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Topic of the month : Breastfeeding and Everyday Living

Breastfeeding: Ideal for Infants

Both babies and mothers gain many benefits from breastfeeding. Breast milk is easy to digest and contains antibodies that can protect infants from bacterial and viral infections. Research indicates that women who breastfeed may have lower rates of certain breast and ovarian cancers.

Need Help breastfeeding?

As a mother, one of the best things that only you can do for your baby is to breastfeed. Any amount of time that you can do it will help both you and your baby. While breastfeeding isn't the only option for feeding your baby, every mother has the potential to succeed and make it a wonderful experience.


Learning to Breastfeed


Why Breastfeed?

Breastfeeding is more than a lifestyle choice — it's an important health choice. Any amount of time that you can do it will help both you and your baby. There are many benefits of breast milk for mothers, babies, and others.             


                        Surgeon General’s Perspectives: The Status of Breastfeeding Today (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
                        By Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, Acting US Surgeon General

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

Read more about the benefits of human milk and breastfeeding by visiting The DHHS Office on Women's Health, Benefits of Breastfeeding.

When Should You Not Breastfeed?

Rarely will any disease or condition outweigh the benefits of breastfeeding! Find out more on our diseases and conditions page.

Medicines and Breastfeeding

Although almost all medicines pass into your milk in small amounts, most medicines have no effect on the baby and are compatible with continuing to breastfeed. The list of medicines that you should not use while breastfeeding is very short. Discuss any medicines you are using with your doctor and also ask before you start using new medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and dietary or herbal supplements. For some women with chronic health problems, stopping a medicine can be more dangerous than the effects it will have on the breastfed baby.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more detailed information on this topic in the publication, The Transfer of Drugs and Other Chemicals Into Human Milk. You can also learn more from "Medications and Mothers' Milk", a book by Thomas Hale, found in bookstores and libraries.

Common Concerns

Most breastfeeding concerns can be prevented. And if an issue arises, there are many ways to treat it right away by calling on a lactation consultant or other health care provider. Getting plenty of rest and fluids, reducing stress, and eating healthy foods will also help you feel better and be able to cope with any early challenges you might face after your baby is born.

This list of concerns is for informational purposes only. Only a lactation consultant and/or your doctor can diagnose and treat you.

Breastfeeding and Everyday Living

This section provides helpful information for breastfeeding mothers on the go. You will find practical tips on breastfeeding in public, going back to work, getting physical activity, and making healthy food choices.

Our healthy eating tips can help make sure you have the energy you need and help keep your baby healthy. This section also includes information on handling stress. Keeping stress levels as low as possible can improve the breastfeeding experience for both mothers and babies.