Breastfeeding provides significant health benefits for mother and baby. The Australian government and the World Health Organisation recommend babies are exclusively breastfeed until six months of age.
Why breast is best
Breast milk is perfectly designed to nourish your baby: It’s made up of nutrients suited to the baby’s growth rate and can compensate for the baby’s fluid loss through sweating on hot days.
It’s easily digested by your baby: It’s suited to baby’s immature kidneys and digestive system. Breastfed babies rarely get constipated and their faeces don’t (or hardly) smell.
It’s important for your baby’s health: It increases the resistance to infection and disease and reduces the likelihood of the baby developing asthma or allergies such as eczema.
It’s cheaper and more environmentally friendly: Milk formulas are more expensive. Fuel, energy and resources are needed for production.
It’s important for the mother: Hormones produced during lactation help the uterus return quickly to its pre-pregnancy size. It’s an excellent way of losing fat deposited during pregnancy safely. It also reduces the mother’s risk of developing breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Did you know?
The colostrum, the nourishment your baby gets in the first days, is a rich mixture of protein and other nutrients and antibodies. It’s everything your baby needs for the first few days.
Please note: this information was current as of September 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.