Breastfeeding has many health benefits for you and your baby. Your breast milk provides all the nutrition your baby needs to grow and develop. The composition of your milk will change to meet your baby's nutritional requirements as he/she continues to grow and develop.
Breastfed babies are:
- Less likely to suffer from colic and reflux
- Less chance of diarrhoea and vomiting
- Fewer chest and ear infections
- Less likelihood of becoming obese and therefore developing type 2 diabetes and other illnesses later in life
- Less chance of developing eczema and asthma
- Breast milk is the most natural food designed for your baby
- Breast milk contains vital immunological properties which help protect your baby from infections and diseases
- Breastfed babies are more likely to gain the right amount of weight as they grow rather than becoming overweight.
- Breastfeeding helps build a strong emotional bond between mother and baby
- Breastfeeding burns extra calories helping mothers to lose pregnancy weight faster
- Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in mothers
- Breast milk is free!
Meeting your baby’s needs
Your new baby will look to you for food, comfort and reassurance as they learn about the world. Holding, cuddling, talking to and responding to your baby helps them release hormones that support their brain development, and make them feel secure. New babies cannot be spoiled by responding to their needs and breastfed babies cannot be overfed, so you can offer your breast for comfort as well as for food. Cuddling and feeding your baby also helps to keep you calm and allows you to sit, rest and enjoy your baby.