Benefits of breastfeeding

A crucial aspect of parenting is making sure your children are well fed. Breastfeeding is the natural method of feeding babies and can provide a range of benefits for mothers and children.

Breastfeeding isn’t always possible for new mothers and their newborns, but the home doctor experts at House Call Doctor have put together the following advice and information for those who are able to breastfeed.

How long should I breastfeed?

From the time of birth to six months of age, all the nutritional requirements for babies are found in breast milk. It is recommended in Australia that babies are exclusively breastfed for 6 months, and that breastfeeding continues until at least 12 months alongside the provision of solid foods.

Expressing allows parents to continue to give their babies the benefits of breast milk, even while the breastfeeding mother is absent.

Benefits to baby

It has been proven that babies benefit from breastfeeding as it reduces the risk of the following health issues:

  • Infections affecting the chest, ears, gastrointestinal tract, and urine
  • Respiratory illnesses including asthma and lower respiratory illness
  • Gastrointestinal issues including diarrhoea and necrotising enterocolitis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Eczema
  • SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome).


Benefits to mother

Mothers who primarily breastfeed their babies can also experience benefits to their physical and mental health.

Breastfeeding can result in:

  • Faster postpartum recovery, including a reduced risk of haemorrhage and enhanced iron levels
  • An increase in birth spacing (reduced ovulation leading to an increased protection from pregnancy)
  • A reduction in postpartum depression
  • Reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis
  • For mothers with gestational diabetes, a lowered risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Additionally, breastfeeding has zero costs and takes almost no preparation, compared to formula feeding. Breastfeeding also helps to strengthen the development of the bond between mothers and their babies.

To experience the many benefits associated with breastfeeding, mothers need to ensure they are breastfeeding their babies correctly. A few key factors in ensuring successful breast feeding include making sure the baby is properly attached, not experiencing discomfort or pain, and ensuring enough milk is produced to adequately feed the baby.

For mothers and babies who have trouble with breastfeeding, the home doctor experts at House Call Doctor recommend seeking help from a health professional.

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