How Long Should a New Baby Feed Exclusively On Breast Milk?

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Are there any general recommendations as to how long you should breastfeed? Or does it depend on each and every mother?
asked Jan 28, 2013 by anonymous
edited Jan 28, 2013 by administrator

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Generally, the decision on how to feed a newborn baby all depends on the baby's parents. Having a newborn is a lot of work, and feeding the baby will definitely need time, patience, and proper education.

Ideally, nothing beats mother's milk. All baby formulas in the market try to manufacture the same nutrition that a pair of breasts produce. During the first year of life, milk is the primary source of the baby's nutrition, where his growth is most rapid. It is the most ideal for infants because breastmilk has the least likelihood to cause allergy, its free, and its readily available at the right temperature and the right taste. Not only that, it has the least amount of sugar and fat, and it gives the baby maximum immunity against infections.

Aside from the numerous advantages to the babies, breastfeeding burns at least 500 calories per day, which helps mom go back to her pre-pregnant weight more easily. Breastfeeding also encourages mother-baby bonding as well.

The only disadvantage in breastfeeding is when there is poor sucking reflex of the baby and there is inadequate milk supply which occurs only when the mother does not feed as frequently or effectively.

Transitioning from breastmilk to other sources of nourishment or weaning is advised by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is recommended that a baby be breastfed exclusively for 6 months, then be given solid food and breastmilk for at least 1 year.

Some babies give their mothers signals when they are ready to wean, others may seem more clingy. The important thing to remember is to wean gradually, allowing the child to achieve nutrition from solid food or other sources more frequently while decreasing the number of feedings on the breast.
answered Jan 28, 2013 by kringlelim Diamond Guide (1,191 points)

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