Credit: Pregnancybaby (Glam)

According to Dietitians Association of Australia, majority of new mothers are unaware of the health benefits of breastfeeding - not only does it improve health and IQ of their babies, it also reduces their own risk of developing cancer and heart disease.

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) is educating new mums the importance of breastfeeding for their own health to mark the World Breastfeeding Week from August 1st to 7th.

The health advantages associated with breastfeeding remain with mothers for years to come, revealed Claire Hewat, DAA CEO.

Despite this fantastic fact, only 56 per cent of infants are still fully-breastfed at three months.

Ms Hewat said the benefits include a reduced risk of cancer, increased health of the immune system and more.

Mums who breastfeed have a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.

Breastfeeding also boosts the immune system, speeds up recovery after child birth and helps the mother return to her pre-pregnancy weight, said Ms Hewat.

A recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding till infants reach six months of age followed with breastfeeding till at least 12 months while solids are slowly being introduced are advised by health authorities.

Many Australian women wonder about what they are supposed to eat while breastfeeding, and it is one of the major concerns, said Kate Di Prima, an Accredited Practicing Dietician.

Ms Di Prima said mothers do not have to bother about eating special foods, but they are advised to keep a healthy diet that will produce breast milk that has a healthy balance of proteins, vitamins and energy, and the diet in turn, keeps them healthy and energetic as well.

The healthy diet includes a lot of vegetables, fruits and wholegrain cereals and breads, with moderate amounts of reduced-fat dairy and lean mean or legumes.