Breastfeeding - 8 months and over

Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for your baby. It’s recommended by the World Health Organization that you exclusively breastfeed baby up to six months of age, and then continue breastfeeding alongside solid foods up to two years of age or longer.

When baby first starts solids, breast milk is still the most important food for baby and should be offered before solid foods. Around eight to nine months of age, start to offer solid foods before baby’s usual milk feeds.  Breastmilk is still important, but as baby gets older they are gradually increasing the amount of food they eat and nutrition they receive from food.

Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Continuing to breastfeed alongside the introduction of solid foods (at around six months) is important for maintaining adequate nutrition for your baby.
  • The composition of breast milk changes in response to your baby’s feeding habits and adjusts over time to meet baby’s specific needs as they grow.
  • Every month of breastfeeding, and any amount of breastfeeding (even if partial), will benefit your baby.
  • Breastfeeding also has many benefits for you as a Mum too.
  • As you probably know already, breast feeding is portable, hygienic, easy and an important bonding time for you and your baby.

Duration of breastfeeding:

  • It’s recommended that you exclusively breast feed your baby for the first six months, and ideally continue breast feeding (or give expressed breast milk) alongside solid foods for up to two years or longer.
  • The 2-year mark doesn’t need to be the end - you can keep breastfeeding for as long as you and your baby want. Remember, every baby is different and you should do what works best for both you and your baby.

Going back to work

If you are considering going back to work and you're still breastfeeding, that doesn’t mean you have to stop. Many mums work full time and successfully breastfeed their babies, it just takes a little forward planning. You can express and store breast milk at work and home so someone else can feed your baby, breastfeed before and after work, find childcare nearby, have someone bring your baby to work for feeds – there are plenty of options to help you through.

Talk to your employer about returning to work and breastfeeding. Feeding baby or expressing milk while at work will help maintain your supply. Expressed breast milk can be fed to baby when you are not with them. Employers and workplaces must make reasonable efforts to be able to provide a clean, private and comfortable area and breaks where you can breastfeed or express and safely store breast milk during the day.

Look for a childcare centre near your work. If you can breastfeed your baby during the day, it’ll be a great deal for both of you.

Make sure that you eat properly and get plenty of rest. Changing your routine and getting back into the working world can take a lot out of you. The most important things are you and your baby.  

Before you start back at work you can talk things over with your child health nurse or health professional. Get your partner or family on board too. That way you’ll have a solid plan for when you start back in the working world and plenty of support around you.

 

References:

National Health and Medical Research Council (2012) Infant Feeding Guidelines. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council.

 

The materials published on this website are of a general nature and have been provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your medical practitioner or a qualified health provider for any further advice in relation to the topics discussed.

 

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