Wandsworth believes that breastfeeding is the healthiest way for a mother to feed her baby and recognises the important health benefits now known to exist for you both.
All mothers have the right to receive clear and impartial information, in order to make a fully informed choice of how you feed your baby.
If you decide not to breastfeed, that is your right but it is important to know that it is very difficult to change from bottle to breastfeeding.
Whatever method of feeding you choose, your midwife, health visitor, or breastfeeding counsellor can explain how to do it.
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months (World Health Organisation WHO; Department of Health DOH) and then partially after the introduction of solid foods for as long as families wish. WHO recommends up until two years of age and beyond.
Breastfeeding gives a baby the best possible start to life by protecting against:
Gastroenteritis (tummy upsets)
Urinary tract infections
High blood pressure in later life
In addition breastfed babies are less likely to develop allergies.
Breastfeeding benefits for mother:
Pre-menopausal protection against breast cancer and ovarian cancer
Protects against osteoporosis in later life (weak bones and fractures)
Breast feeding will help you to lose weight more quicker as it uses up the fat stores from pregnancy.
Many mothers and babies breastfeed well from the beginning whilst for others it takes a little longer to learn. Breastfeeding should be pain free, so do ask your midwife or health visitor for help if you are finding feeds painful. The most common cause for pain is because the baby is not correctly attaching to the breast. If this is not corrected it can lead on to other problems such as sore nipples, engorged breasts, possible mastitis which in turn can lead to insufficient milk supply.
So it is really important to seek help early as these problems can be overcome.
The following websites provide informative advice and support on breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding Network support
Open 9:30am to 9pm Tel: 0300 100 0210
La Leche League
24hrs Help Line Tel: 0845 120 2918
NCT Breastfeeding Helpline
Open 8 am to 10pm Tel: 0870 444 8708
National Childbirth Trust
8am to Midnight 0300 33 00 771
Related internet links
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