Kids eat right.

Breast feeding Benefits for Baby and Mom

Reviewed by Esther Ellis, MS, 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 to provide the best nutrition for their child.

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.