The who guidelines states “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.”
Still in western cultures many women feel uncomfortable with the thought of breastfeeding and instead choose to bottle feed their babies. Those who do decide to breastfeed can find, due to lack of support or encouragement, that they decide to switch to bottle feeding within 6 weeks of birth.
Antibodies which are past to the baby in the mother’s breast milk helps the babies immune system protect against many diseases such heart disease, crohn’s disease, and many other aliments including many forms of cancer. Chances of cot death are also reduced. FSID say’s “Research* shows that babies who were at least partly breastfed were one-third less likely to die as a cot death than babies who were never breastfed.” Breastfeeding has also been shown to reduce the risk of obesity when the baby becomes an adult. Also babies suffering from infections in the ear, urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract or having allergies are far less common.
Mothers who breastfeed are also shown to reduce their risk to ovarian cancer and breast cancer.
Breastfeeding truly is a wonderful experience but it can be one that you need a lot of support, especially in the early days.
Here are a few links to websites offering support and advice:-