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Hank gives us the top 5 scientifically documented reasons why breastfeeding is awesome - for both mom and baby.

Hosted by: Hank Green
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Recently, we here at SciShow reported that women who breastfeed can take a pretty significant economic hit in terms of lost wages.  But it turns out, it could very well be worth every single penny.  The science is sound, there are a lot of reasons for a woman to breastfeed, and some of them might just surprise you.


Reason number one.
Breastfeeding helps mothers and their babies hit a healthy weight.
To feed a baby, a mother needs to make about 25 ounces of breast milk a day and in order to do that, she uses up to 500 calories.  Per day!
That's more calories than you burn jogging for a full hour, and all you have to do is feed your baby while you're watching CSI: Miami!
Meanwhile, a mother's body knows to produce roughly the amount of milk that the baby needs, making it very difficult to overfeed, resulting in fewer overweight babies than those fed with formula.

Number two!
Breast size - has nothing to do with milk production.  This just seems odd to me!  
One of our head writers here at SciShow, Jesslyn Shields, I don't think will be offended when I tell you that she does not have the largest boobs.  But after she had her baby, she became a freakin' milk factory!
Breast size is generally determined by fatty tissue, which does not produce milk, which makes you wonder what all that boob is really for.  But that's, that's for a different episode.

Number three!
Babies, as we all know, cannot crawl for the first months of their life.  Except for as soon as they're born.
A newborn baby has the capacity to crawl up to a mother's breast to take its first meal, presumably in case the mother is unconscious and alone in the forest and the baby has to fend for itself, just this once.

Reason number four.
Colostrum, the milk produced just before and after a child is born is freakin' magical.  
It's designed to be digested by a being that has literally never eaten anything ever before.
We all know that it contains antibodies to help stimulate the infant's immune system, but they're specially designed antibodies so that they don't get digested in the newborn's stomach.  And colostrum has growth factors in it that actually help construct the baby's digestive system.

And finally, reason number five.
Recent science has shown that the benefits are broad for mother and child.
Decreased chance of cancer for the mother, decreased chances of allergies and infectious diseases for the baby...
According to one study, if every mother in America breastfed, we would save more than 3 billion dollars per year in medical costs.

So yeah, if you're gonna have a baby, I heartily suggest you grant it access to the boob.  If I could do it, I totally would.

Thank you for watching this very booby focused episode of SciShow.  If you have any other topics, relating to boobs or not relating to boobs, or questions you'd like to ask us, we're on Facebook and Twitter, and if you'd like to continue getting smarter with us, go to and subscribe.