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Posted: Oct 13 2011, 06:16 AM
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Before your baby arrives, you'll want to decide whether you're going to breastfeed or feed formula. While not identical to breast milk, most formulas are approximately as nutritious and digestible as human milk. Both approaches are safe and healthy for your baby and each has its advantages.

The most obvious benefits of breastfeeding are convenience and cost, but there are some real medical benefits, too. Breast milk provides your baby with natural antibodies that help her resist certain kinds of infection. Breastfeed babies also are less likely to suffer from allergies that occasionally occur in babies fed cow's milk formula.

Mother who nurse their babies also say that there are many emotional rewards. Once the milk supply is established and the baby is nursing well, both mother and child experience a tremendous sense of closeness and comfort, a bond that continues throughout infancy.

If cannot breastfeed or you choose not to do so, you can still achieve similar feelings of closeness during bottle-feedings. Rocking, cuddling, stroking, and gazing into your baby's eyes will enhance the experience for both of you, regardless of the milk source.

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