Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for babies and their mothers.
- Breast milk is nutritionally complete, it provides all the nutrition that baby needs for the first six months.
- You can feed your baby anywhere without worrying about sterilising.
- It is the right temperature
- The composition changes according to baby’s needs
- ↓ incidence diabetes, obesity, asthma, eczema
- It contains Bioactive molecules
- Provides active immunity
- Helps nutrient absorption
- Promotes growth and development
- Anti-bacterial, anti-viral factors
- Skin-to-skin contact while breastfeeding gives you a physical connection with your baby.
Practical tips for breastfeeding:
Don’t panic! It can take 3-4 days for milk to come in
Frequent feeding is key: 8-12 times per 24 hours. Breastfeeding in the early weeks is a natural system of supply and demand. The more you breastfeed, the more milk you will have.
It is important to make sure you are comfortable and that your baby’s head is positioned well at the breast. Baby’s head should be in the crook of your arm with your nipple directly in front of his mouth.
Practical tips for Expressing:
- Breast pump
- Fridge / Freezer
- How to store expressed breastmilk
- Always use a sterilised container
- Can keep up to 5 days in the back of the fridge (max 4°C)
- Up to 2 weeks in an ice compartment in the fridge
- Up to 6 months in a freezer
- Once defrosted:
- Use immediately & do not re-freeze defrosted milk
- Eyes fluttering before they even open
- Moving hands to their mouth
- Making mouth movements
- Moving towards your breast or turning their head when you touch their cheek
If you are having difficulty with breastfeeding, speak with your public health nurse. There are also a number of breastfeeding support groups which your hospital will recommend.