Deciding whether or not to breastfeed your child is a highly personal decision that each new mother must make for herself. But Laila Ali, the daughter of legendary boxer Mohammed Ali, says that weaning her older children to a bottle was a mistake – and with her third, she hopes to be able to breastfeed naturally as long as she can.
Ali started giving her now 2-year-old son C.J. a bottle after about a week, hoping to take some of the pressure of new motherhood off of herself and onto her husband, Curtis Conway. But, she says, the youngster soon got used to the bottle – and started refusing to breastfeed. "I ended up having to pump," she tells People magazine.
With her new daughter Sydney, Ali wasn't going to repeat the mistake.
"[My husband] knew that I didn't want to introduce the bottle too early with Sydney, but it wasn't like I had to say, 'Honey, you're going to be able to help in other ways,'" Ali explains. "He already knows, when it comes to the baby and feeding the baby and doing things the best way, I'm in the lead as far as that’s concerned. We don’t have an issue with that."
Since most experts agree that breastfeeding is the easiest way to nourish a newborn – not to mention its financial benefits for new parents – we recommend that moms, who can, follow Laila's example.