There is more to feeding a baby than the simple transfer of milk and calories. Feeding a baby is part of a brand new loving relationship than begins before baby is even born.
Mum’s milk protects her baby against:
Breastfeeding reduces mum’s risk of:
Cost - Infant formula is expensive - up to about £1,200 a year depending on the brand bought. What could you buy instead?
“Hassle Factor” - Using formula in 1 year means making up more than 2,000 bottles, that’s about 200 hours work in the kitchen.
Humans are Mammals - There are over 4,500 species of mammal on Earth. Each species makes a special milk for their babies. Human milk for human babies!
Did you know that breastfeeding uses up on average about 500 calories per day? To burn off an equivalent number of calories you’d need to swim 30 laps or cycle for over an hour each day.
Watch this five minute video to find out more information about how lactation works.
If all is well it is a good idea to wait until your lactation has settled down a bit before you start expressing. For many mums this will be around 3-4 weeks.
It is worth considering that early introduction of a teat or dummy may make it more difficult for baby to attach well to the breast, it may interfere with “baby led feeding” and this may reduce your milk supply.
After the birth a midwife will help you to learn how to hand express your milk. Watch this UNICEF video to learn more about hand expressing your milk.
These days many pregnant women start collecting colostrum before their baby arrives.
Further information about expressing your milk before your baby arrives can be found on the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers website.
Ask a midwife for guidance on antenatal hand expressing (from about 36 weeks) and consider joining and asking other mothers about it on our closed “Breastfeeding Friends” Facebook groups.