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Breast-Feeding: Nature's Formula for Success

Breastfeeding: Nature's Formula for Success

WebMD Feature

It used to be a common refrain: Breast-feeding is great to try, but if you decide against it, don't sweat it.

Nobody's saying that anymore.

"Breast-feeding isn't just a nice thing to do," says Dr. Lawrence Gartner, a pediatrician and chairman for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) task force on breast-feeding. "It actually has a major impact on the mother's and child's health."

Be prepared. It may not come as naturally as one might think of something that's supposed to be natural. So it's wise to learn as much as you can about breast-feeding beforehand and line up the skilled support you might need if a problem does arise.

But above all, be ready to enjoy. Women who have been there say it's definitely worth it.

"There's such a warm connection," says Lisa Powers, of New York. "You feel so important in their life. It's so tender and loving. I can't imagine what it would be like to just sit and give her a bottle." Powers' daughter, Alexa, is 7 months old.

The Decision

The decision to breast-feed is a personal one, but the benefits overwhelmingly tip the scale in favor of it.