Breastfeeding Is Linked to a Lower Risk of These Health Problems

Woman breastfeeding her baby

It is best to give your baby only breast milk for the first 6 months of life. This means not giving your baby any other food or drink—not even water—during this time. Drops of liquid vitamins, minerals, and medicines are, of course, fine, as advised by your baby’s doctor.

It is even better if you can breastfeed for your baby’s first year or longer, for as long as you both wish. Solid iron-rich foods, such as iron-fortified cereals and pureed vegetables and meats, can be started when your baby is around 6 months old.

Before that time, a baby’s stomach cannot digest them properly. Solids do not replace breastfeeding. Breast milk stays the baby’s main source of nutrients during the first year. Beyond one year, breast milk can still be an important part of your child’s diet.

Breastfeeding is normal and healthy for infants and moms. Breast milk has disease-fighting cells called antibodies that help protect infants from germs, illness, and even sudden infant death syndrome
(SIDS).
health benefits of breastfeeding

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