Quite simply, breastfeeding is the healthiest option for you and your baby. By deciding to breastfeed, you’ll be giving your child the best possible start in life. Any period of breastfeeding, however short, will benefit your baby, but the maximum benefits are gained by feeding breastmilk and nothing else until around six months, and then continuing to breastfeed after solids are introduced until your baby is a year or more old.
Even though breastfeeding is the natural way to feed, to make sure it’s a successful and enjoyable experience, you and your baby will both need to learn how to get it right. Breastfedbabies.org has been written and designed especially for parents in Northern Ireland to provide help and support to make breastfeeding easier. As well as explaining why breastfeeding is so important, the site offers advice and guidance on how to breastfeed, expressing breastmilk, solutions to common breastfeeding problems, weaning and returning to work.
We hope that breastfedbabies.org will be able to answer many of your questions about breastfeeding. If you have specific concerns, your midwife or health visitor should be able to help, or you could contact one of the local support groups or breastfeeding counsellors listed in our Support section.
Bringing breastfeeding into the spotlight
The first regional public information campaign on breastfeeding was launched in 2004 by the Health Promotion Agency [whose responsibilities have new transferred to the Public Health Agency (PHA)]. This campaign aims to raise public awareness about the health benefits of breastfeeding, and to encourage the general public to be supportive to mums who want to breastfeed their babies.
Research has shown that while some people in Northern Ireland know about the health benefits of breastfeeding, there is still only a vague awareness among the public, including young mums-to-be, about how good this type of feeding is for both mum and baby. The ongoing campaign includes television, radio and bus advertising as well as posters. You can view the television advertisement on the right by choosing your bandwidth option.
The PHA will continue to run public information campaigns on breastfeeding. In February 2007 the campaign was further developed to encourage men to support breastfeeding mums. A number of advertisements were placed in the sports pages of newspapers.
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In this website, babies are referred to as 'he'.