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What You Need to Know about Breastfeeding | Affinity Health

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality healthcare, explores the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby.


Breastfeeding can be one of the most joyful experiences you will have with your newborn. It enables you to develop a stronger bond with your child. It also gives babies the nutrients they need to grow and remain healthy. But breastfeeding can be nerve-wracking for new mothers.


“It’s critical to remember that breastfeeding is a personal option. How you feed your child is ultimately up to you,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health. “Additionally, keep in mind that breastfeeding is a learned skill. Breastfeeding is a journey that you and your baby will embark on together.”


Breast milk is full of nutrients that are essential for your baby. It aids your baby’s health and development. Furthermore, it is ideal for building your baby’s cells, hormones, and immune system. Your baby’s first milk is called colostrum. Another for colostrum is “liquid gold.” Not only is it a bright and yellow hue but it is also rich in nutrients and antibodies.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Baby

During the first one to two weeks of your baby’s life, colostrum transforms into mature milk. This has the ideal balance of fat, sugar, water, and protein for growth.


Breastfeeding can help reduce your baby’s risk of acquiring the following illnesses and conditions:

Learn More: How Often Should Your Baby Be Feeding
Breastfeeding also provides benefits for new moms.
  • Breastfeeding enables you to immediately fill your baby’s appetite. You don’t have to worry about sterilising bottles or preparing formula.
  • Breastfeeding decreases your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Breastfeeding can also reduce likelihood of some breast cancers and ovarian cancer.
  • Breastfeeding may also help reduce postpartum bleeding. It can also speed up the recovery of your uterus to its pre-pregnancy form.
  • Breastfeeding may assist you in losing weight following delivery. Your body uses calories saved during pregnancy to produce milk.
  • Breastfeeding saves you money. Formula can cost over R15 000 per year.

Many factors might influence the amount of breast milk produced by your body. The primary key for ensuring adequate milk production is to feed frequently.


Your infant might not completely empty your breasts after feeding. Here are strategies you can use to help them empty more completely:

How Often Should You Breastfeed?

To begin, you should breastfeed your baby as soon as possible after giving birth. Breastfeeding during these critical early hours is critical for your baby’s health. Following birth, you should breastfeed between eight and 12 times in a 24-hour period. Or, every two to three hours. This ensures that your body produces enough milk to give your baby enough food.


It’s critical to keep in mind that each baby’s eating pattern is unique. It is preferable to feed your infant on demand rather than according to a timetable. Keep an eye out for your baby’s signs of hunger. Signs include increased alertness or activity, mouthing, rooting, and suckling.


If your baby has frequent bowel movements, you will know if he or she is getting enough milk. In the first five days, newborn faeces are normally loose. They then change colour from black to brown to mustard yellow.


Your infant should have at least two to three bowel movements in a 24-hour period by the third day after delivery.


By the time your baby is five days old, he or she may have at least four yellow, seedy stools every day. As your baby grows older, bowel motions will vary, with some babies having one per day and others one every few days. 

How Long Should Breastfeeding Continue?

Health practitioners vouch for exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life. After six months, you can begin introducing solid foods to your baby’s diet.


According to studies, 92% of new mothers encountered difficulties breastfeeding. These mothers struggled to breastfeed in the first three days following birth.


You might have difficulty latching your baby. Or you might have trouble with consistent milk supply. Are you dealing with mastitis or breast engorgement? You many knowing that there are many tools available to assist you. Consult your baby’s paediatrician if you have any breastfeeding concerns. Additionally, you can get a referral from your doctor for a breastfeeding counsellor.


Affinity Health has post-natal benefits to ensure that members enjoy parenting! For more information on the Maternity benefit, click here.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading provider of health insurance. We offer a wide range of cover options at affordable rates. Medical cover includes access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance. We have designed healthcare products to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to always give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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