Can You Build a Better Baby?

Breast Milk

The Claim: Breast milk is best for babies.

The Truth: Study after study has documented that breast milk can boost a baby's immune system and IQ and lower his risk for diabetes, obesity, even ADHD. So it's no wonder that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after birth.

But not everyone is convinced that mother's milk is a panacea. "Most benefits associated with breastfeeding probably have as much to do with the child's environment and the family's socioeconomic status," says Parents advisor Darshak Sanghavi, MD, author of A Map of the Child: A Pediatrician's Tour of the Body. "They're not due to some magical substance in breast milk."

The Bottom Line: Women who want to should certainly breastfeed, but don't feel guilty if you can't.

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