The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Breastfeed longer! Don't breastfeed so long! Solid foods sooner. No solids until your baby is older. Knowing what and when to feed a baby can be perplexing for first-time parents.
A study published in the British Medical Journal questions if breast-milk-only is really best for babies for the first six months of their lives, according to an article on MSNBC. The experts make note in the study that they are in no way questioning the value of breastfeeding babies in general. (The benefits of this practice are well documented, so we don't have to argue about that.)
However, at issue for them is whether the pros (among them, the reduced risk of infections) outweigh the cons (e.g. lack of iron, increased risk of food allergies). The researchers also suggest that waiting six months to wean your baby and introduce other foods can lead to the underdevelopment of taste, which can have a long-term effect on diet.
Meanwhile, a new study in the journal Pediatrics found that fussy babies at 3 months old were more likely to have not been exclusively breastfed, New York magazine reports. In addition, a separate study also published in Pediatrics made note that 10-year-old children who were exclusively breastfed for six months or longer as infants had higher academic scores than children nursed for less than six months.
So what does it all mean? As far as Fit Pregnancy is concerned, breast is still best! More than 15 years ago when the magazine first started, we knew breastfeeding was the best way to feed your baby, and we're even more convinced today.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding, which has everything you need to know about breastfeeding—from buying that first nursing bra to deciding when to wean.
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.