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Breastfeeding 101 with Birth, Baby & Beyond

Please note this article is designed to provide information only. The reader should always seek professional advice when breastfeeding, a list of professional breastfeeding organisations can be found at the end of this article.

When it comes to getting ready to welcome your baby into the world, there’s so much to consider. Top of the list for many new mums is what they’re going to do when it comes to feeding. Deciding between breastfeeding and formula feeding is a very personal choice, so it’s important you choose the option that’s right for you and your baby. We’re here to offer you information, tips and advice to help you on the road to parenthood, starting with breastfeeding. So, if you’ve been wanting to find out more about breastfeeding, grab yourself a cuppa and take a read of this handy article we’ve put together for you. We hope it helps!

Breast milk is packed full of nutrients that are designed to give your baby the best start in life. Did you know that new babies have an innate affinity for breast milk? This means they’re able to identify milk through smell, and they know they’re never far away from their next meal either! Breast milk is also tailored specifically for your baby, so you can be reassured they’re getting what they need in each feed. It’s even been shown that what the milk is made up of will depend on whether you’re feeding a boy or a girl… and that this could then affect how your child behaves and advances too. Clever, eh?

It’s likely that if you’re considering breastfeeding, you’re already aware of the myriad of health benefits associated with this method of feeding. Your newborn will be protected from infection, whilst the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and obesity is also reduced. In fact, some of these advantages can last for years to come – as if you needed any more reasons to take the plunge! The health advantages of breastfeeding don’t stop at baby though… it’s time for Mummy to get involved! Studies have shown there’s a reduced risk of developing a number of conditions including breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

We know that having a baby can be a shock to the system, especially when it comes to sleep (or lack thereof)! No matter how much you try to prepare yourself, struggling with sleep can really take its toll. It may surprise you to know that breastfeeding could help here. Breast milk contains a number of hormones, including Prolactin, which is specifically geared towards helping all you tired mummies to get some much-needed kip. Talking of hormones, you’ll also find Oxytocin in breast milk, which is associated with feelings of being calm and happy – just what new Mummies need to get through that mountain of inevitable nappies. Finally, breastfeeding uses up lots of your energy… it can even help you burn up to several hundred calories a day! It’s never been simpler to fit in that exercise session you’re always promising yourself you’ll get on to!

When it comes to breastfeeding, the current advice is to continue for the first 6 months of your baby’s life before starting on solids. Of course, breastfeeding alongside the eating of solid food is also recommended. However, we know that some mothers find this type of feeding easier than others. Remember that offering your baby a little breast milk (if you can) is better than nothing… and if you’re struggling, there’s lots of organisations out there to help.

Here at Birth, Baby & Beyond, we offer breastfeeding packs to help you get started. These include breast pumps, breast pads and nipple shields too. Please speak to one of our team to find out more. You can also keep ‘abreast’ (see what we did there?!) of all our latest news on our social media platforms and get more information on who we are and what we do right here on our website.