MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- New parents are faced with so many decisions, it's overwhelming at times just trying to make all of the right choices.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends mothers breastfeed their babies exclusively for 6 months, and that they should keep going provided both she and baby are willing.
Those recommendations match others from health organizations like the American Medical Association, American Diabetic Association and the World Health Organization.
The suggestions come based on years of research and analysis about what is best for baby, short and long term.
Still, the decision is a personal one, only a mother herself can make.
Sue Lindekugel, a lactation consultant at Aspirus Wausau Hospital says, "I would try and get all the information you can, talk to a lot of people, talk to mothers who've breast fed, read books, get online. There's a wealth of information."
A big reason behind such support for breast feeding centers around its health benefits.
Experts say it contains the exact nutrients the child needs and offers immunity.
Lindekugel says, "When you think--it's species specific. Your milk is made for your baby whether you deliver early or on time."
Baby isn't the only one who benefits. Moms who breast feed reap their own health rewards.
"Mothers have a lower incidence of breast cancer, mothers have a lower risk of Crohn's Disease and bladder infections. There's a whole list of diseases it prevents with mothers also," said Lindekugel.
Not all mothers breast feed though. Around 30 percent formula feed.
Formula feeding provides reassurance to mothers concerned whether baby is getting enough to eat. For example, mothers can see exactly how many ounces their babies are eating when bottle fed.
And for mothers having a tough time making a go of breastfeeding, or worried about weaning as they head back to work--it's another option to satisfy your baby.
If you're trying to decide whether to breastfeed for formula feed, lactation consultants can be a good resource.
Check with your local hospital for more information and to learn about classes that can help get you informed.