If you’ve done any reading or studying on the issue at all, you know full well that breastfeeding benefits both you and baby in a number of ways. Breastfeeding is the healthiest option when it comes to feeding your baby. Even the World Health Organization has taken a stand, and has made many efforts to get the word out that breastfeeding is the best way for your baby to get the nutrition that she needs during those first six months after she’s born.

While you probably know that breastfeeding is nutritious for your baby, you might not realize exactly how breastfeeding benefits you. Here are some ways that you can actually benefit from the breastfeeding process:

  • When you breastfeed, your risk of breast cancer is actually reduced.
  • In addition to the risk of breast cancer being reduced, your risk of developing ovarian cancer is also reduced by breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding makes it less likely that you will develop the bone condition osteoporosis.
  • While breastfeeding doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get pregnant, it generally does keep you from getting pregnant and creates a natural amount of space between your children’s ages.
  • Some evidence even suggests that breastfeeding may reduce your risk of postpartum depression. Even if you do experience postpartum depression, breastfeeding may actually reduce the severity.

There are benefits of breastfeeding for your baby, as well. Some of them include:

  • Breastfed babies tend to have fewer ear infections.
  • Breast milk is easier on the digestive system, making your baby less prone to diarrhea.
  • Breastfeeding may reduce the risk that your baby will experience colic.
  • Breastfeeding is thought to reduce the risk of respiratory problems, as well.
  • Babies who are breastfed are less likely to become obese in childhood.
  • The risk of SIDS is also reduced by breastfeeding.

If you’re unable to breastfeed, it doesn’t mean your baby is in danger, of course. However, by breastfeeding you pad the odds a little bit in your baby’s favor when it comes to a number of conditions, and it also helps you out as well.