Exclusive breastfeeding means feeding your baby breast milk only. This is recommended for the first 6 months, but don't be put off if you can't see yourself breastfeeding this long. Just take each day, week and month as it comes.
Why choose to exclusively breastfeed?
The health advantages for you and your baby are at their highest when you exclusively breastfeed for as long as you can. It also gives you a chance to rest and spend time getting to know your baby - and it's completely free! There are many reasons mums choose to breastfeed their babies- you can hear a few in the video below.
Other peoples' opinions
Lots of people have opinions about feeding and you're bound to hear someone say "so and so was bottle fed and they're OK!" Formula feeding is safe, but breast milk is the right milk for human babies - it's got all sorts of important ingredients that can't be copied in formula milk. Over the course of a lifetime there are many things that affect your health, and studies clearly show that people who were breastfed as babies and mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of many illnesses.
Getting your partner involved
Breastfeeding is a lovely bonding experience for you and your baby to share, but that doesn't mean that your partner will feel left out. There is plenty for them to do in the early days, and they can give your baby expressed milk once you've been feeding for a while. Our How can dads and partners support breastfeeding? page has lots of tips on how they can help.