It's said the best things in life are free. That's certainly true with breast milk! Breast milk is the healthiest food you can give your baby — it has all the nutrients, calories, and fluid a newborn needs for the first six months of life and it's easy to digest. Although any amount of breastfeeding benefits a baby, it's recommended that mothers exclusively nurse their child for the first six months and continue to breastfeed up to a year if possible.
Breastfeeding can be challenging at times, especially in the early days. Talk to your pediatrician or a lactation consultant to help you troubleshoot problems or find alternatives that are good for you and your baby. If you choose not to or are unable to breastfeed, the two most common types of formula are made from cow's milk and soy. Only use formula that has added iron because it is essential for your baby's health. Iron deficiency can cause problems in overall development and learning abilities.