There are significant immediate and long-term positive benefits associated with breastfeeding for both you and your child because your breast milk contains unique properties that can’t be replicated in infant formula.
Your baby’s development, positive mental health and their attachment to you as their mother is strengthened through breastfeeding,
Research shows babies that are breastfed have fewer problems with gastro, respiratory infections and ear infections. Breast milk is shown to decrease the rate of chronic disease in later life such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, childhood asthma and some forms of leukaemia.
The research also found a mother who breastfeeds is likely to return to their pre-pregnancy weight sooner and is less likely to develop pre-menopausal breast and ovarian cancer and Type 2 diabetes.
The National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines recommend you should breastfeed your child exclusively until around six months of age when solid foods are introduced. It is further recommended that breastfeeding be continued until 12 months of age and beyond, for as long as the mother and child desire.
Breastfeeding in public
Breastfeeding is convenient; you can breastfeed your child whenever and wherever they need feeding.
Discrimination against a woman who chooses to breastfeed in public is illegal.
- The Maternal and Child Health Line - you can talk to a maternal and child health nurse about breastfeeding concerns you may have. The service is available 24 hours a day on 13baby or 132229
- Mum to Mum – you can access a 24 hour breastfeeding helpline to talk to an Australian Association Breastfeeding counsellor who can offer encouragement and support. Call 1800 mum 2 mum or 1800 686 2686.