What is breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is feeding your baby breast milk. It can be done directly from the breast, or expressed (pumped) and fed through a cup, tube, syringe or bottle. It can even mean using donor milk.
All parents should be supported to breastfeed their baby in the way that is best for them, and for as long as they want to.
The World Health Organisation recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months. Many parents choose to continue breastfeeding for much longer, and some choose to stop sooner.
Feed Your Way supports every parent’s right to choose the right path for them and their baby. We also believe that access to evidence-based information and appropriate support is key to making sure that parents are aware of their feeding choices.
Why support breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding has many health benefits – for both the breastfeeding parent, and their baby.
Benefits for babies
Breastmilk is perfectly designed for babies and toddlers. The contents of breastmilk changes as a baby grows, so that it always supports their development. It also protects against many diseases and infections and lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Breastfed babies are also less likely to develop obesity and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood.
Benefits for breastfeeding parents
Breastfeeding has lots of health benefits for breastfeeding parents too. It reduces the risks of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, weak bones (osteoporosis), obesity and cardiovascular diseases.
There’s lots of research and information about the health benefits of breastfeeding. To find out more, visit:
Benefits for businesses and the economy
Because breastfeeding has so many health benefits, breastfed babies are statistically less likely to experience illness and poor health. This means less cost for the NHS. It also often results in fewer cases of sickness/carers’ leave for working parents.
Supporting breastfeeding families in the workplace also leads to:
- Greater staff satisfaction.
- Higher staff retention.
Benefits for the whole planet
Breastfeeding is the cleanest and greenest way to feed your baby. Unlike the formula industry, breastfeeding does not:
- result in packaging going to landfill.
- produce carbon emissions.
- rely on the production of plastic bottles.