When you’re pregnant, eating a healthy diet and taking Healthy Start women’s vitamins will give you and your baby all the nutrients you both need. Once your baby arrives, you’ll want to make sure that you carry on, to give them the best start in life.
Breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby and provides everything they need for around the first six months of their life. It helps to keep them healthy and protected from infections. What’s more, it’s free, ready prepared and always comes at the right temperature!
Breast milk is good for your baby because it:
- reduces the risk of chest and other infections, diarrhoea and vomiting, constipation and developing eczema
- reduces the risk of your child becoming obese and so makes them less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and other illnesses later in life which are linked to obesity.
- lowers your risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer
- is a great way to build a close bond with your baby
- naturally uses up to 500 extra calories a day.
Did you know that your body makes exactly the right amount of milk for your baby?
Help is available
Like every new skill, you might need a little help and advice while you are getting used to breastfeeding. But once you and your baby get the hang of it, breastfeeding can be easy for both of you.
You can get breastfeeding help and support from:
- your midwife or health visitor
- other mums who breastfeed – your midwife or health visitor can tell you about local groups where you can meet up with them
- your friends and relatives who have breastfed
- the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212.
Want to bottle feed instead?
If you choose to give your baby infant formula milk, you need to make sure that you are preparing the milk and feeding it to your baby safely.
For more information about breastfeeding:
NHS Choices (England)
The feedgood factor (Scotland)
Breastfeeding Wales (Wales)
Breast Fed Babies (Northern Ireland)