
  • Have higher cognitive scores on tests for mental development.
  • Are only 1/10th as likely as formula fed babies to be hospitalized in the U.S. for any bacterial infection.
  • Have parents who miss fewer days of work and experience less stress in the home related to effects of infant illness.
  • Are not exposed to the contaminants which are occasionally present in formula due to improper production procedures. They are also not exposed to formula which sometimes contains improper levels of nutrients which can and has led to illness and even permanent damage, including death.
  • Are less likely to die because of the protection breast milk gives them. In a risk/benefit analysis by the U.S. Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, it was found that an estimated 4 out of every 1,000 babies die each year because they were not breastfed.
  • Breastfed babies’ parents do not have to spend as much money on artificial breast milk. Formula costs are approximately $500 to $1000 for one year's supply.
  • Contribute to economic savings within the governmental and health care systems. It has been determined that if one-half of the mothers in the WIC program would breastfeed for one month, 30 million dollars would be saved.


Walker, M. - Why aren’t more mothers breast-feeding?
Childbirth Instructor 1992; Winter 18-24.

Walker, M. A fresh look at the risks of artificial infant feeding. Journal of Human Lactation 9(2). 1993

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