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Healthy Living - Breastfeeding

Also in Breastfeeding:

Click the image to download the Breastfeeding Support LeafletResponsive Breastfeeding



Support for Breastfeeding Mothers


There are lots of places to meet other mothers, discuss baby care and responsive feeding with peers, seek professional advice or solve breastfeeding issues if they develop.  Please take a look at the leaflets below:
 

Breastfeeding: Your choice of support (pdf)

NHS Grampian Breastfeeding Support Groups (pdf)



Background


Breastfeeding is a dynamic interaction between a mother and her baby.  Responsive feeding differs from demand or baby led feeding by taking the emphasis away from food alone, as breastfeeding is also comforting and calming for both mother and baby. 
 
Mothers and babies have instincts that should be encouraged and supported by enabling them to spend time in skin to skin contact immediately after birth and throughout the postnatal period. Breastfeeding is normal and the healthiest way for a woman to feed her baby.  
 
NHS Grampian is UNICEF Baby Friendly accredited and recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, followed by a nutritious diet and ongoing breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond.
 
With support, the majority of women can breastfeed.  Lots can be done to support mothers to have confidence in their own bodies and their ability to responsively breastfeed.  Alongside the professional support a breastfeeding mother receives from her midwife and health visitor, her partner, family and friends have a very important role to play by encouraging her and boosting her confidence. 
 
We recognise the importance of support and consequently have increased it to include peer support for breastfeeding women.  The more confident a mother feels in her ability to breastfeed her baby, the greater the chance that she will continue breastfeeding for longer.



Why Breastfeeding Matters


Breastfeeding has enormous health benefits for both mother and baby, it provides the baby with the best start in life.
 
Don't just take our word for it!
  • Breastfeeding is nutritionally complete and all a baby needs for the first six months of life

  • Breastfed babies have a decreased risk of urinary, gastrointestinal, ear and respiratory infection; eczema and asthma; juvenile onset diabetes and, in later life, obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

  • Breast milk adapts to a baby's needs as they grow and develop, and also boosts their immune system. When breastfeeding, the mother transfers her immunity to her baby via her breastmilk, thereby protecting her baby on a continuous basis.

  • Breastfed babies may also have better teeth formation and better neurological development, and therefore reach their milestones earlier.

  • Women who breastfeed are at less risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancer, as well as less risk of osteoporosis

  • Breastfeeding is good for the mother's psychological wellbeing too, reducing postnatal depression and increasing resilience

  • Breastfeeding uses up approximately 500 calories a day, helping with post-pregnancy weight loss

  • Breastfeeding is convenient, free and is environmentally friendly.