Breastfeeding  Breastfeeding Overview

Importance of Breastfeeding

There is nothing you can do for your child in his/her whole life that will affect them both emotionally and physically as profoundly as breastfeeding. It is also important for your own body and affects a surprising number of health issues.

The key health benefits of breastfeeding are summarised below:

Babies who breastfeed are less likely to suffer from:

  • Gastro-intestinal Infection
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Necrotising Enterocolitis
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Ear Infections
  • Alergic Disorders (eg. Eczema and Wheezing)
  • Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Childhood Leukaemia.

Breastfed babies may have better:

  • Neurological Development.

More research is needed, but breastfeeding may also provide protection for the infant against:

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Acute Appendicitis
  • Tonsillectomy

And for the mother, protection against:

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Women who have breastfed are at lower risk of:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Hip Fractures and Low Bone Density

We hope you find the following resources helpful prior to and throughout your breastfeeding journey.

Skin to Skin contact:

Attaching Your baby to the breast:

Hand Expression:


Click here to access information on breastfeeding support groups.

Information from The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative and "The womanly Art of Breastfeeding" by La Leche League International.