Breastfeeding can be a difficult journey for both mother and baby, but health experts say there are several benefits why mothers should try to breastfeed. “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies get mother’s milk for the first six months and compliment solid foods thereafter, because infants are designed to get mother’s milk,” said Juana Rodriguez, a lactation consultant for Lee Memorial Health System. Rodriguez works with both mother and baby, teaching them the best ways to breastfeed. “It has all the nutrition that will help the infant grow, and only mother’s milk has special nutrients that will help fight off infection, fight off stomach complications.” Mother of two Allison Leone says her daughter, Mila, was born six weeks early. In the beginning, Allison had trouble breastfeeding. But since she started breastfeeding, Mila quickly caught up in weight and size. Allison says Mila, who is now seven months old, is already sitting up and trying to crawl. “I see the advantages because it’s in front of my eyes.” Health experts say breastfeeding also helps mothers lose weight faster. Infants who are denied mothers milk are at risk for health consequences like obesity, hypertension, asthma, and even allergies. But Rodriguez says there are some concerns mothers often have while breastfeeding. “The mother is unaware of how much the baby is consuming from her breast, and there is a simple solution to that. I would advise her to check the amount of diapers she is changing for the day.” Rodriguez says mothers should be aware that some babies have trouble with formula. “Some children do have intolerance to the formula where they have constipation or diarrhea, or they may have some skin reaction, or gas, and that’s something that could be avoided if the mother tried to give breast milk.” When it’s time to wean off breast milk the baby will typically do so on its own. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Visit