​Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding or boobie feeding is the traditional, natural and healthiest way for your baby to feed. Breast milk has big benefits and protection for your baby. It is good for both you and your baby, but it isn’t always easy.

The first six weeks after baby is born are the hardest for both you and baby because baby is growing so fast and doesn’t know the difference between day and night. It's also a time when you are getting used to your new baby.

It is normal for baby to be at the breast often, like baby feeding hourly, two hourly or three hourly. It is difficult to put babies who are being breastfed into a regular routine like babies who are having the bottle. This is because breast milk is natural and the baby absorbs the milk easily.

Benefits and protection for baby

Breast milk

  • Gives baby the healthiest start in life
  • Has all the food and water baby needs for the first 6 months
  • Is easy to digest
  • Changes to meet baby’s needs as baby grows
  • Protects baby against diabetes and becoming overweight in the future
  • Helps protect baby with ‘glue ear’ and ear infections

Benefits and protections for mum

Breastfeeding

  • Strengthens the mother and baby bond
  • Is instant, no need for making bottles, warming up bottles, forgetting formula, washing bottles
  • Doesn’t cost anything
  • Helps get your body back into shape faster

Handy tips

Preparing to breastfeed

Breastfeeding in the first week

Is my milk in?

  • Your milk is coming in when your breasts become larger and feel heavy, warmer and uncomfortable about 2–6 days after your baby is born.
  • Your milk starts changing from clear colostrum to more yellow milk
  • More information about breast engorgement is available at Australian Breastfeeding Association - engorgement

Is my baby getting enough milk?

Is my milk good enough?

Breastfeeding in public

Breastfeeding and smoking

  • Your baby is at a higher risk of cot death if you smoke but breastfeeding will reduce that risk
  • Do not smoke near your baby or in the house or the car
  • Wash your hands after you have a smoke and wear an over-shirt while you are smoking
  • Sids and Kids
  • Alcohol and drugs during pregnancy and breastfeeding, QLD Health (pdf)

Breastfeeding and drinking alcohol

Breastfeeding and taking drugs

Problems with breastfeeding

Expressing my breast milk

Need help?

Mums often have problems with breastfeeding and need someone to ring for advice. You can ring Birra-Li and have a yarn about how you are going with your breastfeeding.