Benefits of breastfeeding

“Encourage and support exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, continuing breastfeeding until 24 months of age or longer” is one of the activities in the Global Strategy on Young Child Feeding. According to the Government’s regulations in Decree No. 100/2014/ND-CP, the first part of the advertisement of any complementary food for children under 24 months of age, including formula milk, must always contain content confirming “Breast milk is the best food for the health and comprehensive development of children”.

The benefits of breastfeeding are as follows:

1. Helps children grow and develop harmoniously and prevent malnutrition

Breast milk is a perfect source of nutrition, easy to digest and absorb for children. Breast milk contains all the necessary nutrients, in appropriate proportions for absorption by the baby’s digestive system and development. Specifically:

– Protein: In terms of quantity, breast milk has less protein than animal milk, so it is suitable for the elimination function when the child’s kidneys are not yet mature. In terms of quality, while protein in cow’s milk is mainly in the form of casein (which can easily form clots when entering a baby’s stomach, causing difficulty in digestion and absorption), protein in breast milk is mainly in soluble liquid form ( milk protein, Whey protein) should be suitable for the child’s ability to digest and absorb; In addition, Whey protein contains antibacterial proteins that help children fight infections.

– Lipid (fat): The unsaturated fatty acid content in breast milk is more than the saturated fatty acid. Breast milk has all the necessary unsaturated fatty acids that help improve the brain, retina and strengthen blood vessels that are not found in animal milk, such as: oleic acid, α-linoleic acid, linoleic acid, prefixes of DHA and ARA.

– Carbohydrates (glucid and sugar): The proportion of carbohydrates in breast milk is higher than cow’s milk, providing energy. Of these, 85% of carbohydrates in breast milk are lactose (helps enhance calcium absorption), 15% are oligosaccharides (support the growth of beneficial bacteria for children).

Micronutrients: Breast milk has enough vitamins (A, B1, B2, C, …), minerals (calcium, phosphorus, …) and trace elements (iron, zinc, copper, selenium, …) to adapt children’s needs, helps them prevent micronutrient deficiencies and protects the body against oxidation.

2. Protect children against infections

Breast milk helps children fight infections such as diarrhea, respiratory infections, ear infections, meningitis and urinary tract infections because it contains white blood cells, immunoglobulins, and a number of factors that stimulate growth of beneficial bacteria Lactobacillus bifidus.

Breast milk also contains antibodies that fight infections that the mother has had.

Protect children against infections that the mother is suffering from. The reason is, when mother is infected, white blood cells in the mother’s body produce antibodies to protect the mother. The mother’s anti-infection antibodies are secreted into the milk to protect the baby; Additionally, some white blood cells go to the breast and produce antibodies there.

3. Helps improve the psychology of mothers and children

When breastfeeding, the mother will often be in contact and close to the baby, which will help strengthen the emotional bond between mother and child, creating favorable conditions for the child’s future education.

The mother feels mentally comfortable, reassured and reduces anxiety and postpartum depression.

Children who are in close contact with their mothers and are cuddled will cry less, feel safer, and develop better mentally and intellectually.

4. Contribute to protecting the mother’s health.

Reduce the risk of postpartum hemorrhage and anemia: When breastfeeding, the mother’s body secretes oxytocin to help the uterus contract better, helping to minimize blood loss in the postpartum period, prevent anemia for the mother and prevent stillbirth postpartum lochia.

Delayed pregnancy and return of menstruation: When breastfeeding, the mother’s body secretes prolactin – which inhibits ovulation, delays pregnancy and the return of menstruation. The amount of iron the mother uses to produce milk is less than the amount of iron lost due to menstruation, so it also helps limit anemia caused by iron deficiency.

Reduces the risk of cancer and some chronic diseases: Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes. There have been many clinical studies proving its effectiveness. this fruit.

Quickly restore original weight and shape: Breastfeeding requires energy consumption of about 200-500 Kcal/day, so it helps mothers return to their pre-pregnancy weight faster.

4. Góp phần bảo vệ sức khỏe người mẹ.

Giảm nguy cơ băng huyết, thiếu máu sau sinh: Khi con bú, cơ thể mẹ tiết ra oxytocin giúp tử cung co hồi tốt hơn, giúp giảm thiểu lượng máu mất trong thời kỳ hậu sản, chống thiếu máu cho mẹ và phòng tránh bế sản dịch sau sinh.

Chậm có thai và có kinh trở lại: Khi con bú, cơ thể mẹ tiết ra prolactin-có tác dụng ức chế rụng trứng, làm chậm có thai và có kinh trở lại. Lượng sắt mà mẹ dùng tạo sữa ít hơn so với lượng sắt mất đi do hành kinh nên cũng góp phần giúp hạn chế thiếu máu do thiếu sắt.

Giảm nguy cơ mắc ung thư và một số bệnh lý mạn tính: Ung thư vú, ung thư buồng trứng, ung thư nội mạc tử cung, bệnh tim mạch, đái tháo đường type 2. Đã có nhiều nghiên cứu lâm sàng chứng minh hiệu quả này.

Hồi phục nhanh cân nặng, vóc dáng ban đầu: Cho con bú đòi hỏi sự tiêu hao năng lượng khoảng 200-500 Kcal/ngày nên giúp mẹ trở lại cân nặng trước khi mang thai nhanh hơn.

6. Contribute to protecting children’s health during adulthood

Breast milk contains hormones involved in regulating diet and energy balance such as Leptin, Ghrelin, and IGF-1. Thanks to that, breast milk protects children from gaining too much weight (overweight, obesity) especially in the first 2 years of life and reduces the risk of chronic diseases in adulthood (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, …).

Specialist level 2 doctor. Nguyen Chi Thanh


  1. Decree No. 100/2014/ND-CP dated November 6, 2014 of the Government Regulations on trading and use of nutritional products for infants, feeding bottles and artificial nipples.
  2. Ministry of Health (2015), Nurturing young children (issued together with Decision No. 5063/QD-BYT dated December 5, 2014 of the Ministry of Health).
  3. Infant benefits of breastfeeding – UpToDate. Accessed: Apr. 26, 2024.
  4. Maternal and economic benefits of breastfeeding – UpToDate. Accessed: Apr. 26, 2024.

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