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Breastfeeding is very important to the health of both mother and baby. Mothers who breastfeed are at less risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Your breastmilk is the only food specifically designed for your baby. As well as having all the nutrients your baby needs to grow and develop, human milk has very special ingredients such as antibodies, hormones and stem cells to help protect your baby now and in the future.

Benefits of breastfeeding

Antibodies in breast milk stimulate your baby’s immune system and help protect them from infection and other illnesses including:

  • Stomach infections, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Ear and chest infections
  • Kidney infections
  • Cow’s milk protein allergy, asthma and eczema
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Childhood diabetes
  • Childhood obesity

– Breast milk changes as your baby grows so they get what they need to develop.

– Breastfeeding helps the development of your baby’s eyesight.

– Their sucking action at your breast also helps their jaw and mouth development.

– Children and adults breastfed as babies are less likely to have obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Eating well whilst breastfeeding

You don’t need to eat anything special while you’re breastfeeding, but it’s a good idea for you to eat a healthy diet.

Healthy eating whilst breastfeeding is no different from at any other time of your life. To make sure you are getting a good balance of nutrients for you and your baby, click here to find out more.

Breastfeeding support

For more information, click here

 Welcome Here Scheme

The Breastfeeding Welcome Here Scheme is an initiative that makes it easier for mums to recognise places where they can breastfeed their baby when they are out and about.

For parents

All across Northern Ireland, there are cafes, restaurants, shops and other businesses that are happy to have breastfeeding families on their premises. Many have joined the Breastfeeding Welcome Here Scheme.

To find out more about the scheme and find locations near you, click here.

For businesses

Breastfeeding is very important to the health of both mother and baby. Mothers who breastfeed are at less risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from infections and allergies, and are also less likely to develop childhood diabetes and obesity.

Northern Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe. Although half of all new mums start breastfeeding, many quickly stop. This is often because they feel there is a lack of support, particularly when they want to feed their baby outside the home. Breastfeeding should be part of everyday life and can be done very discreetly.

Every business knows the value of repeat customers and word-of-mouth recommendation. Breastfeeding mums who feel welcome will come back to your business and will also tell their friends. Joining the scheme gives you an opportunity to boost your business and benefit your local community at the same time.

For further information on membership criteria and how to join, click here.


Infant Feeding

Click here to visit the Western Trust Infant Feeding Service