Breastfeeding

Exclusively breastfeeding for around the first 6 months of your baby's life and then continuing once your baby starts solids until 12 months and beyond gives your baby the best start in life. Each page listed below begins with a short video followed by key messages in English and 9 other languages. More detailed information follows at the bottom of each page. You might like to start by watching the video on the page Best food for your baby.

 

Mother breastfeeding her baby in the kitchen

Copyright: Kidshealth

Exclusively breastfeeding for around the first 6 months of your baby’s life and then continuing once your baby starts solids until 12 months and beyond gives your baby the best start in life.

Your breast milk makes a big difference to both your baby’s health and yours. Breast milk helps protect your baby from tummy upsets, ear infections and respiratory infections, and may reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity and cot death.

Before your baby arrives, find out as much as you can about how to breastfeed.

Holding your baby against your skin straight after birth will calm your baby, steady their breathing and help keep them warm.

Babies have such a strong instinct to breastfeed. Usually in that first hour your baby will start to show signs of being ready to feed. If left, they will move towards your breast and latch on by themselves.

Make sure your baby is properly latched. Watch a video showing you how.

When your baby is hungry, they will show signs of nuzzling, hand-sucking, or mouthing (opening their mouth and turning their head).

Your milk usually takes 2-3 days to come in, and babies usually regain their birth weight by 10-14 days.

Feeding whenever your baby wants to feed will help maintain your milk supply. This is your baby's way of making sure they have all the breast milk they need. The milk they take is replaced each time they feed.

Expressing milk means squeezing milk out of your breast. You would do this if you are separated from your baby for any reason.

Breast milk can be stored. Remember to use a sterilised container to put the milk in. Find out more about how long you can store breast milk.