In this blog we will be focusing on breasting feeding support available for families.
Good nutrition and healthy eating is important for everyone. It is especially important in the early years as children have very specific energy and nutrient requirements as it is a time of rapid growth and development.
During the first six months, babies can receive all the energy and nutrients they require for breastmilk or their first infant formula. Weaning, or complementary feeding, starts when baby is around 6 months old, when baby should be introduced to a varied diet, alongside their usual breastmilk or first infant formula.
Here at Early Start Nutrition we want to ensure that all families are supported on their breastfeeding journey. As a mum, you may be exclusively breastfeeding or offering a mixture of breastmilk and first infant formula. Many mums will also want to exclusively offer first infant formula to their little one and we have additional information on offering first infant formula here.
What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby and Mum?
- Breastfeeding has some of the most wide-reaching and long-lasting effects on a baby’s health and development
- Breastmilk is tailor-made for babies and contains all the nutrients they need*
- It contains lots of antibodies which help to protect babies from infections such as gastrointestinal (stomach) upsets and respiratory (chest) infections
- Breastfeeding reduces a mothers risk of pre-menopausal breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding has been cited by the World Cancer Research Fund as one of 10 recommendations in reducing the risk of cancer
- Breastfeeding women are at reduced risk of osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) and post-menopausal hip fractures – studies suggest the longer women breastfeed, the greater their protection
- It helps the mother and baby to form a bond.
Supporting mums to feel confident about breastfeeding
It may take a while to feel confident to breastfeed. It’s important to know you are not alone, and . Every breastfeeding journey is unique, but It’s important to know you are not alone. remember you are not alone. Various support is available to you, including that provided by your midwifes and health visitor/s.
There may also be locally trained volunteers (peer supporters) to help get breast off to a good start.
You can meet your health visitor face to face at baby clinics or speak to them in between appointments by giving them a call.
Children’s Centres often have local breastfeeding groups. You can check for your local one via the NHS website here
There are lots of organisations that you can call for support. Let’s take a look.
Breastfeeding support helplines:
Mother can use the following helpline numbers and websites to get support and advice from trained professionals:
- National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0300 100 0212 (9.30am to 9.30pm 365 days a year) or nationalbreastfeedinghelpline.org.uk
- La Leche League: 0345 120 2918 or laleche.org.uk
- National Childbirth Trust (NCT): 0300 330 0700 or nct.org.uk
- The Breastfeeding Network supporter line in Bengali and Sylheti: 0300 456 2421
- Newham Baby Feeding Helpline: 07534249611 (Newham families only)
- Hackney Breastfeeding Support
Returning to work
If you are returning to work and would like to continue breastfeeding baby there is lots of support available that can help you to prepare for this. You may like to express breast milk to provide to your childcare provider or to breastfeed before and after work/nursery. Even just a few breastfeeds a day will provide the baby with valuable nutrients and protective factors for both you and baby. Start4Life has a really useful booklet with lots of top tips ‘breastfeeding after returning to work or study’.
24/7 breast feeding support via Start for Life
Mothers looking for breastfeeding support, advice and information can also speak to a breastfeeding support worker through an online chat portal via the Better Health Start for Life website.
There are also lots of free support networks available, including the Breastfeeding Friend from Start for Life on Amazon Alexa and Facebook Messenger.
Breastfeeding Friend from Start for Life on Amazon Alexa
If you have any breastfeeding questions – the Breastfeeding Friend from Start4Life on Amazon Alexa (available 24⁄7) has lots of useful information and expert advice to share with you.
Start for Life Breastfeeding Chatbot on Facebook messenger
If you have any breastfeeding questions – the Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend chatbot (via Facebook messenger) has lots of useful information and expert advice to share with you.
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