Women who don't have health problems should try to give their babies breast milk for at least the first six months of life. There are rare exceptions when women are advised not to breastfeed because they have certain illnesses.
Some medicines, illegal drugs, and alcohol can also pass through the breast milk and cause harm to your baby.
Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients to help your infant grow into a strong and healthy toddler.
"Any amount of breast milk has a positive effect," says Bridget Halnan, infant feeding lead in Cambridgeshire and Fellow of the Institute of Health Visiting.
"The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.
Myth: "Some women don't produce enough breast milk."Fact: "Almost all women are physically able to breastfeed," says Bridget Halnan.
"Early, frequent feeding and responding to your baby's cues gives you the best start to establishing your supply."Myth: "If I breastfeed I can't have a sex life."Fact: There's no reason why breastfeeding should stop you having sex with your partner.
These are some of the reasons why: Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for your baby, lasting right into adulthood.
Giving nothing but breast milk is recommended for about the first six months (26 weeks) of your baby's life.Formula milk doesn't provide the same protection from illness and doesn't give you any health benefits." Breastfeeding reduces the risk of:"Perhaps more than any other aspect of caring for your baby, how you feed your baby seems to cause a great deal of discussion," says Bridget Halnan."Family and friends can have strong opinions, but some aren't based on fact."Some common breastfeeding myths include: Myth: "It's not that popular in this country."Fact: More than 73% of women in the UK start breastfeeding, and 17% of babies are still being exclusively breastfed at three months.Your breasts may leak a little milk while you're having sex, but you can try feeding your baby beforehand or wearing a bra with breast pads in.Your vagina may feel a little drier than usual because of your breastfeeding hormones.If you experience pain in your breasts or nipples, it's usually because your baby isn't positioned or attached properly.