Choosing how and what to feed your baby is a personal decision that deserves careful and thorough consideration of the facts, your opinions, and options. Feeding your baby breast-milk or bottled formula are both healthy and responsible decisions, each with advantages and disadvantages. How and what to feed your baby is a decision that should “fit” you, your baby, and your family. Currently, approximately 75% of our new moms choose to breastfeed—above average for the state of Florida.
At Halifax Health Medical Center, our experienced Lactation Consultants are available to teach you how to properly “latch” your baby to avoid soreness and ensure a rhythmic flow of milk. Breastfeeding should begin as early as possible (ideally within an hour of birth), and feedings should be frequent – as many as 8 to 12 times per day. Most healthcare professionals recommend breastfeeding for your baby’s first year (including the American Academy of Pediatricians and the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners). Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for the first six months of life and contains appropriate amounts of carbohydrate, protein, and fat, and provides digestive enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and hormones that infants require. Breast milk also contains antibodies from the mother that can help the baby resist infections. Experts agree that breastfeeding your baby for any length of time, regardless of how short, is of benefit to you and your baby.