Breastfeeding and Return to Work

Benefits of breastfeeding

“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 irreplicable components such as antibodies, hormones and stem cells to help protect your baby now and in the future.

The World Health Organisation recommends that babies are fed breastmilk alone for the first six months of life, and then after solids are introduced that breastfeeding continues for two years or longer. Any breastmilk you can give your baby will greatly benefit both you and your baby’s health and wellbeing – every drop counts!  Breastmilk continues to protect and support both you and your baby even after you have stopped breastfeeding.”  

Maternity staff will give you an opportunity to discuss the benefits and management of breastfeeding before your baby is born. Useful conversations for all parents include:

  • skin to skin contact following the birth and in the early weeks – this contact is important for bonding, optimal brain development and getting breastfeeding off to a good start
  • keeping you and your baby close (rooming in)
  • practical skills and knowledge needed to successfully breastfeed your baby – see the Public Health Agency’s book Off to a good start

If your baby is in the Neonatal Unit the benefits of breast milk can be even more important. You will be shown how to express milk by hand and then with a breast pump.

Download further information on expressing breast milk




Feeding Your Baby