Food Assistance & Nutrition Research Program No. (FANRR-13) 18 pp

March 2001

The Economic Benefits of Breastfeeding: A Review and Analysis

A minimum of $3.6 billion would be saved if breastfeeding were increased from current levels (64 percent in-hospital, 29 percent at 6 months) to those recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General (75 and 50 percent). This figure is likely an underestimation of the total savings because it represents cost savings from the treatment of only three childhood illnesses: otitis media, gastroenteritis, and necrotizing enterocolitis. This report reviews breastfeeding trends and previous studies that assessed the economic benefits of breastfeeding.

Keywords: Breastfeeding, economic benefits, otitis media, gastroenteritis, necrotizing enterocolitis

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