Where can I get information about my rights at work (such as feeding breaks) while I am breastfeeding?
You should discuss your feeding plans with your work supervisor and the health visitor well before you are due to go back to work, to sort out the arrangements. This will not only ensure that you can do the feeding smoothly, but will also allow for minimizing disruption of your work as much as possible.
When will my baby sleep through the night?
Babies differ enormously in their sleeping habits and focusing on a specific figure could only lead to disappointment and frustration. There are three-week-old babies who only need a late evening feed - say at 11 o'clock at night - before sleeping for the remainder of the night. For the majority of babies, however, a full night's sleep is not achieved until eight to twelve weeks of age. For, some, unfortunately, this is still elusive when they celebrate their first birthday!
How long should I continue breast-feeding for?
It is important to plan well ahead on how long you would like to continue breast-feeding. This will depend on your individual circumstances. Factors such as your plans to go back to work, your circumstances at work (including the type of job and available facilities), your choice of contraception and your plans for future pregnancies will feature.
It is important to remember that for about four months, your milk will provide your baby with all the food and fluid needs. Supplementation should be planned from around this stage. To get maximum benefit from breast-feeding for both you and your child, you should be planning to breast-feed for well over six months if your circumstances allow. Many mothers breast-feed for a year and more and find it a positive and rewarding experience.
We hardly need to stress the fact that breast-feeding gives your baby the best possible start in life. It is also true that the benefits continue well after their breast-feeding 'career' is over. The same holds true for the mother. It is proven beyond doubt that a past history of breast-feeding significantly reduces the risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.
The Association of Breast-feeding Mothers can be contacted at:
P 0 Box 207, Bridgewater, SOMERSET TA6 7YT
Helpline: 0870 401 7711