Feeding is the first real connection between you and your new baby. There are a lot of benefits to breastfeeding. First, your own milk is best for your child. It’s nature’s way, and much more healthy than formula.
Mother’s milk strengthens a baby’s immune system — helping him fight off germs and disease. Because of its special nutritional makeup, breast milk is the best food for newborn babies.
Formulas with iron come close to this combination of nutrients but don’t provide the antibodies and other valuable ingredients of breast milk. Breastfeeding is ideal for nutrition and supports growth and development for at least the first six months after birth while it is baby’s only good.
Breastfeeding is good for the mother also. It helps her body return to its pre-pregnancy state. The longer you breastfeed, the more benefits this provides you and your baby. There are emotional benefits. Breastfeeding is a great bonding time for mother and child. It is recommended that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, if possible, to give your baby an excellent start.
—- from First5 Advice for New Parents