Breast/chestfeeding your baby provides many benefits for your baby, you and your family.

Benefits for Baby

  • Is easily digested
  • Lowers the rates of gastrointestinal, respiratory and ear infections, and SIDS
  • Has growth factors and hormones to help normal growth and development
  • Has antibodies to help fight infections
  • May help prevent or delay the start of allergies
  • Contains fatty acids needed for nerve and brain development in baby
  • Changes to meet a growing baby’s needs

Benefits for You

  • Helps you feel close to your baby
  • Releases hormones that help you to relax while you feed your baby
  • Helps your uterus return to normal size
  • Is linked to a lowered risk of breast and ovarian cancer – the longer you breast/chestfeed the lower your risk
  • Is convenient (no need to mix formula or clean bottles or carry formula and bottles when travelling)
  • Is always ready and at the right temperature
  • Is much cheaper then formula feeding
  • Is environmentally friendly

Breast/chestfeeding Support

Partner, family and friends can support breast/chestfeeding. It can help to know that:

  • Human milk is made for human babies and supports the development and protection of the baby after birth
  • Both parent and baby need time together which helps them both recover from childbirth and learn to breast/chestfeed
  • Babies cuddled skin-to-skin at the chest will show feeding cues
  • Frequent breast/chestfeeding, 8 to 12 times in 24 hours, will help your baby get enough milk
  • In the first few weeks, feedings take about an hour. This includes feeding on both breasts, diaper changes and burping
  • It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for most people to feel confident with breast/chestfeeding and for it to seem convenient
  • Your continued encouragement and support is very important

How can partners help?

A baby needs a lot of attention during the first months of life. You can help by:

  • Bathing and changing the baby
  • Bringing the baby to your partner to breast/chestfeed and burping the baby
  • Cooking meals and making snacks for the family and grocery shopping
  • Tidying up the house
  • Doing laundry (you will be amazed at how much one tiny baby can create!)
  • Screening visitors and phone calls
  • Encouraging your partner to rest when the baby does