Benefits of Breastfeeding
The first year of life has a big influence on your baby’s health now and in the future. Breastfeeding can help your baby get off to the best start in life. It provides all the nourishment they need for healthy growth and development.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breast milk contains all the goodness your baby needs for their first 6 months. Some of the ingredients of breast milk, which help protect your baby against disease, can only be made by your body. Formula milk does not contain these ingredients as they cannot be replicated. The mix of ingredients in breast milk also changes between feeds to respond to your baby’s needs.
If you choose to breastfeed, your baby does not require anything else in their first 6 months. Around this time you will begin weaning them on to solid food. There are lots of benefits to continuing breastfeeding after 6 months as well at the same time as introducing solid foods. The longer you are able to breastfeed your baby the more they will benefit.
There are lots of benefits to breastfeeding both for your baby and for you as a mum. It helps your baby to fight illness and infection. Your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer is reduced if you can breastfeed. It burns around 500 calories a day too! Plus breast milk is free. Importantly, breastfeeding can help to strengthen the bond between you and your baby.
Getting Support with Breastfeeding
It can take some time before you comfortable and confident to breastfeed. You may need some extra support, don’t worry about asking for help lots of mums do. Speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor.
You can also access more information on the Start4Life website, such as advice on positioning your baby, ensuring that they are feeding well and other practical tips. Breastfeeding helplines can answer any questions you may have.
Breastfeeding Peer Supporters are volunteer mums in your community who have breastfed themselves. They are trained to listen and supply information to support you around breastfeeding; they will also recognise when to direct you to a professional. Find out more from the Peterborough breastfeeding support facebook page.
Baby Cafes are another way of accessing support locally. These are drop-ins to help breastfeeding mums and are run by women trained in offering support in this area.
- Mondays 1pm-2.30pm, Brewster Avenue Children's Centre. PE2 9PN
- Tuesdays 1pm-2.30pm East Children's Centre, Durham Road, PE1 5JU
- Wednesdays 10am-11.30am Honeyhill Children's Centre, Paston, PE4 7DH
- Thursdays 11.45am-1.45pm Community Room, Serpentine Green Shopping Centre, PE7 8BD
The support of your partner, family and friends can also be really helpful. Start4Life has tips on how partners can help with breastfeeding too.
It is important to look after yourself as well as your baby. Try to stay healthy by eating a balanced diet and doing regular physical activity.
The Eatwell Guide gives you more information about which are the right foods to eat and in what amounts for a balanced diet. It is also recommended that all pregnant and breastfeeding mums take a daily supplement of 10mcg of vitamin D.
Adult guidelines are to achieve 150 minutes of physical activity each week to keep heathy. We should all try to reduce the time we spend sitting (being sedentary) for long periods of time as well.