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Do I still need to breastfeed?

Yes. Breastmilk or formula will remain your baby's most important source of nutrition until she is a year old. There is no need to stop breastfeeding because you are starting your baby on solids. This is the case even though solid foods will gradually replace some of your baby's milk feeds.

You can carry on breastfeeding for as long as you both wish and your baby can continue to enjoy the health benefits that breastmilk gives. Breastmilk provides important vitamins, iron, and protein in an easy-to-digest form.

If you do choose to continue breastfeeding the Department of Health recommends that breastfed babies older than six months have a daily vitamin D supplement of seven micrograms (mcg). The supplement comes in the form of drops. Your health visitor can show you how to give your baby drops.

In fact, if you your baby is six months or older you may want to give her vitamin drops that contain both vitamins A and D. It's a way of ensuring she has enough of the important vitamins she needs.

Your baby's milk intake will reduce as she starts to eat more solid foods. You may find that feeds between meals become shorter and eventually stop. You can’t measure the amount of breastmilk your baby is taking, so let your baby be the guide. She may want to continue with a breastfeed first thing in the morning and at bedtime.

Be aware that your baby’s appetite can change from day to day, just like yours. You may sometimes find that your baby still wants a breastfeed after a meal.

You may also want to offer other drinks once your baby has started solids. The best choice is always water, although you can offer well-diluted fruit juice with meals if you wish. Offer drinks in a cup with a soft spout or a free-flowing lidded beaker.

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