Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby and breastfeeding is perfect for you too. Find out why.
Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby
Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby because:
- it’s all that your baby needs to eat and drink for about the first 6 months
- it helps to protect your baby against colds, tummy bugs, infections and allergies. It also helps to protect your baby from dying suddenly in their sleep
- breastfeeding helps your baby to feel safe and secure.
Breastfeeding is perfect for you too
Breastfeeding is perfect for you too because:
- it gives you a chance to rest while you are feeding your baby
- it helps you to feel close to your baby
- it saves you time
- it’s free
- it may reduce your risk of some cancers and bone disease.
Exclusive breastfeeding means that, since birth, your baby has only had breast milk (from the breast or expressed) and prescribed medicines. Try to breastfeed your baby exclusively until they are around 6 months old.
If your baby is exclusively breastfed they don’t need water or any other drinks or food until they’re around 6 months old.
After 6 months, exclusive breast milk is not enough on its own for your baby to grow and develop. You should start your baby on solid food and also continue breastfeeding until they’re at least 1 year old.
When you’re away from your baby, try to ensure that they’re fed with expressed breast milk rather than infant formula.
Breastfeeding NZ – YouTube channel and Facebook page
Breastfeeding information and videos. The YouTube channel contains the Breastfeeding. Naturally. video (as 7 separate chapters); these are also available with captions and in New Zealand Sign Language. The Facebook page is for anyone and everyone who is breastfeeding or interested in breastfeeding. Find out more, share your stories and get support from other members.
Breastfeeding – Kidshealth
Information and short videos about breastfeeding. Each section has a short video followed by key messages in English and 9 other languages.
Breastfeeding your baby – HealthEd (Health Promotion Agency and Ministry of Health)
Clear, simple suggestions about the nursing relationship, why breast milk is a baby’s best food, different ways to hold the baby during breastfeeding, how to ensure the baby is on the breast in the best way, frequency of feeds, breast care and further help. Available in English, simplified Chinese, Korean, Māori, Samoan and Tongan.
La Leche League
The New Zealand website of La Leche League, an international organisation that promotes breastfeeding.
Eating for healthy breastfeeding women – HealthEd (Health Promotion Agency and Ministry of Health)
Food information for breastfeeding women. Includes nutrition, healthy food for mother and baby, dietary variety, drinking plenty of fluids, foods low in fat, salt and sugar, healthy weight, losing weight gained during pregnancy, daily activity or exercise, taking time out, alcohol, and being smokefree.