Boost your baby’s defenses with nature’s tailor-made immune support.
Breastmilk has an amazing ability to change to give your baby exactly what they need. The first milk you make after giving birth is called colostrum. It is very concentrated and packed full of antibodies and immune cells, boosting your baby’s immune system from birth. Milk changes from colostrum to mature milk over the first few days. You might leak milk don’t worry if you don’t notice anything, this isn’t a sign you don’t have enough milk for your baby.
If a baby is sick, the milk will have antibodies to help fight infection. On a hot day, your milk will be more watery to quench your baby’s thirst. Not only does breastmilk change as the baby gets older but it changes from feed to feed. Breastmilk is all a baby will need until they are six months and then women can continue to breastfeed alongside introducing solids.
Antibodies in breastmilk help protect your baby from illnesses including:
If breastfed babies do become ill, evidence shows that the illness is milder and passes more quickly.
Babies who are breastfed have lower blood pressure and lower total cholesterol later in life. They are less likely to have childhood diabetes, childhood obesity and heart disease. Breastfeeding also helps support brain development and is thought to increase IQ and reduce behavioural problems.
It’s a good idea to look after your baby’s oral health. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of developing tooth decay.
Breastfed babies also have a lower risk of needing braces later in life.
You can read more about the importance of looking after your baby’s oral health here.
Women who have breastfed are at a lower risk of:
Breastmilk has all the nutrients and water your baby needs, in the right amounts for the first six months of your baby’s life. A breastfed baby doesn’t need anything else.
Breastmilk continues to benefit babies when you start introducing solid foods from six months.
Formula milk is the best alternative to breastmilk if you choose or need to bottle feed. It’s usually made from cow’s milk which can’t be digested by babies so the milk has to be altered first. Other ingredients such as soy protein and fish oils are added for extra nutrition. NHS.uk has a guide to making up formula milk safely and there are some more tips below.