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Strengthening the evidence for maternal and child health programs

Evidence Tools

baby feeding at it's mother's breastBreastfeeding


The Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant to States Program guidance defines the significance of this goal as follows:

Advantages of breastfeeding are indisputable. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all infants (including premature and sick newborns) exclusively breastfeed for about six months as human milk supports optimal growth and development by providing all required nutrients during that time. Breastfeeding strengthens the immune system, improves normal immune response to certain vaccines, offers possible protection from allergies, and reduces probability of SIDS. Research demonstrates breastfed children may be less likely to develop juvenile diabetes; and may have a lower risk of developing childhood obesity, and asthma; and tend to have fewer dental cavities throughout life. The bond of a nursing mother and child is stronger than any other human contact. A woman's ability to meet her childs nutritional needs improves confidence and bonding with the baby and reduces feelings of anxiety and postnatal depression. Increased release of oxytocin while breastfeeding, leads to a reduction in post-partum hemorrhage and quicker return to a normal sized uterus over time, mothers who breastfeed may be less likely to develop breast, uterine and ovarian cancer and have a reduced risk of developing osteoporosis.

NPM 4 Tools


This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U02MC31613, MCH Advanced Education Policy, $3.5 M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.