Breast-feeding your newborn baby is recommended as the best form of nutrition for all babies by the WHO or the World Health Organisation. If you are able to breast-feed immediately following baby’s birth and continue for at least 6 months, then this is the best possible start for both you and baby. The reasons as to why breast milk is best are:


  • Breast milk does contain the exact concentration and balance of nutrients in a form that is easy for your baby to digest
  • Breast milk contains antibodies that are produced by baby’s mother. These antibodies protect your baby from infections (e.g. gastroenteritis, chest and ear infections) and can also help to protect your baby from allergies (e.g. eczema) and from childhood diabetes.
  • Breast milk is easy for your baby to digest
  • Breast milk is highly convenient: Your baby can be fed anywhere and at any time with no special equipment required
  • Breast-feeding helps you to lose much of the weight that you gained during your pregnancy by using up your fat stores
  • Breast milk is sterile and is at the correct temperature for baby
  • Breast milk costs you nothing
  • Breast-feeding heightens the mother–baby bonding experience
  • Breast-feeding might reduce your risk of developing specific cancers (ovarian and breast) and it can also reduce the risk of you getting osteoporosis and fractured hips
  • With breast milk, there is less risk of your baby being overweight
  • Breast-feeding helps to get your uterus back to its normal size post-pregnancy


Breast-feeding tips

Breast-feeding, especially in the early stages, might feel quite uncomfortable, but this feeling usually passes as the feeding continues and it should cease altogether after the first few weeks.

  • Find a good breast-feeding position which is comfortable for you. Remember to keep your baby close to you and facing you. Your baby should not have to twist or stretch in order to feed. Your baby’s head, shoulders and body should ideally be in a straight line.
  • Bring baby to your breast and not your breast to your baby.
  • Your baby’s nose should be level with your nipple to encourage baby to tilt his or her chin slightly for optimum swallowing.
  • If you do need to support your breast, then place your fingers flat on your ribcage (just where your breasts and your ribs meet) with your thumb just under the breast you are feeding baby from.
  • As your nipple goes into your baby’s open mouth, it should not be pulled out of shape in any way.
  • Your whole nipple and a large area of your areola (the darker tissue that surrounds your nipple) should be in your baby’s mouth as this allows baby’s jaws to pump the milk stored behind your nipple.