Breastmilk provides your baby with all the nutrition they need to grow for the first six months of their life. Breastfeeding has many benefits for you and your baby, and it is one of the ways you can create a special bond with your baby.
From 6 months, it is important to continue to breastfeed as you introduce solid foods into their diet. The nutrients in breastmilk adjust to meet your baby’s needs as they grow and develop. It is recommended that breastfeeding be continued alongside the introduction of family foods until the child is 2 years old, or for as long as you desire.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
There are many physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding. Some of them include:
Breastmilk is ready whenever your baby is hungry
Breastmilk provides unique immune properties from the mother’s' immune system which helps fight infection, viruses, and diseases
Breastmilk is free and convenient
You do not need any additional equipment
Breastmilk reduces the risk of some cancers, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes in the mother
Breastmilk supports bonding between a mother and her baby
Breastfed babies are more likely to be a healthy weight later in life
Breastfeeding can help many mothers return to their pre-pregnancy weight
Healthy eating while breastfeeding
Healthy eating during your breastfeeding journey helps your body support its everyday functions and supports making breastmilk. It takes more calories to breastfeed a child than it does to create one! Remember to look after yourself and your baby by eating a variety of foods from the five food groups and drinking plenty of water.
In South West Sydney, 59% of mothers were fully breastfeeding their babies when they were discharged from hospital. Growing Healthy Kids aims to support more mothers to breastfeed and raise this number close to the state and national figures. This website provides valuable information to our mothers that can empower them to make healthy decisions to support breastfeeding and good health for themselves and their babies.
[Source: Raising Children Network, 2022. NSW (New South Wales) Ministry of Health, 2021. ]