• Breast milk has all the nutrients that a newborn needs
  • Formula is good for your baby, but is not the same
  • Breast milk has special qualities that formula does not

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that women should breastfeed for at least the first year, and not use any formula at all for the first six months. The AAP also okays it for a woman to breastfeed as long as she and the baby want to.

If you can't or don't want to breastfeed for a full year, baby formulas are the next best thing.

The good stuff about breast milk:

Helps a baby's immune system

  • It's full of antacids that protect babies from bacteria, germs and viruses
  • Helps your baby fight off ear infections, diarrhea, asthma and other respiratory illnesses
  • Helps your baby get the most from immunizations
  • In a report from the AAP, the child death rate after birth is reduced by 21 percent among breastfed babies
  • May lower the chance of “crib death” or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) during the first year of life

All the food a baby needs

  • Breast milk offers the right amounts of protein, fat, sugar and water that babies need
  • As your baby grows, the makeup of the milk changes to meet the baby's needs
  • Breast milk is easier for babies to break down than formula

Illness protection

  • Breast milk may help protect against serious diseases such as leukemia (cancer of the blood) and diabetes (high blood sugar)
  • Breastfeeding may protect children from getting too heavy

It's cheap and easy

  • As long as your baby is with you, you can feed him or her when he or she is hungry
  • Formula can cost hundreds of dollars each month
  • Breast milk is free

Good for mom

  • It helps your body get back to normal after giving birth
  • Making milk burns about 200 to 500 calories each day
  • Milk-making seems to bring a special calmness to mothers
    • Breastfeeding lowers your chance of getting breast and ovarian cancers
    • Researchers found that the chance of breast cancer among women who had breastfed was reduced by 20 percent in women aged 20 to 49 years and 30 percent in women aged 50 to 74 years, compared to those who had not breastfed
    • Studies suggest that breastfeeding also protects against cervical and endometrial cancers

[references] Copyright © 2010 LimeHealth

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