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Breastfeeding helps lay the foundations of a healthy life for a baby.

The Ministry of Health recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months. After six months, breast milk is not enough on its own for a baby to grow and develop.  Therefore breastfeeding should be continued until a baby is at least one year old with the addition of solid food from six months. 

It's important breastfeeding mothers have support from their partners, family/whanau, health practitioners and once breastfeeding has been established, their employers and the community.

There are many reasons and benefits to mother, baby and the rest of the family  for breastfeeding  -

  • Breastfeeding is natural and normal

  • Breastfeeding is important for the baby’s health and wellbeing

  • When established, breastfeeding is convenient and easy

  • Breastmilk is free

  • Breastmilk is readily available with no heating required

  • Less risk of under or over feeding when breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding forms a unique bond between mother and child

  • Breastfeeding is linked to optimal brain development

  • Breastmilk contains essential nutrients not found in infant formula

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