This section provides some information you may find useful if you are thinking about breastfeeding or have already decided to breastfeed.
Breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby and contains all the nutrients your baby needs. It helps to protect your baby from some infections and diseases and provides some health benefits for you too. Breast milk is readily available whenever your baby needs it and breastfeeding helps you and your baby become physically and emotionally close.
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for around 6 months and alongside family foods thereafter. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.
Benefits for your baby
- Reduced risk of infections
- Reduced risk of diarrhea and vomiting
- Reduced risk of constipation
- Reduced risk of developing eczema
- Reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Reduced risk of childhood leukemia
- Reduced risk of obesity
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood
- Reduction in hospital visits as a result of the above
Benefits for you
- Reduced risk of breast cancer and may reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer
- Reduced risk of osteoporosis
- Reduced risk of obesity
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
- It saves money – it’s free
- Mother baby relationship building
Infant formula milk is made from cow’s milk and other ingredients and therefore does not provide your baby with the same protection from illness or give you any health benefits.
Your health visitor or family nurse are committed to providing expert care and advice to support you in your choice to breastfeed. They will provide you with practical help and advice and guide you towards useful resources.
The number of women in Forth Valley who are breastfeeding at six weeks after giving birth has increased by more than 5% and helped earn NHS Forth Valley’s community health visiting service a prestigious Baby Friendly Award from Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund).
Further information, tips and advice log on to the NHS Breastfeeding and Support pages at www.nhs.uk where you will find information on how to breastfeed.
- For information on vitamins for breast feeding mothers and children
- For information on how to hand express breast milk
- Unicef website and Forth Valley’s Baby Friendly Accreditation Status
- Ready Steady Baby website
- Parenting Club website for information on Baby Box
- Glasgow Milk Bank
- Unicef UK The Baby Friendly Initiative
- The National Health Service – for advice about the first few days, positioning and attachment and breastfeeding advice and guidance
- The National Childbirth Trust – Tel: 0300 330 0700 – for advice and support with breastfeeding
- La Leche League – Tel: 0345 120 2918 – offers mother to mother support
- The Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) – advice on feeding twins and triplets
- Association of Breastfeeding Mothers – Tel: 0300 330 5453
- National Breastfeeding Helpline – Tel: 0300 200 0212 – for advice and support
- The UK Association for Milk Banking
Off to a good start for images and information on benefits of breastfeeding and constituents of milk:
- Breast milk benefits
- Breast milk versus formula
- Comfortable positioning
- How do I express by hand
- How do I know my baby is hungry
- Magical hour
- Off to a good start
- Off to a Good Start (Arabic)
- Off to a Good Start (Polish)
- Positioning and attachment
- What’s in a nappy
If you require publications or documents in an alternative format such as large print, braille and audio versions, please contact Health Scotland publications –email@example.com.