Breastfeeding is a skill that takes time to get the hang of. Lots of mums wonder if their baby's feeding well and getting enough - especially in the first few days. But once you've mastered it, you'll probably find it's the easiest and most satisfying way to feed your baby.
Apart from the fact that breast milk is tailor-made for your baby, contains vitamins and minerals and is always available, it also offers protection from certain infections and helps improve your baby's long-term health. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), childhood diabetes and leukaemia.
For babies, breastfeeding can reduce the risk of:
- Infections (including chest and ear infections)
- diarrhoea and vomiting
- sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- type 2 diabetes
For mums, breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of:
- breast cancer
- ovarian cancer
- type 2 diabetes
Breastfeeding need not stop you and your baby going out and enjoying life
You can breastfeed almost anywhere. If you wear fairly loose clothing you can feed baby without worrying that you are showing your breast. You may feel a little uncomfortable at first but will soon get more confident. Most people won't even notice you are breastfeeding - try practising in front of a mirror at home.
A great way to get used to feeding around other people is to go to a local breastfeeding group where you can meet other mums. Most Children’s Centres have a breastfeeding group with a volunteer BAMBIS worker or health promotion worker available to support you. Feeding out and about with other breastfeeding mothers from your group may also help you feel more confident. BAMBIS run a buddy system where you can meet other mums at a café or other venue to feed together for the first time.
Click Here for a list of Childrens Centres
No one should ever ask you to stop breastfeeding in public……
The Equality Act was introduced into law in 2010 and it is now illegal to try and stop mothers breastfeeding their babies in public places. It is important to remember that the vast majority of people don’t mind (or notice) when a mother is feeding her baby. However, if you do come across someone who tries to stop you, or asks you to move, it is worth thinking about making a complaint, as this person is acting illegally.
If you do feel nervous…….it may be reassuring to know that most mothers find, with a bit of practice, they can feed discreetly. After feeding in front of others a few times, many mothers start to feel more comfortable.
- Wear loose comfortable clothing
- Drape a blanket or clothing/ scarf over you and your baby
- Wear tops that lift up rather than have buttons
- You may find a nursing bra helpful
- Practice in front of a mirror
- Try it first in front of other mums at a group
- Go out with another breastfeeding mum
- Relax – people may be more supportive than you think
- It’s thirsty work – keep a drink close by
We are encouraging Liverpool businesses and community facilities to sign up to our ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’ scheme. Those premises signed up to the scheme will provide a welcome, safe, clean and comfortable environment to mothers who want to breastfeed, with appropriate levels of support from friendly, positive staff. This scheme is part of the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative to protect, promote and support the needs of breastfeeding women, babies and families.
In Liverpool all Children’s Centres and NHS Healthcare Centres are Breastfeeding Friendly.
We are encouraging Liverpool businesses and community facilities to sign up to our ‘Breastfeeding Welcome’ scheme. Those premises signed up to the scheme will provide a welcome, safe, clean and comfortable environment to mothers who want to breastfeed, with appropriate levels of support from friendly, positive staff. This scheme is part of the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative to protect, promote and support the needs of breastfeeding women, babies and families. If you wish to sign up to the breastfeeding welcome scheme, please download and complete the form on the right hand side of this page.