Infant Nutrition: What is best for your baby - breast milk or formula?

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You and your husband find out that you are expecting your first child. This new little person is going to change your life forever. Though your baby is not here yet, you already know that you want the best for your baby - the best opportunities, the best schools and the best education. Simply, you want your baby to have the best in life. The first and most important decision that you will make for your baby is whether to feed your baby breast milk or formula. Many women today are opting for formula, but what is the best choice? There are advantages and disadvantages to both breastfeeding and formula feeding. You need to carefully weigh the pros and cons before you make your decision. There are very distinct nutritional differences between breast milk and formula. Nutritionally, breast milk is exactly what your baby needs. Breast milk will also help protect your baby from a large number of diseases. Although scientists and researchers have made many attempts to duplicate it, breast milk is just too complex to artificially reproduce. Breast milk should be your first choice, but formula can be a healthy alternative.

Breast milk has the perfect balance of nutrition that your baby needs to grow strong and be healthy. Breast milk is full of infection-fighting antibodies. All five basic forms of antibodies IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG and IgM are found in breast milk. The antibody IgA protects the baby from invading bacteria in the respiratory and digestive systems. Babies do not receive IgA from formula and they do not start producing their own for several weeks or even months after birth. Thus, the only place they can get this needed antibody in the first few weeks of life is from breast milk. White blood cells, another...

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