here has been significant reliable evidence produced over recent years to show that breastfeeding has important advantages for both infant and mother, including those living in industrialised countries.
Below is a selected list of recently published studies describing differences in health outcome associated with methods of infant feeding. The studies have all been adjusted for social and economic variables. All were conducted in an industrialised setting.
We also provide a list of additional health benefits that some researchers associate with breastfeeding. Many of these require further investigation to clarify any protective effects of breastfeeding. 
Artificially fed babies are at greater risk of: 
• gastro-intestinal infection
• respiratory infections
• necrotising enterocolitis
• urinary tract infections
• ear infections
• allergic disease (eczema and wheezing)
• insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
• sudden infant death syndrome
• childhood leukaemia.
Breastfed babies may have better:
• neurological development.
More research is needed but breastfeeding may also provide protection for the infant against:
• multiple sclerosis 
• acute appendicitis
• tonsillectomy
• for the mother 
• rheumatoid arthritis.
And for the mother protection against:
• rheumatoid arthritis.
Women who have breastfed are at lower risk of: 
• breast cancer
• ovarian cancer
• hip fractures and bone density.
Other studies related to health and breastfeeding include: 
• Cardiovascular disease in later life
• Breastfeeding, bed sharing and cot death
• Breastfeeding and HIV transmission
• Breastfeeding and dental health.
For further information, see our Research section.

There has been significant reliable evidence produced over recent years to show that breastfeeding has important advantages for both infant and mother, including those living in industrialised countries.

Click here to see an overview of the evidence, including links to the most significant studies.

The key health benefits are summarised below.

Artificially fed babies are at greater risk of: 

• gastro-intestinal infection

• respiratory infections

• necrotising enterocolitis

• urinary tract infections

• ear infections

• allergic disease (eczema and wheezing)

• insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

• sudden infant death syndrome

• childhood leukaemia.

Breastfed babies may have better:

• neurological development.

More research is needed, but breastfeeding may also provide protection for the infant against:

• multiple sclerosis 

• acute appendicitis

• tonsillectomy

• for the mother 

• rheumatoid arthritis.

And for the mother, protection against:

• rheumatoid arthritis.

Women who have breastfed are at lower risk of: 

• breast cancer

• ovarian cancer

• hip fractures and bone density.

Other studies related to health and breastfeeding include:

• Cardiovascular disease in later life

• Breastfeeding, bed sharing and cot death

• Breastfeeding and HIV transmission

• Breastfeeding and dental health.

For further information, see our Research section.