Responsive Breastfeeding

Why is breastfeeding important?

Breast milk is unique and contains some important components that are vital for a baby’s growth, development and health. These include essential enzymes, hormones and antibodies. Breast milk is also tailor made just for your baby. This means it changes as your baby grows to meet their needs, offering protection as they grow and develop. Your body is fine-tuned to protect you, your immune system is mature and can rapidly produce antibodies in response to viruses or bacteria you may come into contact with. These antibodies can also be quickly passed through your breast milk to also protect your baby whilst his/her own immune system is still developing and more vulnerable. Despite years of research, science still can’t replicate these unique properties found in breast milk.

  • breast milk helps protect your baby from illness, for example chest, ear and tummy infections
  • breast milk reduces the risk of constipation or tummy upsets
  • breastfeeding helps your baby regulate their appetite, reducing the risk of obesity as they grow older
Breastfeeding offers a good start to learning appetite control. 
  • Breast milk contains hormones that program your baby’s regulation of food intake
  • Breastfed babies control the amount of milk they drink and stop drinking when they are satisfied. 
Breast milk also introduces tiny amounts of flavour. This can influence taste preferences and food choices later on


  • reduces your risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and diabetes
  • is protective to your bone health, helping to keep them stronger for longer
  • is good for your mental helth. Breastfeeding hormones promote feelings of love and calmness
  • helps stimulate responsive mothering behaviours towards your baby. This helps to create a strong bond with your baby and for baby, in turn, to feel safe and secure
  • helps your postpartum recovery and burns calories, which may help you return to your pre-pregnancy weight

Why is breastfeeding good for baby?

Why is breastfeeding good for mothers?

What’s in Breast Milk? 

Local Breastfeeding Support

If you wish to access antenatal courses, breastfeeding groups, 1 to 1 breastfeeding support and more, please contact your local Children’s Centre. You can find your nearest centre by using the postcode checker on our home page here:

BUMP – ‘Feeding Your Baby Leaflet’ download here

Community Breastfeeding Support

Support and resources for breastfeeding in the local area

NHS Start 4 Life

Trusted NHS help and advice during pregnancy, birth and parenthood


Birmingham and Solihull United Maternity and Newborn Partnership - working to improve your maternity experience

How babies breastfeed & what helps to get off to the best start:

Signs Baby is Getting Enough Milk: 

How does a baby show they are ready for a feed? Baby’s feeding Cues: 

Expressing Breast Milk: 

Maximising Breast Milk:

Skin to Skin:

If you want to know more about the value of skin-to-skin please click this link:

Information provided by the Infant Feeding Team

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