Raegan Rust

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Breastfeeding is related to numerous benefits for newborns and mothers. Juxtaposed with formula-fed newborns, breastfed newborns encounter less severe and lasting illnesses. Children who were breastfed experience more benefits, such as a higher IQ, than individuals who are formula-fed. Also, fewer breastfeeding mothers experience illnesses tied to breastfeeding than women who do not breastfeed their newborns. Because the identification and management of these illnesses lead to higher medical usage, health expenses would be expected to decrease with effective breastfeeding advertisement. For these reasons, studies that correctly estimate the expenses and savings connected to breastfeeding would be useful for decision makers as they study breastfeeding-friendly programs. This thesis evaluates ideas central to understanding the medical economics of breastfeeding. Costs are summarized from the viewpoints of newborn and mother/father, healthcare payer and company. Increased breastfeeding is anticipated to lead to a substantial cost savings for the United States economy.

Publication Date






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