Towards the end of your third trimester you'll be encouraged to think about how you'll feed your baby when he or she arrives.
Choosing to breastfeed can make a big difference to both your baby's and your own health.
Breast milk is packed full of disease-fighting antibodies, so it can help protect your baby from illness. Breast milk also changes daily, weekly and monthly to meet your little one's growing needs.
Babies who are breastfed have a smaller chance of:
- Developing eczema.
- Getting ear, chest and tummy bugs and having to go to hospital as a result.
- Being fussy about new foods.
- Being constipated.
- Being obese and developing diabetes and other illnesses when they are older.
There are advantages for mums who breastfeed too. Studies have shown that breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Feeding your baby the natural way also uses up about 500 calories a day so mums who breastfeed often find it easier to shift their pregnancy weight. Don't forget that it will also save money – breast milk is free and formula feeding costs will add up.
Like any new skill, it can take a little while for both you and your baby to get the hang of breastfeeding. Don't be afraid to ask your midwife or health visitor for help. You may also find it helpful to watch the breastfeeding videos on nhs.uk.
For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life