Human milk feedings are consistently associated with improved health outcomes and reduced healthcare costs. In this presentation, we will discuss two cost analyses of breastfeeding, each detailing specific health outcomes and savings if more mothers breastfed exclusively for at least six months. One study projects savings on a national level while the other calculates savings for an individual state. Such information can be valuable in discussions with policy makers on all levels.
We will also look at the economics of lactation from the woman’s perspective. This path will lead us to ask, what costs does a mother incur if she is expressing milk for a hospitalized infant? And how do the costs involved in breast pumping compare to the costs of artificial infant feedings in the hospital? A central theme in the overall discussion is the value of human milk and the need for systematic, comprehensive support for all lactating women.