Breastfeeding is the best way to start your newborn's life and the longer you give your baby breast milk, the more they benefit. Breastfed babies have less chance of developing eczema, being constipated and having ear infections.
Breastfeeding is good for you too, reducing your risk of breast and ovarian cancers. It also uses up about 500 calories a day, which is a great help when you're trying to get back into shape.
Most new mums are physically able to breastfeed but like any new skill it can take some time to get used to it! Its worth remembering that after about six weeks babies tend to settle and need feeding less often but in the meantime here are some helpful tips:
1. Don't give up if you it difficult at first. There are people who are trained and skilled and there to help you. Ask your midwife or health care professional or call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 for further help and advice
2. Breastfeeding is a great time to get closer to your baby and develop a bond. As a new Mum it also gives you a chance to sit down and relax throughout the day. You could even read a magazine or book, chat on the phone, or watch your favourite TV show whilst feeding your baby
3. Once you get the hang of breastfeeding you'll be able to express your milk by hand or with a pump. This means that your partner, family or friends can help take turns feeding your little one and give you a break
4. Breastfeeding mums give their baby lots of liquid, so breastfeeding might make you feel thirsty. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water - try keeping a bottle of water next to you when you breastfeed
5. Shop around for comfortable tops and T-Shirts that you can wear whilst breastfeeding. You can buy specially designed tops with pockets and flaps that help make breastfeeding in public more discreet
For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life