You are a new mother or are anticipating the birth of your child. As you prepare for your baby's arrival, there may be many questions you may have. One might be: Should I breastfeed?
Here are some points to consider when deciding to breastfeed or bottle-feed.
Women who breastfeed their babies experience the following health benefits:
Both parents will likely appreciate the convenience of breastfeeding, including:
If you are unsure as to whether you want to breastfeed, you can try it for a few weeks and switch if it does not work out. Any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial for the baby. Once bottlefeeding is started, though, it is difficult to switch back to the breast.
Office on Women's Health
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Womens Health Matters
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Breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/firstyearoflife/breastfeedingandbottle.html. Updated August 2015. Accessed December 13, 2016.
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Nutrition (pediatric preventive care). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115435/Nutrition-pediatric-preventive-care. Updated November 21, 2016. Accessed December 13, 2016.
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Why breastfeeding is important. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-benefits.html. Updated July 21, 2014. Accessed December 13, 2016.
10/12/2010 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T435307/Iron-deficiency-in-children-infancy-through-adolescence: Baker R, Greer F, the Committee on Nutrition. Clinical report—diagnosis and prevention of iron deficiency and iron-deficiency anemia in infants and young children (0-3 years of age). Pediatrics. 2010;126(5):1040-1050.
2/1/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115517/Breastfeeding: Kramer MS, Kakuma R. Optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Cochrane Database System Rev. 2012;8:CD003517.
3/18/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115517/Breastfeeding: Martin RM, Patel R, Kramer MS, et al. Effects of promoting longer-term and exclusive breastfeeding on adiposity and insulin-like growth factor-I at age 11.5 years: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2013;309(10):1005-1013.
Last reviewed December 2016 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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