Health

Why breast is best!

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Whether you’re an expectant first-time mum or already a parent, you’ll be aware that breastfeeding is the topic of an on-going debate. While breastfeeding may seem straightforward, for many mothers it can prove to be challenging. But despite the fear of enduring sore or cracked nipples, evidence shows that breastfeeding provides your baby with the healthiest start in life. Not only does breast milk contain all the nutrients your baby needs for the first six months of life (including vital ingredients that formula milk does not offer), it also protects your baby from infections and diseases. Any amount of breastfeeding has a positive effect, and the longer you breastfeed, the more beneficial it is for your baby’s development. Another important factor of breastfeeding is that it helps build a strong physical and emotional bond between mother and baby.
Of course, how a mother wishes to feed their child is completely their own preference, and for those mothers who have tried it but have suffered problems, it is nothing to feel guilty about. Breastfeeding problems are quite common, and it takes time and practice to get it right. However, the more comfortable and confident you are, the easier it should get.
For further info, visit www.nhs.uk/breastfeeding

Tips for breastfeeding

  • Make sure that your baby is well attached to your breast. It may be that they’re sucking on the nipple alone, not the areola (the circle of coloured skin around the nipple), and so not getting enough milk. This will help your body produce the right amount of milk and stop your breasts getting sore.
  • There is no need to give formula milk in addition to breast milk. If your baby seems hungry, feed them more often rather than giving them formula milk. Try not to give your baby any other food or drink before six months old. This will reduce your milk supply and could increase the chance of your baby getting ill.
  • You can try lying on your side or sitting in a chair, supported in an upright position. This will make it easier to hold your baby.

 

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