Step 3

Breastfeed your baby

Babies who are breastfed are more likely to be a healthy weight by the time they start school. They are less likely to have high blood pressure and heart disease when they grow up.

Aim to give your baby nothing but breast milk until your baby is around six months old. Keep on breastfeeding as you introduce solids foods. Continue breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby want, and at least until your baby’s first birthday.

Breastfeeding is
good for you too

You’ll naturally use up to 500 calories a day – which is the same as an hour-long treadmill workout (helping you to lose the weight gained in pregnancy). It will help you bond with your baby. You’ll also be at less risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer and Osteoporosis (bone thinning).

  • I’m ready to breastfeed

    I am definitely going to breastfeed. It is the most natural way to feed a baby.

    That’s great news. Your breast milk will give your baby all the nutrients they need. Your milk can protect them against illnesses like ear infections, chest infections, and stomach upsets. This protection can last for many years, and the longer you breastfeed the greater the health benefits. It will help them to grow steadily, too. As your baby grows and changes, your milk changes – something no formula could do.

    Make breastfeeding part of your birth plan

    If you’re pregnant, you might have been advised to make a birth plan. Make breastfeeding part of it. Talk to your midwife about planning to have skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible after your baby’s born. Try a feed within your baby’s first hour of life. 

    Eat well and look after yourself

    You don’t need to eat special things to breastfeed. But you do need to eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid smoking and alcohol. You will need to drink plenty of water too. Whatever you eat or drink, so will your baby. Find out more 

    Breastfeeding is good for you too

    You’ll use up to 500 calories a day by breastfeeding. That’s the same as an hour on a treadmill, and could help you to lose the weight gained in pregnancy.  Breastfeeding will help you bond with your baby too.  You’ll also be at less risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer and Osteoporosis.

    Talk to your midwife or health visitor

    Some mums are able to breastfeed easily straight away. Others find it takes a bit more time and practice. This is normal. If you need support with breastfeeding, ask your midwife or health visitor.

    You can also find lots of useful information on this in the Bump, Baby and Beyond Book.  

    Breastfeeding Support Groups

    There are breastfeeding support groups all over Wales. They’re an excellent source of information and encouragement for breastfeeding mums or pregnant women. Ask your midwife or health visitor about groups in your area.

    Find out more

    Bump, Baby and Beyond

    How to Breastfeed

    Positioning and attachment

    Why breastfeed?

     

  • I’m not sure how I feel about breastfeeding.

    Which of these statements best describes how you feel?

    I am pretty sure I want to breastfeed, but I am a bit worried about the stories people have told me. It sounds difficult. I am worried I might not be able to do it.

    Almost all women are physically able to breastfeed. It doesn’t matter what shape or size your nipples are, your baby will find the best way to attach themselves. Breastfeeding is a skill that you and your baby learn together. It takes a bit of practice to master it, and sometimes a bit of outside help. There’s lots of support out there. Your midwife, your health visitor and other mums at breastfeeding support groups. Any one of these can watch a feed, help you find out what the problem is, and help to fix it. You don’t have to struggle on your own.

    Breastfeeding gives your baby the best start in life and helps you to bond with your baby.  Your partner doesn’t need to feel left out either.  In the very early days, you and your milk will be the centre of your baby’s world – and this is normal. But that doesn’t stop your partner getting involved. Encourage them to change nappies, bath the baby, or carry the baby around in a sling. Get them talking, singing and playing with the baby too. When they’re caring for you and the baby in other ways, they will develop a bond that’s just as intense.

    I just don’t want to breastfeed.

    Is there anything that might change how you feel? Are you feeling self conscious, or worried it will hurt?  Perhaps talking to other breastfeeding mums would help.

    Your breast milk gives your baby all the nutrients they need. Your milk can protect them against illnesses like ear infections, chest infections, and stomach upsets. This protection can last for many years, and the longer you breastfeed the greater the health benefits. It will help them to grow steadily, too. As your baby grows and changes, your milk changes – something no formula could do.

    Find out more

    Bump, Baby and Beyond

    How to Breastfeed

    Positioning and attachment