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Breastfeeding can be a special time for both mother and baby.

Breastfeeding can be a special time for both mother and baby.
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About breastfeeding

2-minute read

Many mothers who breastfeed have some ups and downs at the start, and sometimes even after they get going. Don’t give up unless you really want to; there is a lot of help available and most problems can be overcome.

Breastfeeding can be a special time for both mother and baby and can be good for the health of babies. Breast milk meets all your baby's nutritional requirements from birth to around 6 months. It is specially made for your baby and there are lots of things in breast milk that are good for your baby but which are not found in formula milk.

Benefits

  • Breast milk is safe for your baby, and easily digested.
  • It contains all the food and drink your baby needs for the first 6 months of life.
  • Together with other foods, it is very good for the next 6 months and into the second year.
  • It is always ready when your baby needs it.
  • Your baby will be less likely to get infections, allergies and many other diseases.
  • Your baby may grow and develop better.

Breastfeeding is good for you too

  • It does not cost anything and does not take time to prepare.
  • It may be a way you and your baby can feel close to each other and you develop a bond with your baby.
  • It helps your body return to normal more quickly after the birth.
  • It may give protection against some diseases (such as cancer of the breast or ovaries).

Breastfeeding help and support

Breastfeeding support and advice can be sought from other mothers and from a range of health professionals, including midwives, baby health nurses, Australian Breastfeeding Association counsellors, lactation consultants and doctors.

Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA)

The Australian Breastfeeding Association offers mother-to-mother support and encouragement to breastfeed. The association also provides counselling from trained ABA counsellors, a newsletter, a library and other activities. ABA support is available in all states and territories of Australia.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association website is an excellent source of useful hints and information. One feature is information for fathers. It provides an email counselling service and links to other breastfeeding sites.

You can get more information from:

  • Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436.
  • The Australian Breastfeeding Association's National Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 686 268.
  • Child and family health services provided by your state or territory's government.
  • Parent helplines in your state or territory.
  • Chat to a Tresilian nurse online.

Last reviewed: September 2018

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