Everyone knows that breastfeeding is SO beneficial for babies. This article from ProMom lists 101 reasons (with sources!) breastfeeding is a great idea, starting with the fact breastfeeding is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Number four on the list talks about the unique nutritional needs breast milk meets for your baby:

“Human milk is uniquely superior for infant feeding and is species-specific; all substitute feeding options differ markedly from it. The breastfed infant is the reference or normative model against which all alternative feeding methods must be measured with regard to growth, health, development, and all other short and long-term benefits.”

What you probably don’t know, however, is how many benefits there are for momma! Check out this article by Dr. Alicia Dermer to find out all the ways breastfeeding can improve your health, both in the short term and the long term.

“It is now becoming clear that breastfeeding provides mothers with more than just short-term benefits in the early period after birth.

A number of studies have shown other potential health advantages that mothers can enjoy through breastfeeding. These include optimal metabolic profiles, reduced risk of various cancers, and psychological benefits. Production of milk is an active metabolic process, requiring the use of 200 to 500 calories per day, on average. To use up this many calories, a bottle-feeding mother would have to swim at least 30 laps in a pool or bicycle uphill for an hour daily. Clearly, breastfeeding mothers have an edge on losing weight gained during pregnancy. Studies have confirmed that non-breastfeeding mothers lose less weight and don’t keep it off as well as breastfeeding mothers (Brewer 1989).”

As if you needed more reasons, this video from CBS talks about a recent study that shows breastfeeding your baby could have long-term implications for development including a higher IQ, education and income all the way through adulthood!

“For the study, researchers followed more than 3,400 children in Brazil for a period of 30 years.

CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips says the results were striking. “It turns out, compared to kids who were breastfed for less than a month, kids who are breastfed for a year or longer had almost 4 points higher in IQ” in adulthood, she told “CBS This Morning.”

The children who were breastfed also stayed in school about a year longer and earned more money when they grew up — an amount equal to about $104 extra each month.

The researchers corrected for other factors that could influence IQ, such as the child’s birth weight, mother’s education level and family income, and concluded breastfeeding makes a significant difference.”

You can read the rest of the article and see the video here.