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Breast or Bottle?

Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is one of the first decisions expectant parents will make. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joins other organizations such as the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Dietetic Association (ADA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) in recommending breastfeeding as the best for babies. Breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions.

The AAP says babies should be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Beyond that, the AAP encourages breastfeeding until at least 12 months, and longer if both the mother and baby are willing.

Although experts believe breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants, breastfeeding may not be possible for all women. For many women, the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle, and specific medical considerations that they might have.

For mothers who are unable to breastfeed or who decide not to, infant formula is the alternative. Some women feel guilty if they don't breastfeed. You'll still bond with your baby just fine. After all, whether with breast milk or formula, feeding is an important time of connection between mother and baby.

The decision to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is a very personal one. But here are some points you may want to consider as you decide which is best for you and your new addition.

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