Health benefits of breastfeeding

It is never too early to start to think about how you are going to feed your baby. However, you do not have to make up your mind until your baby is born. 

Your breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby. It contains unique properties that provide protection and promote healthy growth. 

Any amount of breast milk will have a positive effect. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts, and the greater the benefits are for you and your baby. 

Breastfeeding can reduce your baby’s risk of:

  • infections
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • heart disease in adulthood
  • obesity
  • sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Breastfeeding can help to reduce your risk of:

  • breast cancer
  • ovarian cancer
  • heart disease 
  • obesity 

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends giving your baby nothing but breast milk for the first six months of their life to help them grow and develop healthily. After six months, your baby should continue to have breast milk alongside a range of solid foods until they are at least two years old.

For more information about the health benefits of breastfeeding, please speak to your midwife or health visitor. 

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