Common childhood illnesses & well-being
A guide for parents and carers
Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

A great start

Giving your baby a healthy diet is one of the most important things you can do for them - not just now, but for their future years too.

Breastfeeding is good for babies because breast milk contains antibodies that help protect against illnesses such as chest, ear and urine infections, gastroenteritis, asthma, eczema and obesity. Breastfeeding isn’t just good for your baby - it can be really rewarding for you too and is a chance to bond with your child and feel close to them. Breastfeeding provides for all your baby’s needs. The other benefits to mums breastfeeding include reducing the risk of both breast cancer and ovarian cancer, breastfeeding also reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

When your baby is six months old, they will still need to breastfeed but now is the time to offer your baby some solids. This period is called ‘weaning’, which means ‘trying’. Remember that babies can’t drink cow’s milk until they’re a year old.

Health visitor

Health visitor says

Until your baby is six months old, breast milk has got everything they need. Breastfeeding can sometimes take a little while for you and your baby to get used to, but once established, breastfeeding is easy for most mothers and babies. It is important your baby learns to attach properly to your breast as this will help you both to breastfeed well. Breastfeed your baby whenever they show hunger cues or simply need love and comfort. This will make sure you produce plenty of milk.

1

Breastfeeding is free, you don’t need to prepare breast milk and you can do it anywhere.

2

Breastfeeding is the best way to protect your baby against infections. It provides for all your baby’s needs.

3

Don’t be afraid to talk to your midwife, health visitor or volunteer breastfeeding counsellor if you have any concerns.