It's National Breastfeeding Week (27 June to 3 July). This year’s theme is “everyone has a part to play in helping mums to breastfeed” with a focus on the difference that can be made if everyone supports breastfeeding such as partners, the wider family, community, health and education services and workplaces.
To help support you and your family through your breastfeeding journey, our Health Visiting and Family Nurse Partnership services are continuing to promote, protect, and support you during COVID-19 and beyond. All the information and support the services offer is research and evidence-based and the information is most up to date.
The Tower Hamlets Baby Feeding Service continues to offer new mothers with antenatal and postnatal support groups through virtual sessionshere.
Benefits of breastfeeding
It's never too early to start thinking about how you're going to feed your baby. But you do not have to make up your mind until your baby is born. Some of the benefits of breastfeeding are:
- your breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby
- breast milk protects your baby from infections and diseases
- breastfeeding provides health benefits for you
- breast milk is available for your baby whenever your baby needs it
- breastfeeding can build a strong emotional bond between you and your baby
- Formula milk does not provide the same protection from illness and does not give you many health benefits.
Health benefits of breastfeeding for your baby
Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for your baby, lasting right into adulthood.
Any amount of breast milk has a positive effect. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts, and the greater the benefits.
Breastfeeding can help to reduce your baby's risk of:
Some studies have also found that breastfeeding for at least six months may reduce your baby's chance of getting childhood leukemia. But more research is needed into this.
Giving nothing but breast milk is recommended for about the first six months (26 weeks) of your baby's life.
After that, giving your baby breast milk alongside solid foods for as long as you and your baby want will help them grow and develop healthily.
Breast milk adapts as your baby grows to meet your baby's changing needs.
For more breastfeeding advice visit the NHS Start 4 Life website.
Click here to watch our interview with first-time mum, Rebecca who talks about how our Tower Hamlets Baby Feeding service has supported her during her breastfeeding journey.
Further breastfeeding information:
Breastfeeding in public
Going back to work
NHS Start 4 Life: Breastfeeding advice Click here
UNICEF: Support for Parents Click here
UNICEF: COVID-19 Guidance and Resources to support you Click here
If you need support, you can get in touch with any of the Baby feeding helplines below:
Tower Hamlets Baby Feeding Service – Tel: 02035942591 or call/text on 07961609626
Facebook | Twitter – Follow @b2bth
National Breastfeeding Helpline – Tel: 0300 100 0212, 9.30am – 9.30pm
BfN Supporter line (Bengali / Sylheti) – Tel: 0300 456 2421, 9.30am – 9.30pm
La Lech League – Tel: 0345 120 2918
NCT– Tel: 0300 330 0700, 8.00am – 12.00 midnight