62 Facts About Breastfeeding For Moms

When it comes to breastfeeding, you can never have too much information. After all, this is your little one’s most natural source of food we are talking about. So, if you have ever wondered how breastfeeding actually works, why it is so healthy, and the statistics behind it, you have come to the right place! Here are our 62 facts about breastfeeding for moms!

  1. Babies are protected from common ailments thanks to the antibodies in breastmilk (WHO)
  2. Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of a variety of problems for children, including diarrhea, ear and throat infections, asthma, and more (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  3. Mothers should try and breastfeed even when they are feeling under the weather themselves. When your body creates antibodies to fight a virus, they can be passed onto your baby via the milk, keeping them safe too (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  4. Some studies have found that your child’s saliva can tell your mammary glands when they need antibodies to fight off an illness (Kindred Bravely)
  5. Babies get a supply of antibodies, minerals, and proteins from your colostrum before you are able to start breastfeeding (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  6. Colostrum is able to protect your baby from nasty bacteria in their tummy thanks to a series of helpful proteins (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  7. Colostrum has a positive impact on the development of your child’s eyes and skin thanks to its high vitamin E levels (Kindred Bravely)
  8. Your breastmilk carries different daily bacteria from your body to your baby’s to ensure they are always protected (Kindred Bravely)
  9. Your breastmilk contains more than 150 different oligosaccharides to help build your child’s microbiome in their tummy (Kindred Bravely)
  10. Melatonin in your breast milk helps your child to fall asleep (Kindred Bravely)
  11. The leptin in your breastmilk helps to build a healthy microbiome in your baby’s stomach, as well as controlling their appetite and weight (Kindred Bravely)
  12. The thyroxine in your breastmilk benefits your child’s intestines and metabolism (Kindred Bravely)
  13. The oxytocin in your breastmilk helps to keep your child’s blood pressure and heart rate at a healthy level (Kindred Bravely)
  14. Breastmilk can ever be used to ease eye infections, ear infections, cuts, and rashes (Today’s Parent)
  15. As the needs of your child change, so does your breastmilk! This ensures they always get exactly what they need to stay healthy (Medela)
  16. If your baby is born prematurely, your body instinctively creates breastmilk with extra minerals, fat and protein to help build up their strength and fight infections (Medela)
  17. Breastmilk helps premature babies with memory, IQ development, and brain health (Medela)
  18. Your diet dictates what your breastmilk tastes of, which is what gets your child used to the tastes of certain foods (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  19. The oxytocin releases when breastfeeding can help fight against postpartum depression (WHO)
  20. The longer you breastfeed, the less likely you are to suffer from strokes, diabetes, breast cancer, and heart problems (Medela)
  21. The risk of suffering from breast cancer drops by 6% for every year that you breastfeed (Today’s Parent)
  22. Your uterus drops back down to the size it was before pregnancy thanks to the hormones created by breastfeeding (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  23. It is possible for breastfeeding to burn as much as 600 calories daily (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  24. If your nipples are sore or dry, you can use your own breastmilk to treat them (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  25. The oxytocin and prolactin created by the process of breastfeeding reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, while also creating a mother-child bond (Medela)
  26. The United States is the only developed country in the world without legally mandated maternity leave, and the views on breastfeeding largely differ depending on your state, age, and education (Pew Research Center)
  27. Between 2007 and 2016, breastfeeding increased in frequency by 10% (CDC)
  28. 8% of babies in the United States in 2016 were breastfed to some extent (CDC)
  29. 5% of babies in the United States in 2016 were breastfed for exactly three months (CDC)
  30. 4% of babies in the United States in 2016 were breastfed for exactly six months (CDC)
  31. 3% of babies in the United States in 2016 were being breastfed in some capacity beyond the six-month mark (CDC)
  32. 25% of babies in the United States in 2016 were still being breastfed at the one-year mark, although not exclusively (CDC)
  33. The likelihood of a baby being breastfed is impacted by where they live. Urban areas of the US are more likely to see breastfeeding than rural areas. The least likely to be breastfed are the babies living in the south-east of the US (CDC)
  34. In Vermont, Alaska, Washington, Minnesota, Hawaii, Oregon, and Utah, over 70% of children are still being breastfed in some capacity at the six-month mark. In contrast, in West Virginia, Mississippi, and Arkansas under 40% are. 93.5% of babies in Oregon have been breastfed at some point, compared to just 63.4% in Mississippi, the highest and lowest respectively (CDC)
  35. Breastfeeding stats are affected by ethnicity and race. 88.2% of Asia-American children are breastfed at some point, compared to 86.6% of Caucasians, 82.9% of Hispanics, and 74% of African-Americans (CDC)
  36. Socioeconomic status can impact the likelihood of breastfeeding. For those living below the poverty line in the United States, 74.5% breastfeed their kids at some point, while 43% breastfeed for six months or more. In comparison, for those living 600% or more above the poverty line, 93.5% breastfeed their kids at some point, and 74.3% reach the six-month mark (CDC)
  37. Education can also have an affect on breastfeeding. 70.5% of those who did not graduate high school in the US breastfeed at some point, with 41.4% reaching the six-month mark. For those who graduate college, those numbers reach 93.4% and 73.9% respectively (CDC)
  38. Age can also be a factor in breastfeeding, with moms over 30 being 86.3% likely to breastfeed, compared to 20–29-year-olds at 80% (CDC)
  39. 95% of babies across the world are breastfed at some point (UNICEF)
  40. 40% of babies under the 6-month mark are exclusively breastfed (WHO)
  41. 44% of new-born babies are breastfed within the first hour of their time on Earth (UNICEF)
  42. One out of every 25 babies living in a low or middle-income country is never breastfed at all, compared to one in five in high-income countries (UNICEF)
  43. In Europe, some of the most common breastfeeding nations with percentages as high as 92 are Sweden, Norway, and Finland. France and Ireland are among the lowest with 63% and under (UNICEF)
  44. In Norway, 99% of babies are breastfed at some point, with 80% still being breastfed in some capacity at the six-month mark, while moms receive 36 weeks of paid maternity leave. In Sweden, the numbers are 98% and 72%, with 48 weeks of maternity (Pew Research Center)
  45. Due to a lack of support, medical problems, work demands, and more, 60% of US mothers have to stop breastfeeding before they wanted to (CDC)
  46. The main causes of mothers prematurely stopping breastfeeding are medication concerns, work demands, issues with the baby latching, cultural conflicts, not enough support from family, nutrition or weight concerns, and a lack of medical support (CDC)
  47. How much paid maternity leave a company offers and how accommodating the office is to providing a space to breastfeed has a significant impact on the length and likelihood of breastfeeding in the US (Quartz)
  48. Under 50% of companies in the United States have a space for breastfeeding on site (CDC)
  49. Around one in ten babies have an issue with latching, with is known as ‘tongue-tie’ (Today’s Parent)
  50. Babies are able to smell your breastmilk and recognize your face while they feed, despite being near-sighted (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  51. The female body can control how much milk is produced depending on how many babies there are (twins/triplets/etc) (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  52. Breast milk is different at the end of a feeding when compared to the start, going from watery milk with 1% fat to thicker milk with 5% (Kindred Bravely)
  53. The color of breastmilk can change depending on your diet – you can even get slight orange, pink, green, yellow or blue tinges to the milk! (Medela)
  54. The amount of milk produced is not impacted by the size or shape of your breasts (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  55. When a baby is first born, their stomach is only almond-sized for around two days, meaning it doesn’t take much milk to fill them up (HHS: Office on Women’s Health)
  56. There are stem cells within breastmilk, meaning they could eventually become tissue within your child’s kidney, brain, or heart (Medela)
  57. A mother can lactate/leak if they think about their child or hear another baby crying, if they are still in the breastfeeding phase (Today’s Parent)
  58. Colostrum contains more than 100 times the concentration of white blood cells than blood itself (Kindred Bravely)
  59. Babies should be breastfed within an hour of birth, ideally (UNICEF)
  60. Babies should ideally be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their lives (UNICEF)
  61. Breastmilk no longer fully supports the needs of a child after six months, at which point foods, whether it be soft, solid, or semi-solid, should be used alongside the breastmilk (UNICEF)
  62. Alongside solid foods, some children can potentially breastfeed for up to two years or more (UNICEF)