do we breastfeed …?
Lactation is found in mammals and certain species of reptiles and
birds to provide protection and nutrition for infants. In all three
groups infancy has the highest mortality rates and enhancing survival
through this early stage is critical, evolution has ensured that
mother's milk provides the best nourishment for her offspring.
has powerful beneficial effects, through protection against infection
and disease as well as reducing the likelihood of allergic disorders.
Breast milk also provides a high level of antibodies to protect
against illness and disease, which means that responses to vaccination
will be enhanced.
is for life. The effects of breastfeeding will be observed in a
child for many years following weaning.
milk will vary from one mother to another, it will also change according
to the time of day, and will adapt to suit baby's changing needs
as he grows older. In the first days of breastfeeding babies receive
colostrum which is a special milk full of antibodies, protein and
carbohydrates. As breastfeeding becomes established your baby will
receive foremilk for the first few minutes followed by hind milk,
which has a higher fat content and will satisfy baby's appetite.
is not just good for babies, there are benefits for mother too;
feeding your new infant will cause the uterus to contract and return
back to its pre-pregnancy shape and size. Breastfeeding also provides
a special opportunity for you to bond with your baby.
mothers breastfeed without any problems, for others however this
is quite the opposite and can be very distressing. Learn as
much as possible before your baby is born, and if you do begin to
have difficulties talk straight away to either your doctor, midwife
or breastfeeding counsellor for help and advice.
For information and advice on breastfeeding try visiting