Evidence suggests that breastfeeding provides significant short- and long-term health benefits for both mother and baby.
Breastmilk provides all the necessary nutrients for optimum physical and mental development of your baby and has unique qualities to help build their immune system, that are not found in infant formula.
Research shows babies who are breastfed are protected against some infectious conditions such as gastroenteritis and respiratory infections and decreases their chance of a chronic illness later in life.
Mothers who breastfeed return to pre-pregnancy health sooner and have a reduced chance of breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommends babies be exclusively breastfed to around 6 months of age. You should continue breastfeeding with solid food to at least 12 months of age.
More information is available from the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Looking after yourself
We encourage you to eat a well-balanced diet and get plenty of rest and fluid while you are breastfeeding or expressing breast milk.
A Lactation Consultant (LC) is a specialist who can help prevent, recognise and solve breastfeeding difficulties.
The NICU and SCN have LCs who are also practicing midwives and nurses. Please ask your baby’s nurse if you would like them to organise a time for the LC to visit you.