Breastfeeding is the healthiest way you can feed your baby and it does not cost anything. Our maternity and health visiting services work together to ensure pregnant and breastfeeding mums-to-be receive support and have the information needed to successfully begin and maintain breastfeeding.
Advantages to breastfeeding
There are many advantages and benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby. If you are considering breastfeeding, it could be right for both mum and baby as:
- Breast milk is the only natural food that adapts to meet your baby’s changing needs
- Breast milk provides health benefits for both mum and baby – It protects your baby from infections and diseases
- Infant formula doesn’t give your baby the same ingredients or provide the same protection
- It’s available whenever your baby needs a feed and it’s the right temperature
- It is free – feeding a baby on infant formula costs up to £1,000 a year
- It gives you a great sense of achievement while developing a strong physical and emotional bond with your baby
Women who breastfeed are also at a lower risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and hip fractures. Breastfeeding can also help protect your baby against a wide range of illnesses, including:
- chest infections
- ear infections
- urinary infections
- childhood cancers and sudden infant death syndrome
- heart disease
UNICEF have a number of resources and articles available online, with key information on the benefits of breastfeeding and how it can support infant health.
Video transcript: Human milk, tailor-made for tiny humans
Nature has been researching your milk for hundreds of millions of years.
The composition of your milk is alive and changes throughout the day, the night, the months and the years to meet your child’s needs.
Your milk contains stem cells. These are cells that create and repair the body and are being researched worldwide to cure conditions like Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
Your milk contains components that kill cancerous cells. Your body identifies bacteria or viruses found in your baby’s body and environment.
You then produce antibodies specifically tailored to those infections, and deliver them to your child through your milk.
Your milk appears to switch on a gene in your baby’s body, which produces a hormone called Leptin.
This hormone tells your baby when his tummy is full, protecting him against over eating.
Your milk contains Oxytocin, a hormone that induces relaxation, and feelings of well-being in your child and in you.
It’s ALL in YOU.
Breastfeeding support workshops
We run several groups where you can meet other mums and get help with breastfeeding. To book on to one of these workshops please speak to your midwife directly:
Rossmere Children’s Centre
Hartlepool – 1pm-2.30pm
Every third Friday of the month
Footsteps Children’s Centre
TS23 2QL – 5.30pm-7pm
Every third Monday of the month
Redhill Children’s Centre
TS19 9BX – 5.30pm-7pm
Every third Wednesday of the month
High Fliers Children’s Centre
TS17 9JP – 5.30pm-7pm
Every third Tuesday of the month
Sunrise Children’s Centre
TS18 3PJ – 5.30pm-7pm
Every third Wednesday of the month
Linfield Children’s Centre
Hartlepool – 1.30-3.30pm
Every first Tuesday of the month
Infant feeding service contacts
Specialist infant feeding midwife.
For all infant feeding related support.
All help lines offer free, confidential advice from trained breastfeeding counsellors.
National Breastfeeding Helpline (Department of Health)
National Childbirth Trust
La Leche League
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers