The benefits of breastfeeding – the best start for your baby

There is nothing quite like breastmilk for your baby. It gives your baby the most perfect start. It’s like nature’s own way of nourishing and protecting them. Breastmilk is unique in that it is designed to change to meet your baby’s every need as they grow big and strong, lasting them a lifetime.

It’s good for your baby and you.

More and more research shows that breastfeeding your baby and good nutrition in the early years, can have a huge impact on their health when they are an adult. It’s so empowering to think that it’s probably one of the most important things you can do for you and your baby’s health. It contains essential hormones, enzymes and antibodies, which no formula can replicate, they are really important for your baby’s development now and later.

It also helps to protect your baby. Breastfed babies have less tummy infections (e.g. vomiting and diarrhoea), less chest and ear infections, less prone to constipation and in the long term and less likely to become overweight/obese and from developing type 2 diabetes.

Breastfeeding is also really healthy for you. It helps develop that lovely bond between you both right from the very start. It naturally uses up to 500 calories a day and there is also research to show that it lowers your risk of ovarian and breast cancer.

Breastmilk gives your baby all the food and drink your baby needs in their first six months, and you can continue breastfeeding, as weaning time comes around and for up to two years and beyond.

It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breast milk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health visitor for advice about feeding your baby. If you use infant formula, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully.

Every breastfeed makes a difference. So with all of these goodies, be reassured that every single drop of breastmilk you give is good for your baby’s health, and makes a difference. The longer that you can breastfeed, equally comes the greater protection for your baby.

While breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby, it is a skill that you will both learn over your baby’s first days and weeks. Do seek out the right help, support and information while you are pregnant to help you get off to a great start and wonderful journey ahead.

For more information on breastfeeding, call our freephone Careline on 1800 570 570.