The advantages of breastfeeding are many in the short-, medium- and long-term, says Dr. Richard Besser, pediatrician and the ABC News chief health and medical editor.
Mothers who are able to breastfeed in the delivery room can release a hormone that reduces both bleeding and stress. Later on, breastfeeding mothers are able to shed pregnancy pounds faster too. And nursing mothers have a reduced risk of breast cancer.
And breastfeeding does so many things for a baby, Besser says. A breastfed child has a stronger immune system and a reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
And it's free!
The drawbacks? Breastfeeding is painful for some mother, Besser says. It's time consuming, especially early on, and if the mother is away from her child, a breast pump, bottles and a plan are necessary. Still, for the benefits, he recommends that moms try it for six months, if they can.
Follow Besser on Twitter for more tips and insights.