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Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond

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Newborn feeding: Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Your Baby Videos

The following instructional videos are available in English, Arabic, Hmong, Russian, Somali and Spanish.

English video transcript: Breastfeeding your baby
Hmong video transcript: Breastfeeding your baby (Pub niam mis rau koj tus)

Somali video transcript: Breastfeeding your baby (Naas-nuujinta ilmahaaga)
Spanish video transcript: Breastfeeding your baby (Amamantar a tu bebé)

Did you know?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for one year.

The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for two years.

Breastmilk is the perfect food for your baby. It has nutrients that are not found in formula.

There are many benefits of breastfeeding

  • convenience: you do not need to prepare
  • financial: your family can save up to $3,000 a year in formula costs
  • public health: breastfeeding babies are healthier than babies who formula feed
  • environmental: there is no clean-up or waste
  • emotional: breastfeeding provides security, comfort and bonding.

Benefits for your baby

Breastfed babies are known to:

  • have healthier immune systems
  • be less likely to have ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, bronchitis, influenza and meningitis
  • have decreased response to allergies
  • have a lower risk for diseases such as diabetes, childhood cancer and asthma
  • Did you know?

    Breastmilk does not stain clothing and it produces less-smelly diapers than formula.

  • have a lower risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
  • be less likely to be overweight or obese
  • have fewer doctors' visits and hospital stays
  • have higher IQs.

Any amount of breastmilk gives your baby's immune system positive effects, both short- and long-term. Breastmilk changes as your baby develops, making it the perfect food for growth and development. It is the only food your baby needs for the first six months.

Benefits for you

For you, breastfeeding:


After your baby is born, contact a lactation consultant and consider scheduling an appointment for a personal breastfeeding assessment.

  • helps your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size
  • helps reduce bleeding after birth
  • can help protect against breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, anemia and urinary tract infections
  • helps you lose weight
  • releases hormones that help you relax and enjoy your baby.

You and your baby are partners in breastfeeding. You both are learning together. It is normal if it takes awhile for you to feel comfortable with breastfeeding.

Your baby may nurse well right from the start. Or, your baby may need more time before breastfeeding is well established. That means being a little more patient and making sure you are doing what you need to be physically comfortable during a feeding.

Getting some support and advice if you feel there is a problem can make breastfeeding go more smoothly.


Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, sixth edition, preg-ahc-90026, ISBN 1-931876-25-8

First published: 10/04/2002
Last updated: 01/29/2013

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts