Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Breastfeeding benefits for mother and baby

It’s never too early to start thinking about how you are going to feed your baby. Breastfeeding gives your baby the best possible start in life as it has lots of benefits for both you and your baby that last a lifetime. Discuss it with your partner as their help is important. You both might like to watch the Bump to Breastfeeding DVD to see what feeding your baby might be like. If you have not received a copy of the DVD, ask your midwife for one.
Your breast milk is the only food designed for your baby. It contains everything your baby needs for around the first six months of life.
After that, giving your baby breast milk alongside solid food will help them continue to grow and develop. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for two years or longer.
Breastfeeding protects your baby from infections and diseases. It also offers health benefits for mums. Every day makes a difference to your baby, and the longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts.
And it reduces your chance of getting some illnesses later in life. Formula milk cannot give your baby the same ingredients or provide the same protection.
Breastfeeding helps build a strong bond between mother and baby, both physically and emotionally.
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cot death.
What does breastfeeding help protect against?
Your baby: Ear infections, Asthma, Eczema, Chest infections, Obesity, Gastro- intestinal infections, Childhood diabetes and Urine infections
You: Breast cancer, Weak bones later in life, ovarian cancer and Women who breastfeed get their figures back faster
Help and support
Midwives, health visitors and trained volunteers – or peer supporters – can all offer advice and practical help with breastfeeding. Peer supporters are mothers who have breastfed their own babies and have had special training to help them support other mothers. Talk to your midwife or health visitor about the help that is available in your area.

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