Skip Navigation

U S Department of Health and Human Services www.hhs.govOffice of Public Health and Science - The Federal Source for Women's Health Information Sponsored by the H H S Office on Women's Health
1-800-994-9662. TDD: 1-888-220-5446

The National Women's Health Information Center -
A service of the Office on Women's Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

La lactancia materna. Mejor para el bebé. Mejor para la mamá.
Breastfeeding: Best for baby. Best for Mom.Breastfeeding: Best for baby. Best for Mom.
Do You Have Basic Breastfeeding Questions?  Call Us at 1-800-994-WOMAN (9662)

Breastfeeding — Best For Baby. Best For Mom.

Featured Article

Mothers and Children Benefit from Breastfeeding (PDF file, 40Kb) - From Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, Acting US Surgeon General

In the news

Whether you are a new or expecting Mom, if you are on this section of the web site, you're probably interested in giving your baby the best care you can. And one of the best things that only you can do is to breastfeed for as long as possible. While breastfeeding isn't the only option for feeding your baby, every mother has the potential to succeed and make it a wonderful experience. Or maybe you are the partner or a family member of a breastfeeding Mom and would like to learn more about breastfeeding. You've come to the right place! Here we provide practical, helpful breastfeeding information. Dive into our resources to find out how breastfeeding can be one of the most important things you do for both you and your baby!

Why Should You Breastfeed Your Baby?

Best for Baby

A mother's milk has just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein that is needed for a baby's growth and development. Most babies find it easier to digest breast milk than they do formula. Breast milk has agents (called antibodies) in it to help protect infants from bacteria and viruses and to help them fight off infection and disease. Human milk straight from the breast is always sterile.
More detail on benefits for baby.

Best for Mom

Breastfeeding saves times and money. You do not have to purchase, measure, and mix formula, and there are no bottles to warm in the middle of the night. Breastfeeding also helps a mother bond with her baby. Physical contact is important to newborns and can help them feel more secure, warm and comforted. Nursing uses up extra calories, making it easier to lose the pounds gained from pregnancy. It also helps the uterus to get back to its original size more quickly and lessens any bleeding a woman may have after giving birth. Breastfeeding also may lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.
More detail on benefits for mom.

The U.S. Surgeon General Recommends Breastfeeding

The U.S. Surgeon General recommends that babies be fed with breast milk only — no formula — for the first 6 months of life. It is better to breastfeed for 6 months and best to breastfeed for 12 months, or for as long as you and your baby wish. Solid foods can be introduced when the baby is 6 months old, while you continue to breastfeed.
Click here for the HHS Blueprint for Action on Breastfeeding (PDF file, 439 Kb)

Also Available:

A Printable Compilation of our Breastfeeding web site:

Easy Guides to Breastfeeding Pregnancy Section

Advancing Women's Health: Health Plans' Innovative Programs in Breastfeeding Promotion

Current as of August 2007

Skip navigation

This site is owned and maintained by the Office on Women's Health
in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Icon for portable document format (Acrobat) files You may need to download a free PDF reader to view files marked with this icon.

Home | Site index | Contact us

Health Topics | Tools | Organizations | Publications | Statistics | News | Calendar | Campaigns | Funding Opportunities
For the Media | For Health Professionals | For Spanish Speakers (Recursos en Español)

About Us | Disclaimer | Freedom of Information Act Requests | Accessibility | Privacy

U S A dot Gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal