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Breastfeeding, also called nursing, is an easy, inexpensive and healthy way for a mother to feed her child


According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Policy Statement on Breastfeeding, women who don’t have health problems should exclusively breastfeed their infants for at least the first six months of life. The AAP suggests that women try to breastfeed for the first 12 months of life because of the benefits to both the mother and baby.

Breastfeeding offers many benefits to the baby

Breastfeeding also benefits the mother

What if I have trouble breastfeeding?

Even though breastfeeding is a natural process, it's not always easy. Many health care providers suggest that women work with a lactation counselor (also known as lactation consultant) or lactation specialist to learn how to breastfeed and what is involved with breastfeeding. Many health centers, clinics, and hospitals have lactation counselors on staff. Ask your health care provider for more information about getting help with breastfeeding. Even with help, though, some women still have trouble breastfeeding or cannot breastfeed.

Are there cases in which it is better not to breastfeed?

In certain situations, health care providers may advise a woman not to breastfeed:

Please Note: breast engorgement, hardening of the breast, “breast abscess,” fever, and use of pain medications or antibiotics are usually NOT reasons to stop breastfeeding. In fact, in some cases, such as breast abscess or breast hardening, emptying of the breast helps to relieve the problem.

If a mother stops breastfeeding before the child is a year old, then she should feed her infant iron-fortified, commercially available formula. Health care providers advise women not to give their infants cow's milk until the child is at least a year old.

If you have any health conditions, or you are taking any medications or over-the-counter supplements, you should discuss breastfeeding with your health care provider.

Reference: The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development