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Family Care – Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and beneficial activities for mom and baby. It is a choice many mothers are making today, as it results in signficant health benefits for both child and mother, as well as emotional benefits, economic benefits, and environmental benefits.

Why are Lactation Centers needed at URI?


  • There is an ever-increasing number of women and nursing mothers in the workforce.
  • An equitable work environment must accomodate parent’s needs.
  • We must eliminate the cultural contradition that women in our culture are strongly encouraged to breastfeed, are economically pressured to return to work/school quickly, yet are not provided the time or space to pump breastmilk while at work or school.
  • The needs of dual earner families should be met.
  • Tenure track overlaps with ‘parent track’ for women, resulting in an un-level playing field.
  • The next generation of workers in Rhode Island need a healthy start.


What benefits do Breastfeeding and Lactation Centers provide to the Institution?


  • Female faculty, staff, and students would have the ability to return to work/school earlier and remain there during the workday.
  • Lower turnover rates and higher productivity, satisfaction, loyalty, and morale (US Breastfeeding Committee, 2002)
  • Reduces cost of healthcare by promoting healthier moms and babies (US Breastfeeding Committee, 2002):
    • excess use of health care services attributable to formula feeding costs between $331 and $475 per infant in babies who never receive breastmilk.
    • Companies that have adopted breastfeeding support programs have noted cost savings of $3 for every $1 invested in breastfeeding support.
    • Insurers pay a least $3.6 billion each year to treat diseases and conditions preventable by breastfeeding.
  • Less sick time will be taken because of healthier babies:
    • parental absenteeism is 3 times higher for formula-fed infants as compared to breastfed babies (Cohen et al, 1995).
  • Psychological benefits, including reduced stress, for women workers/students
  • Reduces tax burden on communities & government to ensure children are properly fed.
  • On a larger scale, there would be a decreased environmental burden, and a healthier new generation of students and workers
  • Positive public relations


Benefits to Babies who Breastfeed


  • Provides most complete and optimal mix of nutrients & antibodies.
  • Keeps pace with infant’s growth and changing nutritional needs.
  • Protects against stomach upsets, asthma, meningitis, childhood lymphoma, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative entercolitis.
  • Reduces risk of childhood diabetes and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
  • Increases bone density.
  • Reduces risk of heart disease later in life.
  • Develops higher IQ’s.
  • Improves brain & nervous system development.
  • Improves emotional development.
  • Promotes special warm bonding & emotional relationship with mom.


Benefits to Moms who Breastfeed


  • Protects against osteoporosis and hip fracture later in life.
  • Reduces risk of breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer and anemia.
  • Helps return mom’s body to its pre-pregnancy state faster.
  • Breastmilk is free, thus reducing or eliminating the cost of formula (conservative estimates for one year’s worth of formula are around $2,500).
  • Breastfed babies are sick less, thus reducing healthcare costs to family and requiring less time-off from work.
  • Promotes special emotional relationship and bonding with baby.


URI is proud to join a national effort to support breastfeeding…


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has publicly stated its ongoing commitment to increasing breastfeeding rates in the United States. This goal can only be achieved by providing support for breastfeeding mothers and their families. Education, training, technical assistance, and funding are necessary to carry out this objective.



References & Resources

(note: The University Library Mother’s Room houses a small breastfeeding resource lending library)

  • Rep. Carolyn Mahoney’s website (the voice of breastfeeding advocacy): http://maloney.house.gov
  • US Breastfeeding Committee: http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/Publications.html
  • BFHI-USA: Implementing the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States, sponsored by UNICEF/WHO
  • www.kellymom.com – clearinghouse for all things breastfeeding, run by Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant)
  • www.breastfeeding.com – great source of inspirational stories, art, cartoons, message boards, etc.
  • Berggren, K. (2006) Working without Weaning: A Working Mother’s Guide to Breastfeeding. Amarillo, TX: Hale Publishing.

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