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Breastfeeding With Formula

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Teresa Vazquez wanted to exclusively breastfeed her son Marco, but doctors had her supplement with formula in the beginning because his blood sugar was low.

"I wanted to fully breastfeed but I knew it was the best thing for him."

Now a new study shows giving newborns small amounts of formula in the first days of life could actually help their mothers breastfeed longer. The research in the journal Pediatrics looked at 40 babies who were not gaining weight and found after three months, almost 80% of the babies who received formula were still breastfeeding.

"What this study was really looking at is there a role in having some very early limited use of formula in that population of babies as the mother is getting breastfeeding established," says Dr. Robert Riewarts.

Many new moms have concerns they are not producing enough milk in the beginning for their babies. Researchers hope this study will ease their worries.

But the authors of the study stress the point of their research is to keep moms breastfeeding "longer."

"Breastfeeding is more than just really excellent mother-baby bonding. There's incredible advantages in health."

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months.

Marco is now 7 months old and Teresa is still breastfeeding.

"You can see he's healthy.. (oh yeah) and happy now. (laughs) Look at his thighs."

Teresa breastfed her first son for 13 months she hopes to keep going for two years with Marco.

Studies show breastfed babies are less likely to have asthma, allergies, ear infections and respiratory infections.

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