Family Support & Well-being

An Easy Guide to Breastfeeding for American Indian and Alaska Native Families

Breastfeeding benefits the mother and child. The Office of Women’s Health of the Department of Health and Human Services developed a series of booklets that offer tips to mothers who want to breastfeed their newborns. This booklet is a guide specifically designed for expecting American Indian and Alaska Native mothers. 

Babies are born to be breastfed

Breastfeeding has kept our people and traditions strong since the beginning of time.

Benefits for the Baby

  • Mother's milk protects babies from ear infections, diarrhea, colds, and flu.
  • Mother's milk may protect babies from obesity and, as a result reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Mother's milk is easily digested.
  • Mother's milk is the perfect food for premature babies.

Benefits for Mom

  • Breastfeeding is convenient.
  • Breastfeeding shrinks the uterus and helps stop bleeding after birth.
  • Breastfeeding means less risk of breast and ovarian cancers for moms.
  • Moms may return to their pre-pregnancy weight quicker.
  • Breastfeeding helps a mother and her baby bond.

Benefits for the Community

  • Breastfeeding saves valuable, natural resources, and keeps our environment clean.
  • Breastfeeding means fewer health care dollars will be spent on illness.
  • Breastfeeding will reduce time lost from work and school because of sickness.
  • Breastfeeding honors our values, heritage, and traditions.

Benefits for the Future

  • Breastfeeding may mean fewer weight problems and less diabetes for the next generation.
  • Breastfeeding means stronger and wiser leaders for the challenges of the future.
  • Breastfeeding is a message of hope for our tomorrows.