Breastmilk is the best food for your baby
In the UK, more than 73% of mothers start breastfeeding. These are some of the reasons why:
Health benefits of breastfeeding for your baby
Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for your baby, lasting right into adulthood.
"The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits. Formula milk doesn't provide the same protection from illness and doesn't give you any health benefits."
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of:
Health benefits of breastfeeding for you
Breastfeeding and making breast milk also has health benefits for you. The more you breastfeed, the greater the benefits.
Breastfeeding lowers your risk of:
How long will I be breastfeeding for?
The Department of Health recommends that your baby has only breast milk for the first six months of her life. It also recommends that you carry on breastfeeding after your baby has started on solid foods, until the end of her first year and beyond, if you'd like to.
Continuing to breastfeed while introducing solid foods to your baby may benefit her immune system. She may also be less likely to develop health conditions such as coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes.
Most mums aim to breastfeed for between three months and 12 months, and some choose to breastfeed beyond the first year (extended breastfeeding). A lot depends on your individual circumstances and how you feel about it.
How to breastfeed
How to tell if your baby is getting enough milk