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Important notice and declaration
Breast milk is best for babies. Professional advice should be followed before using an infant formula. Introducing partial bottle feeding could negatively affect breast feeding. Good maternal nutrition is important for breast feeding and reversing a decision not to breast feed may be difficult. Infant formula should always be used as directed. Proper use of an infant formula is important to the health of the infant. Social and financial implications should be considered when selecting a method of feeding.

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Breast Feeding Guide

Read the Frequently Asked Questions

Exclusive breast feeding is recommended until around 6 months of age when solid foods are introduced.1

It is further recommended that breast feeding be continued until 12 months of age and beyond, for as long as the mother and child desire.1

Exclusive breast feeding to 6 months of age gives the best nutritional start to infants and is recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)1, the World Health Organization (WHO)2 and other health authorities.3

Breast feeding is the normal and most appropriate method of feeding infants and is closely related to immediate and long term health outcomes.1

Breast feeding forms a unique biological and emotional basis for the health of both mother and infant and plays an important and central role in protecting the health of the infant and promoting physical, neurological and emotional development in the short and long term.

The majority of Australian women (80-90%) commence breast feeding, however by 6 months 40-50% have introduced other foods or stopped breast feeding.1 There is also evidence that women in higher socioeconomic groups are more likely to breast feed.1

References

  1. NHMRC (2013). Infant Feeding Guidelines: NHRMC. Canberra.
  2. WHO (2002). Infant and young child nutrition: Global Strategy on infant and young child feeding. WHO 55th World Health Assembly.
  3. Ministry of Health (2012). Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Healthy Children and Young People / Aged (2 - 18 years): A background paper. Wellington, Ministry of Health.

Below you will find some frequently asked questions related to Breast Feeding. To view the answers please download the PDF. Download PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the benefits of breast feeding for the infant?
  • What are the benefits of breast feeding for the mother?
  • What are important nutritional considerations for mothers during breast feeding?
  • What are the energy requirements of a breast feeding mother?
  • What are other nutrients of particular concern during breast feeding?
  • What are the characteristics of breast milk?
  • How long and how often should an infant be breast fed?
  • Are there ways to increase milk supply?
  • What are the different ways to express breast milk?
  • What positions can mothers use for breast feeding?
  • What equipment is required for bottle feeding expressed breast milk?
  • What are the different methods to sterilise equipment used for expressing breast milk?
  • How should expressed breast milk be safely thawed and warmed?
  • How should expressed breast milk be safely stored?
  • Where can mothers access support for breast feeding?

Breast milk is best for babies. Professional advice should be followed before using an infant formula. Introducing partial bottle feeding could negatively affect breast feeding. Good maternal nutrition is important for breast feeding and reversing a decision not to breast feed may be difficult. Infant formula should always be used as directed. Proper use of an infant formula is important to the health of the infant. Social and financial implications should be considered when selecting a method of feeding.

 

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Last Updated: 03/04/2014

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