Breastfeeding is practical, free, can be
discreet and is an amazing achievement to be proud of. We hope
you will be inspired by our wonderful stars.
Breastfeeding gives baby the best
start in life – breastfed babies have a lower chance of
developing eczema, getting ear, chest and tummy bugs, being
obese and developing diabetes when they are older.
Mums who breastfeed have a lower risk
of breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding also uses about
500 calories a day so many women who breastfeed say they
find it easier to get back to their pre-pregnancy figure.
For more information go to the
Be a Star website; it has information, advice, and blog
pages where you can share information with other young mums.
Also, please see the NHS
Pregnancy and Baby Guide websites for information and advice.
Breastfeeding is the healthiest start you
can give your baby. Breast milk is nutritionally balanced, with
the perfect amount of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins
and minerals to help your baby grow. It contains antibodies
that help protect your baby from infection, and changes to suit
the different needs of your baby as it grows.
Breastfeeding is the completely natural
way to feed your baby. It has short term and long term benefits
for both mother and child.
For mothers breastfeeding helps to:
strengthen bones and prevent
lower the risk of developing ovarian
or breast cancer (1)
increases the likelihood of returning
to pre-pregnancy weight
promotes closeness and bonding with
AND the experience is very satisfying
If you are fully breastfeeding your baby
(i.e. no water, no solids, no dummy, no formula) and your
periods have not returned, it is still necessary to use an
additional method of contraception to prevent pregnancy. For
more information on contraceptive methods, click
For babies, breastfeeding:
protects against diarrhoea (2),
ear and chest infections (2)
reduces the risk of diabetes, eczema,
asthma and improves digestive health
lessens the risk of being an obese
has long-term benefits - babies who
were breastfed experienced lower mean blood pressure and
total cholesterol. (3)
means their nappies are less smelly!
Source NHS Choices
The World Health Organisation recommends:
Breastfeeding is the best form of
nutrition for babies.
Exclusive breastfeeding (i.e. no
water, no formula, no solids) is recommended for the first 6
months (26 weeks) of a baby’s life, as it provides all the
nutrients a baby needs.
Six months is the recommended age for
weaning babies onto solids.
When weaning your baby, carry on
breastfeeding beyond the first 6 months.
For information on breastfeeding ask
your health visitor, midwife or doctor.
Mothers who are unable, or choose
not, to breastfeed should discuss other options, with their
midwife or GP, while pregnant. It is important for mothers
who do not breastfeed to get the support and information
they need to make sure their baby gets the nutrition they
As parents we make lots of important
decisions for our children and the decision to breastfeed is one
of the most important and has long lasting advantages for you
Information for grandparents – click
The From Bump to Breastfeeding DVD from
Best Beginnings, following real mothers’ stories to find out
how, is available to view
Always offer both breasts at each
No pain once breast feeding is
established. It has to feel right not just look right (to
see pictures of how it should look and to prevent an
incorrect latch position click
here). A certain amount of discomfort is not unusual at
first when mother and baby are learning how to breastfeed.
The stimulation of feeding increases
the amount of milk produced – you will produce just the
amount of breast milk that your baby needs, once breast
feeding is established.
Look for feeding cues before a baby
starts to cry for a feed, they will be more receptive to
feeding if they are not over hungry
A baby with a wide open mouth is
essential, with the tongue down, ready to latch on to the
nipple (feeding position).
Ensure the baby’s head is able to
fall slightly backwards.
The nipple is just a spout, therefore
is should be the same shape at the end of the feed as at the
beginning. If it’s not, then your latching on position for
the baby is not quite right.
After the first few days, your baby
should have at least six wet nappies a day and pass at least
two yellow stools every day
Breast milk can be frozen in the deep
freeze for up to 6 months.
When in doubt ask an expert – your
midwife, health visitor or GP.
Mums sometimes experience problems
with breastfeeding, which are usually temporary and due to
incorrect positioning or attachment. These can be sorted
out by making some simple changes without stopping
breastfeeding. For more information on positioning and
Breastfeeding Support in North Yorkshire and York
You can also find out about
Local Breastfeeding Support here.
1 World Cancer Research
Fund (London,2007). Food, nutrition, physical activity and the
prevention of cancer: a global perspective.
Quigley MA, Kelly YJ, Sacker A (2007) Breastfeeding and
hospitalisation for diarrhoea and respiratory infection in the
UK millennium cohort study. Pediatrics 119: 837–842.
Horta B.L. et al (2007) Evidence on the long-term effects of
Department of Health (2004). Choosing a better diet: a food and
health action plan. London: Department of Health
Li L, Parsons TJ, Power C
(2003) Breast feeding and obesity in childhood: cross sectional
study. British Medical Journal 327: 904–905. Li et al. 2003;
Michels KB, Willett WC,
Graubard BI et al. (2007) A longitudinal study of infant feeding
and obesity throughout life course. International Journal of
Obesity 31: 1078–1085.).