Breastfeeding provides the best source of nourishment for your baby in the early months of life.
Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed for at least six months. Please contact your midwife if you have any concerns about breastfeeding.
Breast feeding has many advantages for both mother and baby:
Breast milk is nutritionally complete for the first six months of life
Breast milk is hygienic and always the correct temperature
Breast milk contains immune cells
Breast milk is the least likely to cause allergies in babies
Breastfed babies are less likely to be overfed
Breastfeeding promotes good jaw and tooth development
Breastfeeding is free, and convenient
Breastfeeding promotes close mother baby contact
Extra calcium is needed during breastfeeding. It is recommended to have at least 1200mg calcium daily. For young women and adolescents, even more calcium is needed, up to 1500mg calcium daily. Most of the extra calcium requirements are met by improved calcium absorption from the mothers' diet.
It is best to include three to calcium rich foods each day. The richest dietary sources of calcium are dairy products, or fortified soy products- milk, yoghurt, cheese, custard and ice cream. Smaller amounts are found in salmon, almonds, spinach, broccoli, dried apricots and tahini.
If your diet is low in calcium rich foods, a dietary calcium supplement may be needed. Your dietitian or doctor will advise you if you need it.
For the latest information on allergy prevention in infants please contact your health professional and see: ASCIA INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS, CONSUMERS OR CARERS: guidelines for allergy prevention in infants.