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Breastfeeding Saves Dollars and Makes Sense:
Good for Families, Employers, and the Economy

 

 

 

 

All major medical authorities recommend that babies get no food or drink other than human milk for their first six months and continue to breastfeed for at least the first 1-2 years of life. Increasing breastfeeding rates can save billions of dollars by preventing acute illnesses in infants as well as many costly chronic diseases in mothers and children.

Good for Families

  • Human milk is the preferred and most appropriate source of infant nutrition, adapting over time to meet the changing needs of the growing child.
  • Breastfeeding is a proven primary prevention strategy, building a foundation for life-long health and wellness.
  • The act of breastfeeding builds a strong emotional connection between the mother and infant.

Good for Employers

  • More than 50% of women with infants are in the labor force.
  • Employers that provide lactation support experience an impressive return on investment, including lower health care costs, absenteeism, and turnover rates, and improved morale, job satisfaction, and productivity.
  • The retention rate for employees of companies with lactation support programs is 94%; the national average is 59%.

Good for the Economy

  • A study of the pediatric health burden from current breastfeeding rates shows that, if 90% of U.S. mothers exclusively breastfed for six months, the nation could save $13 billion and prevent the loss of 911 lives, annually.
  • A similar study estimates the maternal health burden, showing that suboptimal breastfeeding rates incur a total of $17.4 billion in annual cost to society resulting from premature death, $733.7 million in direct health care costs, and $126.1 million in indirect costs (time away from work).
  • Breastfeeding is green: no packaging, fuel to prepare, or transportation to deliver; it reduces the carbon footprint by saving precious global resources and energy.

Unfortunately, the CDC and FDA recently found that 60% of women do not even meet their own breastfeeding goals.