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The Breastfeeding Bible

If you're considering breastfeeding your baby, chances are you already know something about all the good things mother's milk does for infants. In addition to strengthening your child's immune system, there's growing evidence that breast milk increases IQ; reduces the risk for sudden infant death syndrome, obesity, and diabetes; and enhances the body's overall ability to function. No doubt you've also found out how much money you can save by not buying formula. By choosing to breastfeed, you are tapping into one of the greatest natural resources there is.

But successful breastfeeding doesn't necessarily happen naturally. It's not always as simple as putting a lactating mother together with her hungry baby. You and your infant will need to learn comfortable positioning and an efficient latch-on technique, as well as how to feel relaxed and connected to one another during feedings. These skills will go a long way toward ensuring not only that your baby is well-fed, but that you both enjoy this experience.

William Sears, M.D., is a contributing editor of BabyTalk. Martha Sears, R.N., has been a lactation consultant for 14 years.