JAMA Patient Information: Feeding your Newborn

There are many considerations when deciding whether to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby. Breastfeeding has many advantages and is the best source of nutrition for your baby. However, in some situations, your doctor may recommend bottle-feeding with formula rather than breastfeeding. If you have some medical conditions, such as being infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B, bottle-feeding with formula can protect your baby from exposure to the disease through your breast milk.

An article in the March 1, 2000, issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (Nduati et al) reports on a study of women infected with HIV who fed their babies with either breast milk or formula. The researchers found that babies who were fed breast milk were more likely to become infected with HIV than babies who were fed formula.

Advantages of Breastfeeding for the Baby:

Advantages of Breastfeeding for the Mother:

When You Should Bottle-feed with Formula:

Advantages of Bottle-feeding:

Getting Started:
Even though breastfeeding is a natural process, it may take some time for you and your baby to become skilled at it. If you would like to breastfeed, you can speak with a health care provider who specializes in breastfeeding and be given instruction so that you know what to expect and you are more comfortable with the process.

Taking Care of Yourself:
You need to take care of yourself and ensure the quality of your breast milk by getting extra fluids (at least six to eight glasses of water per day) and extra calcium. You should avoid beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine before a breastfeeding session with your baby. You should also quit smoking for your health and the health of your baby.

Source: American Medical Association