Mississippi Breastfeeding Coalition

Mississippi WIC Program
P.O. Box 1700
Jackson, MS 39215

Advocacy Header

October 09, 2017

Medications and Mothers’ Milk


October 09, 2017

Breastfeeding During Emergencies and Disasters


September 07, 2017

Breastfeeding protected by federal anti-bias law - 11th Circuit


Key Issues

Human milk is the best source of nutrition for infants and is the preferred choice according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Human milk provides all of the nutrients and antibodies a newborn needs to thrive and develop. Infants not fed human milk have higher rates of ear infections, skin rashes, intestinal infections, diarrhea, respiratory tract diseases, asthma, leukemia, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Breastfeeding is a short-term intervention that provides long-term benefits:  infants that are formula fed have higher rates of obesity, heart disease, and Types I and II diabetes later in life.

Breastfeeding is good for your pocketbook. Besides the enormous health benefits for moms and babies, breastfeeding also saves money. Parents can save thousands of dollars during their baby’s first year of life by breastfeeding, Along these same lines, parents will save money on health care bills since breastfed infants get sick less often that their formula fed counterparts and are also hospitalized less often.

Breastfeeding is good for the economy. A 2010 study analyzed the costs of treating ten common childhood illnesses, including hospitalization, and the amount of money that could be saved if 90% of women breastfed their babies exclusively for the first six months of life. The study estimated that the U.S. could save 13 billion dollars annually if that breastfeeding goal were met.

In addition to these savings, breastfeeding helps our country’s bottom line. When babies are healthy, fewer parents miss work, less time is taken off to care for sick infants, and fewer insurance claims are filed. This improves productivity and reduces health care costs, which benefits everyone.

Breastfeeding is good for the environment. From the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, “Breastfeeding also confers global environmental benefits; human milk is a natural, renewable food that acts as a complete source of babies’ nutrition for about the first six months of life. Furthermore, there are no packages involved, as opposed to infant formulas and other substitutes for human milk that require packaging that ultimately may be deposited in landfills. For every one million formula-fed babies, 150 million containers of formula are consumed; while some of those containers could be recycled, many end up in landfills. In addition, infant formulas must be transported from their place of manufacture to retail locations, such as grocery stores, so that they can be purchased by families. Although breastfeeding requires mothers to consume a small amount of additional calories, it generally requires no containers, no paper, no fuel to prepare, and no transportation to deliver, and it reduces the carbon footprint by saving precious global resources and energy.”