Fact or Fiction: Breast-feeding

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2 min
During pregnancy and right after birth, a woman will make thick yellow breast milk known as colostrum.
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Colostrum, which is produced until a few days after birth, is full of nutrients and antibodies.
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almost fact: The thick yellow substance is known as lactation release.

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Foremilk, or the milk that comes out of the breast first during a feeding, is much thicker than hindmilk.
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almost fact: Hindmilk is the thicker substance.
The thick hindmilk carries the bulk of the fat content and calories, while foremilk is thin and allows the baby to relieve his or her thirst.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first nine months of a child's life.
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almost fact: The AAP's recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding is six months.
The AAP suggests that babies reap breast-feeding's benefits when they are fed exclusively with breast milk for six months; after that, they should be breast-fed and fed other foods for at least one year.

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The breast-feeding support group La Leche League was formed in 1958.
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La Leche League, publisher of "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding," formed in Illinois in 1958.
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almost fact: La Leche League has been around since 1858.

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Thanks to the numerous health benefits associated with breast-feeding, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes the U.S. could save $10 billion in annual health care costs if more women breast-fed.
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almost fact: The figure is closer to $4 billion.
Breast-feeding has been linked with lower rates of respiratory infections, meningitis, diarrhea, ear infections, diabetes and obesity, leading the AAP to claim that the U.S. could save $3.6 billion a year by encouraging breast-feeding.

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According to some studies, women who breast-feed have a higher risk of breast cancer.
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fiction
One study suggested that women with a family history of breast cancer could lower their risk level by breast-feeding.
almost fact: Breast-feeding doesn't seem to affect breast cancer rates.

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A study published in 2008 revealed that children who were breast-fed scored 20 points higher on tests of verbal intelligence by the time they were in the first grade.
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In 2008, researcher Michael Kramer unveiled a study that revealed that breast-fed children scored 7.5 points higher on tests measuring verbal intelligence and 2.9 points higher on tests measuring nonverbal intelligence. Kramer deemed the difference "modest," according to WebMD.
almost fact: The breast-fed children scored no differently than the other children.

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It's impossible to get pregnant while breast-feeding.
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fiction
While the hormone that encourages production of breast milk can also repress a woman's menstrual cycle, it's possible to get pregnant while breast-feeding, particularly when the baby consumes substances other than breast milk.
almost fact: It's impossible to get pregnant during the first nine months of breast-feeding; after that, it's possible.

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According to La Leche League, the ideal time to store human breast milk in the refrigerator is 72 hours.
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According to La Leche League, the ideal amount of time to store human breast milk in a fridge (temperatures lower than 39 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius) is 72 hours. While 72 hours is ideal, it's possible to store the milk for up to eight days.
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almost fact: La Leche League says the ideal time is 24 hours max.

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Breast-feeding can save you $655 to $920 each year, depending on the cost of formula.
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almost fact: The savings are bigger: $1,1,60 to $3,915 each year, depending on the brand of formula
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, breast-feeding saves $1,160 to $3,915, depending on which formula would have been chosen.

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