4.5  Benefits of breastfeeding for the family

As well as the benefits that breastfeeding has for the baby in promoting health and optimal growth, it also has some essential economical and social benefits to the family. These are set out in Box 4.3.

Box 4.3  Benefits of breastfeeding for families with infants and young children

  • There are no expenses in buying formula, firewood or other fuel to boil water, milk, or utensils. The money saved can be used to meet the family’s other needs
  • There should be no medical expenses due to the sickness that formula milk might cause. The mothers and their children are healthier
  • As illness episodes are reduced in number, the family encounters fewer emotional difficulties associated with the baby’s illness
  • Births are spaced thanks to the contraceptive effect of breastfeeding
  • Time is saved as breastmilk does not need preparation
  • Breastfeeding the baby reduces the mother’s work load because the milk is always available and ready.

4.4  Benefits of breastfeeding for the mother

4.6  Benefits of breastfeeding for the community