Lifespan Health
Public Health

What would you like to do?

What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What you need to know


Why breastfeed?

Breastfeeding is healthy for both mom and baby. Brothers United - Breastfeeding

Baby Benefits
  • Breastfeeding protects your baby's immune system and fights diseases, keeping your baby healthy.  Research has shown that breastfeeding reduces the risk of diabetes, childhood leukemia, obesity and even sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). 
  • Breastfeeding also provides protection from illnesses like ear infections, respiratory infections, stomach viruses, asthma and diarrhea.
  • Breast milk is easier for baby to digest. Breast milk changes as your baby grows. Colostrum, the first milk, known as “liquid gold," is the thick yellow breast milk that you make first. Colostrum is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby. Babies only get a small amount at each feeding, as their newborn stomach is only the size of a small marble at birth! Colostrum changes into mature milk that develops by the third to fifth day of life.  This mature milk has the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby grow.
Mom Benefits
  • Once established, breastfeeding can make life easier with no bottles or nipples to wash.  Breast milk is ready made and available, no need to buy, measure, mix or warm. Breast milk can be expressed by hand or with an electric breast pump to be available for feedings when mom is not present.
  • Breastfeeding can save money, up to $1,500 each year!  Breastfeeding keeps baby healthy, lowering health care costs and fewer missed days from work.
  • Breastfeeding keeps mothers healthy.  Breastfeeding decreases the risk of diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression. Many studies also shows an increase in weight loss.
Benefits to Society
  • Breastfeeding is better for the environment with no trash and plastic waste. Breast milk requires no packaging, shipping or disposal.   
  • National benefits are also shown when mothers breastfeed. “Recent research shows that if 90 percent of family's breastfed exclusively for 6 months, nearly 1,000 deaths among infants could be prevented.  The United States would also save $13 billion per year – medical care costs are lower for fully breastfed infants than never – breastfed infants.  Breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations."(1, 2, 3)
Breastfeeding Statistics

The Fathers' Role in Breastfeeding

Once breastfeeding is established, dads can play an important role by giving their baby a bottle of expressed breast milk.  Dads can also help with placing expressed breast milk into breast milk storage bags, or taking care of the pump and supplies. A father's encouragement and support of breastfeeding leads to a successful breastfeeding experience. Some dads are concerned how they will bond with their baby. Dads can bond with their baby by:

  • Placing the baby on his chest, skin to skin
  • Have eye-to-eye contact 
  • Talk to or sing to the baby
  • Read the baby a book
  • Rock, cuddle and play
  • Bathe the baby, change the diaper or dress the baby


Skin-to-Skin Contact: The Magical Hour

Why Skin-to-Skin?

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Placing a baby skin-to-skin in the first hour after birth is key for improving health, establishing breastfeeding, and forming a precious bond between mother and newborn baby. The baby is placed directly on the mom's chest after birth and covered with a warm, dry blanket for a minimum of one hour or until the first feeding is completed.

Babies go through nine observable newborn stages after placed skin to skin with their mothers after birth. The first several hours after birth are essential to the baby's physical and psychological wellbeing.

Skin-to-Skin Contact has many great benefits for both mom and baby. Skin-to-Skin Contact is endorsed by many organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) and the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). 

The first hour of life is a special, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and should not be interrupted unless the baby or mom needs medical attention.  Talk to your physician during one of your prenatal visits about Skin-to-Skin and your wish to provide this opportunity to your baby. Talk with the birthing team when you pre-register, tour the facility, or are checking in for delivery about their process to implement skin-to-skin after delivery.


  1. The birth cry
  2. Relaxation: Starting when the birth cry has stopped.
  3. Awakening: The baby begins moving around 3 minutes after birth.  The baby may open his/her eyes; have some mouth movement and small movements of his/her head and shoulders.
  4. Activity: The baby increases the mouthing and sucking movements; the rooting reflex is noticeable. 
  5. Rest: The baby has periods of rest and activity throughout the first hours after birth.
  6. Crawling: The baby moves around to find mom's breast and nipple.
  7. Familiarization: The baby becomes familiar with the mom by licking the nipple and touching and massaging her breast.
  8. Suckling: The baby self-attaches to mom's nipple and suckles. 
  9. Sleep: The final stage is sleep.  Babies usually fall asleep about 1½ to 2 hours after birth.

Benefits to Babies

  • Temperature regulation
  • Stable heart and respiratory rates
  • Improved oxygen saturation
  • Stable blood glucose
  • Reduced crying
  • Improved sleep
  • Decreased stress
  • Less weight loss / faster weight gain
  • Earlier hospital discharge for preterm babies
  • Enhanced brain development

Benefits to Breastfeeding

  • Baby is more likely to latch onto and latch well to the breast 
  • Baby is more likely to breastfeed exclusively and breastfeed longer  
  • Baby will indicate to his/her mother when ready to eat

Benefits to Mom

  • Decreased stress
  • Improved interaction with baby
  • Improved sensitivity, responsiveness and attachment to baby


A variety of resources, including food and recipes, are listed here to help you learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding. (All links open in a NEW browser window.)

General Info

Breastfeeding Benefits

American Academy of Pediatrics

Breastfeeding, the healthy choice for moms & babies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC

It's Only Natural Program 

LaLeche League of Nebraska

March of Dimes


Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition

Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 

Women, Infants, and Children WIC

Nebraska PRAM's Breastfeeding Tips

National Women's Law Center  - Breastfeeding Rights Tools: With the National Women's Law Center's toolkit, parents can get the facts about breastfeeding support and supplies, receive counseling concerning health care law, and learn about tools to help them get this coverage, including how to file an appeal if coverage is denied. In addition, possible responses to people who challenge a mother's right to breastfeed in public will be reviewed. To this end, moms can download and print colorful "business cards" outlining their own state's: Public Breastfeeding Laws, Breastfeeding Toolkit.

Breast Milk Sensitivity

Food, Recipes and Restaurants

Baby health/food sensitivity

Bob's Red Mill - Provided selections for allergy, soy-free, or vegan most vegan recipes are dairy free.  You can also add in your allergens/ sensitivities and locates suitable recipes under the special interest tab.

Milk and Soy Free Diet for the Breastfeeding Mother


MSPI-Friendly Main Dishes - Pinterest

MSPI Food List and MSPI Restaurant List

Shopwell App – Scan or search for an item for allergens/sensitivities.


Food Allergy Versus Food In​tolerance

To learn more about Breastfeeding:

Contact Us:

Please direct question and/or comments to Jackie Moline, BSN, RN at jackie.moline@nebraska.gov.