Breastfeeding keeps baby healthy and strong
© Commonwealth of Australia 2012
© State of Queensland 2012 (marked photographs only)
The information in this publication is for general information only, and must not be used as a substitute for medical advice. You must seek independent professional medical advice before relying on any information contained in this publication.
Readers should be aware that these resources may contain images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are now deceased.
- It is good to breastfeed baby for as long as you can.
- Babies can be breastfed for 12 months and longer
- keeps baby healthy and strong
- helps to fight sickness
- helps to prevent baby from becoming overweight
- Keeps mum and baby close
- keeps mum healthy and strong
- saves money
Breastmilk is the best food for baby
- Until around 6 months – breastmilk is the only food or drink baby needs.
- From around 6 months baby needs solid food to help grow healthy and strong.
- Even when eating solid food, baby still needs breastmilk.
- If you are breastfeeding, the safest option is not to drink alcohol.
- Keep baby away from cigarette smoke.
How can I breastfeed when I am working or away from my baby?
- Breastfeed baby in the morning and at night.
- You can express milk so baby can be fed at other times.
- Store expressed milk in clean sterilised bottles in the fridge.
- Most babies who are 6 months old can drink breastmilk from a cup.
- Expressing breastmilk will keep your milk supply going. Top of page
How do I express milk?
- You can express milk by hand or use a breast pump.
- Express milk at the same times you usually breastfeed.
- Put breastmilk in clean sterilised bottles.
- Practice bottle feeding with your baby or drinking from a cup if older than 6 months.
- Get more information from your local health worker, childcare educator or from the FREE Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 mum 2 mum or 1800 686 268.
Breastfeeding and work
- Find a room at work where you can feed baby or express milk.
- Check there is a fridge for storing breastmilk.
- Keep breastmilk in labelled sterilised bottles.
- Keep the milk cold when you travel.
- At home, freshly expressed breastmilk can be stored for 3 days in the back of a fridge where it is coldest.
- In early childhood services, expressed breastmilk that has not been used will be given back to you or thrown out at the end of the day.
- If freezing your breastmilk, it can be stored for:
- 2 weeks in the freezer compartment inside the fridge, or
- 3 months in the freezer section of a fridge that has a separate door, or
- 6 to 12 months in a deep freeze.
Breastfeeding and childcare
- Take breastmilk to the early childhood service in sterilised bottles.
- Each bottle should have enough milk for every feed.
- Write baby’s name and the date breastmilk is to be used on the bottle.
Cleaning bottles and teats
- Sterilising bottles and teats kills germs.
- Wash bottles and teats in warm soapy water and rinse off detergent and bubbles.
- Sterilise bottles and teats. Choose a method for sterilisation such as boiling.
- Ask childcare educators or a health worker for advice.
It’s hard to express milk during the day - what can I do?
- Talk to a child health nurse or health worker.
- If possible, get someone to bring baby to you or go to baby during a work break.
- You can breastfeed in the morning and at night and give baby formula during the day.
Information and help
- Talk to your childcare educator.
- Talk to your health worker or child health nurse.
- Call the FREE Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 mum 2 mum or 1800 686 268.