Breastfeeding, also called nursing, is the process of feeding a mother's breast milk to her infant, either directly from the breast or by expressing (pumping out) the milk from the breast and bottle-feeding it to the infant. Breastfeeding and breast milk provide an infant with calories and nutrients, including macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).1
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Policy Statement on Breastfeeding, women who don't have health problems should exclusively breastfeed their infants for at least the first 6 months after birth.2
The AAP suggests that, if possible, a woman should try to continue breastfeeding her infant for up to 12 months, while adding other foods, because of the benefits to both the mother and the infant.2
Although breastfeeding is the recommended method for feeding infants, and breast milk provides most of the nutrients an infant needs, it does not provide infants with adequate vitamin D.3 The current recommended daily vitamin D intake for infants and children is available on the American Academy of Pediatrics website .