Breast milk is perfect for your baby's growing needs and giving them your milk can make a big difference to you and your baby's health.
Breast milk provides your baby with lots of disease-fighting antibodies which will help protect them from illness.
Babies who are breastfed have a smaller chance of:
- Developing eczema
- Getting ear, chest and tummy bugs
- Being fussy about trying new foods as they get older
- Being constipated
Nursing can also deepen the bond between you and your new baby.
Towards the end of your pregnancy you might like to start thinking about the things you might need to make breastfeeding as easy and comfortable as possible.
Here's a list of some of the breastfeeding products available;
Slings are a great way to discreetly breastfeed in public. They're made of a soft material and either tie or clip to your front, supporting your baby and keeping your front covered.
Specially designed tops and T-Shirts
T-Shirts and tops specifically designed for women that are breastfeeding can be a great help, especially when you are feeding your baby out and about. There are some available with velcro flaps and built-in slings, again ideal for breastfeeding in public. Alternatively look for regular tops that have easy access such as wrap-over styles.
Nursing bras are designed to enable breastfeeding and also provide comfortable support for milk-filled breasts. It's important to make sure that your nursing bras fit properly as a too tight bra can cause problems such as mastitis.
Breast pump, bottles and sterlising equipment
If you'd like to be able to take turns with your partner when it comes to feeding your baby then you'll need to express some breast milk into bottles. You can do this yourself or you might like to purchase a breast pump. Some are manual whilst others are battery powered, they range in price so shop around. Bottles and breast pumps need to be cleaned and sterilised, so you will need the right equipment for that too.
For more information on pregnancy health and advice go to www.nhs.uk/Start4Life