National Breastfeeding Week 2016 runs from the 1st-7th October. This year the HSE are reminding mums and mums-to-be that “Every breastfeed makes a difference”.
The WHO and the HSE both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life and to continue up to 2 years and beyond along with suitable solid foods. Breastfeeding is proven to contribute to a lifetime of good health and can affect your baby’s future health forever. There are so many short term and long term benefits for baby and lots of research to show that every breastfeed does in fact make a difference.
For example, research has found that:
Babies who are exclusively breastfed for between 3-6 months were 38% less likely to be obese at age 9 while being breastfed for 6 months or more saw a 51% reduction.
Any breastfeeding reduces the risk of ear infection by 23% while continuing for 3 months brings that up to a 50% reduction.
Breastfeeding for the first month reduces the risk of respiratory tract infections by 27% with every extra month of breastfeeding further reducing risk of illness from infections.
Breastfeeding in the first few days can provide your baby with antibodies that provide natural immunity and can help to protect against infections.
You can find our more about National Breastfeeding week and also a list of events going on around the country on Breastfeeding.ie
If you are breastfeeding or preparing to breastfeed at the minute have a read of some of our articles for some information and tips.