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Breastfeeding your baby

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The First 1000 days of life, from the start of pregnancy to a child’s second birthday are extremely important for a child’s growth and development, and a unique opportunity to provide the best start in life.

Breastfeeding is the ideal way to feed infants. The Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, strongly supports breastfeeding and encourages mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively (in other words to give breastmilk only) to around 6 months (around 26 weeks), and to support them to continue breastfeeding for as long as they and their child wishes after introducing solid foods. We also support mothers who can’t breastfeed to express their breastmilk and offer this to their babies.


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Breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can do for your baby’s health and your health too. There are many benefits of breastmilk and breastfeeding. Some of these are:

  • Breastfeeding helps you and your baby form a close bond, with benefits for your child’s development and your relationship with your child even after breastfeeding has stopped.
  • Breastmilk provides everything your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. After 6 months, babies need solid foods as well as milk. However, breastmilk is still important during the first two years of your baby’s life and beyond.
  • Breastmilk helps to protect your child against many infections, for example diarrhoea, chest infections, urine infections and ear infections.
  • Breastfeeding and breastmilk has benefits when your child is older, even into adulthood. It can help to protect against obesity, cardiovascular disease, and improve IQ and readiness for school.
  • Breastfeeding helps to protect you from breast and ovarian cancer, and helps you to lose weight after delivery.
  • Breastmilk does not cost anything and is always available.
  • Breastfeeding helps protect our environment as there is no packaging or waste, and no power is needed to prepare the milk.
Remember – any breastmilk a baby receives is beneficial, and the more breastmilk your baby receives, the greater the benefits.

Many mothers have questions about breastfeeding, and need support, particularly in the early days and weeks. If you are struggling with breastfeeding, contact your GP or Health Visitor and ask for support. This page also includes a list of helpful websites, videos and resources which can be accessed free of charge.

Finally, we understand that some women cannot or choose not to breastfeed; we respect this decision and the hospital fully supports parents and infants who are not being breastfed.

Useful links
  • The ParentClub
    This Scottish Government website contains a wealth of information on breastfeeding and caring for infants. It includes help with some of the challenges mothers may face, including helpful videos. There is also a directory with details of where to access further help.
  • Best Beginnings
    This website has a series of short videos covering many aspects of breastfeeding, including preparing to breastfeed during your pregnancy, the first feed, how to hold your baby and help them to attach to the breast, and how to introduce solid foods at 6 months. There are also extra videos on topics such as overcoming challenges and expressing breastmilk.
  • Off to a Good Start
    This website contains a series of booklets and posters to help you with breastfeeding and to answer some of the questions parents often ask.
  • Parenting Across Scotland
    This website contains a lot of information about caring for young children. As well as help with feeding, the site contains suggestions for soothing a crying baby, helping young children with sleep and links to other useful resources for parents.
  • Healthier Together
    This website contains information about many aspects of childcare from birth to teenagers. It contains guidance for parents who are concerned that their baby is not getting enough breastmilk and what to do. This is a common worry for many breastfeeding mothers. The site also contains other information about feeding infants.
  • National Childbirth Trust
    The NCT aims to support parents through pregnancy until the child’s second birthday. The site contains a lot of helpful information about breastfeeding and help with some of the common questions that parents ask.

    There is also a face book page: NCTGlasgowBFsupport (Glasgow Breastfeeding Buddies)

    You can also text FEED to 81222 for one-to-one virtual breastfeeding support or scan the QR code on this flyer.
  • National breastfeeding helpline
    This advice line operates from 09:30am to 09:30pm every day of the year and offers independent confidential breastfeeding support and information, by volunteers who are themselves mothers who have breastfed.

    TEL: 0300 100 0212
  • La Leche League
    Offers friendly breastfeeding support from pregnancy onwards, runs support groups and offers telephone, online and written support. 
  • Breastfeeding | Ready Steady Baby! 
    This site includes information about breastfeeding, and also about pregnancy, labour and meeting your new baby. There is also a ‘Browse Aloud’ function on the site, that reads out the information on the pages (found in the top right hand corner of the NHS site).

  • Cry-sis
    Offers support for crying and sleepless babies. There is a telephone helpline and website giving hints and tips on coping with excessive crying and sleeplessness.
Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 13 July 2022

Next review: 31 July 2024

Author(s): Ruth Bland, Gillian Bowker, Debbie Barnett