10 Surprising Health Benefits of Breastfeeding That Will Amaze You

Trish ~ Labor Nurse Mama
June 24, 2019

Of course, you know that there are health benefits of breastfeeding. But did you know specifically that breastfeeding your child reduces their risks of some pretty hefty issues?

The health benefits of breastfeeding continue to amaze me every time I research the topic.

Breastfeeding is a sacrifice for sure; it is a willingness to pause, stop doing your thing, and to nourish this little demanding nugget of a person.  But girl, it is so incredibly amazing.

Seriously, I think you would be truly astounded if I went into the gritty details of the health benefits of breastfeeding, but instead, I'm going to keep it down to the big stuff.

    • So sit back and be amazed what our little ‘ole bodies can do!
Why I am here and who I am:

Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. This means I am quite familiar with the postpartum period and how to navigate it. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes and the mama expert inside our Calm Mama Society, a pregnancy & postpartum membership community! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey! You can find me over on IG teaching over 230k mamas daily. I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!

We make a small commission from some of the links (you don’t pay any more for using our links); however some of the recommendations, we do not earn anything; we love ’em and want you to know about them. Click here for our full disclosure. Thank you!

  • Optimal Nutrition
  • Easily Digested
  • Always Ready & Warm
  • Contains everything baby needs for the first six months of life

Related Post: Breastfeeding in Public

Breastmilk Has Antibodies

Breast Milk is best! It's a magic potion. I won't expand on this one too much. But if you are interested in the magical world of breastmilk, read this post.

It's unbelievable what breastmilk and vernix do for our babies! (If you need help with prepping for a breastfeeding journey, email me or read this post!)

Breastfeeding reduces Diseases
    1. Middle Ear Infections
    2. Respiratory Infections
    3. GI infections and damage
    4. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (More on this)
    5. Celiac Disease
    6. IBD
    7. Diabetes
    8. Obesity
    9. Leukemia
    10. Allergic-type diseases

We are going to go into detail about the last 4!

If you are looking for an affordable Breastfeeding class and troubleshooting those breastfeeding issues, check out this online class. It's informal and informative. Good mix!

Breastfeeding Reduces the risks of developing Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes

According to several studies breastfeeding reduces the risk of developing Type 1 diabetes.  If you saw Steel Magnolias then we have all been made aware of the extreme risks of uncontrolled Diabetes.

Breastfeeding for over 2 weeks reduces the chance of your child developing type 1 diabetes by 18%!

Girl, that is a worthy health benefit of breastfeeding for at least the postpartum period. You know I want you to do it a lot longer but at least sacrifice that time!

Be Sure to read this guide outlining the very first time your breastfeed!

Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk of Obesity

Overweight and obese children are at higher risk of developing serious health problems including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and other respiratory problems, sleep disorders and liver disease.

They may also suffer from psychological effects, such as low self-esteem, depression and social isolation. Childhood obesity also increases the risk of obesity, noncommunicable diseases, premature death and disability in adulthood.

In addition to providing all the nutrients an infant needs in the first six months of life and protecting against common childhood diseases (i.e. diarrhea and pneumonia), mounting evidence indicates that breastfeeding may have longer-term benefits such as reducing the risk of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence.

World Health Organization

WHO recommends exclusively breastfeeding for six months or greater, then appropriately supplementing with HEALTHY foods but continuing to give your babe the health benefits of breastmilk up to two years old.

Reduces the risks of developing Childhood Leukemia

Did you know that childhood cancer is one of the leading causes of death among children? (Accidental injury is the number one cause of death.

Does anyone out there have ridiculous fear over some kind of crazy accident happening to your children? Yeah, me too but that's for another post.) 

Okay, so a study was done on the relation of breastfeeding (at least six months or more) and the incidence of childhood leukemia.

You guessed it, they found out that there is a decrease in the chance of leukemia happening.

First off they have no real clue how it even happens in the first place. So for the off chance that you are helping protect your child from it, then I sat it's worth breastfeeding. 

So back to the study, they discovered that you reduce your child's chance by 19% if you breastfeed for at least 6 months. They also discovered that if you breastfeed at all, your child has an 11% lower risk for childhood leukemia. 

I would say that is a pretty fantastic health benefit of breastfeeding, wouldn't you?

Breastfeeding Reduces Allergic Type Diseases

“Breastfeeding had a preventive effect on the early development of five allergic diseases: asthma, suspected allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, food allergy related symptoms, and suspected allergic respiratory symptoms after exposure to pets or pollen”.

Unicef UK

Basically the health benefit of breastfeeding in this case is that the breastmilk lessens a babies chance of becoming sensitive to the allergen.

Substances in human milk coat your baby’s intestines, which prevents microscopic food particles from “leaking” through into your baby’s bloodstream.


If they do pass into the blood (something that is more frequent in an artificially fed baby), these food particles may be treated as foreign substances by his white blood cells, which attack them, and can cause painful allergic reactions such as diarrhea, sore bottoms, runny noses and eyes, rashes and eczema, or a crying, sleepless baby.

La Leche League

I am truly astounded by what our bodies can do for our babies! First, we make 'em, then we build them, then we nourish them, and on top of that, we protect them!

You are mother; hear you roar! Let me hear your stories! Comment below why you did or did not breastfeed!

trish's signature from habibi house

Just a little Disclaimer: As always, I am just writing my thoughts and what I’ve learned along the way. Although I am in fact a labor and delivery RN, This is not medical advice. You should always seek and follow the advice of your care provider.

This post may contain some affiliate links (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Thank you! For our full disclosure read here)


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