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Breastfeeding

0-6 months of age

 Breastfeeding is the most natural way of feeding infants and is the best way to support their healthy growth and development. Breast milk contains important nutrients infants need as well as lots of components that help with protecting babies from infection. The health benefits of breastfeeding are numerous, in particular there is a reduced risk of infectious diarrhoea and acute otitis media. It has also been shown that breastfeeding has positive effects on health later on in life too, for example it can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity and allergic disease. Babies who are breastfed also have higher IQs than babies who aren’t. Additionally, breastfeeding has benefits for mum, by reducing mums risk of breast and ovarian cancer as well as Type 2 diabetes mellitus and it helps mum and baby bond emotionally. Because breastfeeding has so many wonderful health benefits for both baby and mum, exclusively breastfeeding for around 6 months and continued breastfeeding whilst introducing solid foods and thereafter is recommended by WHO, ESPGHAN and Department of Health (DoH). If an infant isn’t able to be exclusively breastfed, even partial breastfeeding as well as breastfeeding for shorter periods of time are also really beneficial to an infant’s health. For more information on breastfeeding you can visit https://www.smababy.co.uk/newborn.