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.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
National Women's Health Information Center
Womens Health Matters
Breastfeeding. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 17, 2014. Accessed December 30, 2014.
Breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding. American Pregnancy Organization website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/firstyearoflife/breastfeedingandbottle.html. Accessed December 30, 2014.
Casey CF, Slawson DC, Neal LR. Vitamin D Supplementation in Infants, Children, and Adolescents. Am Fam Physician. 2010;81(6):745-748.
Johnston M, Landers S, Noble L, et al. Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Pediatrics. 2012;129(3):827-841.
Nutrition (pediatric preventive care). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 22, 2014. Accessed December 30, 2014.
Why breastfeeding is important. Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services website. Available at: http://womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/why-breastfeeding-is-important/index.html. Updated May 28, 2014. Accessed December 30, 2014.
10/12/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: 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's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Kramer MS, Kakuma R. Optimal duration of exclusive breastfeeding. Cochrane Database System Rev. 2012;8:CD003517.
3/18/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: 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 Mar 13;309(10):1005-13.
Last reviewed December 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
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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