Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood on December 01, 2011
Keith A. Eddleman, MD. Director, Maternal-Fetal Medicine - Mount Sinai Medical Center.
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Dr. Keith Eddleman, MD: Breast feeding is an advantage to the mother in helping her burn extra calories, but it's clearly an advantage to the newborn, because there are proteins in the human breast milk that are metabolized more efficiently by the newborn than any protein you can get from cow or soy or other milk formulas that are on the market. There are also advantages from the standpoint of protection, immunity. There are different antibodies in the mother's blood that protect the baby during the newborn period until the baby can take over production of those antibodies itself, so there's a standpoint from health that way. And then, there are also nutrients that are produced, or that are provided in breast milk that are more efficiently absorbed by the baby than they are when you put them artificially into a formula, so there are really multiple advantages.
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