Breast Feeding your baby is the healthiest way for most women to feed their babies. Although there are times in which breastfeeding would not be an option at all. Women taking any medication or herbal supplements should talk with their OB or Pediatrician before leaving the hospital, and or before they start nursing. Some medications will pass through the milk to the baby, and could harm the child. If you have any concerns about breastfeeding in general you can talk to the Dr. or Lactation Specialist at the hospital. They will help you decide if you have any medical reasons that you should not try to breastfeed. With that said. . .
There are many benefits to both the mother and the child. There is no other way for a child to receive the beneficial antibodies that a woman has already built up in her body then to pass it on in her milk. chemical make up of breast milk changes as the needs of the child change as the child develops. Breastfeeding, builds a close bond between mother and child during those early months of development. The close body contact, eye contact and the ability to release hormones in the body make this a calm and relaxing time for both mother and child.
You can find lots of information on line or at your local library on the subject of breastfeeding. Although as a veteran breastfeeding mom, my best sources of information came from others that have successfully nursed their own children. With my own children I nursed for varying lengths of time from 4 months to 18 months. Most of the time it was very easy although we had our struggles along the way. From cutting teeth and mastitis, a "tounge-tied" baby (almost causing me to stop nursing my 3rd child at 2 weeks) to the comments of strangers who think they know better than you and will tell you their opinion. I am Not one of the mom's who will say the only way to feed is by breast. I have used bottles, both with expressed milk as well as formula. I do feel that if you are able to, you should try at least for a time. You may find that as you and your child learn from each other that it is something you enjoy and will continue. Good Luck and Happy Nursing from a Mom that would do it again! That is if I wanted a 4th child.