Kids eat right.

Breast feeding Benefits for Baby and Mom

Reviewed by Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, LDN
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Parents of newborns are faced with an abundance of decisions for raising a happy, healthy child. One of the first and most important is the decision on providing the best nutrition for their child.

For optimal nutrition for your infant, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months to provide optimal nutrition and health protection, and breast-feeding with complementary foods from 6 months until at least 12 months of age.

In addition to providing the best nutrition, breast-feeding provides a unique and emotional connection between mother and baby. Plus, it decreases your baby's risk of ear infections, respiratory illnesses, sudden infant death syndrome, obesity and hypertension. Breast-feeding also provides mom with benefits including aiding weight loss after delivery, and reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

While breast-feeding isn't always possible for every mother and baby, the potential benefits make it worth discussing with your health care provider and a registered dietitian nutritionist.