A mother breastfeeds her baby

Since 2003, the Department of Health has recommended exclusive breastfeeding for around the first six months of life. Mothers are encouraged to delay the introduction of any food or drink other than breastmilk until their baby is around six months or 26 weeks old. Breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary feeding should be promoted into the second year of life and beyond, with support provided for mothers who are unwilling or unable to follow the recommendation.

Since then, a number of documents have been published which underpin the case for improving breastfeeding rates. They can be viewed in the Appendix to Developing a Breastfeeding Strategy.