As a new parent you are faced with many decisions about what is best for you and your baby, how to feed your baby is one of these decisions.
Health Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada recommend:
Breast/chestfeeding – exclusively for the first six months, and continued for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding – is important for the nutrition, immunologic protection, growth, and development of infants and toddlers.
This recommendation is based on research that shows human milk provides many health benefits in addition to containing valuable nutrition for a baby’s growth and development.
For babies who are not fed human milk, commercial iron fortified infant formula is recommended.
Discuss your thoughts about feeding your baby with your partner during pregnancy. Ask your healthcare professional for more information and about the supports that are available to you.
Section 1 – Breast/chestfeeding benefits
Breast/chestfeeding provides many benefits for the mother, baby and family, find out more about these benefits in this section.
Section 2 – Breast/chestfeeding basics
This section covers –
- feeding cues
- getting a good latch
- breast care
Section 3 – Milk supply and normal newborn feeding patterns
This section covers how to know if your baby is getting enough milk and what to expect with a normal newborn feeding pattern.
Section 4 – When to seek help
This section covers signs that you that need to seek help from a lactation specialist.
Section 5 – Nutrition for the breast/chestfeeding parent
Eating a variety of food from Canada’s Food Guide will help you stay healthy and meet the nutrient needs of your baby. Healthy eating will also give you the energy needed to care for yourself and your new baby. This section contains guidelines to consider while you are breast/chestfeeding your baby.
Section 6 – Expressing milk
Human milk can be expressed (removed from your breast). Some parents choose to express milk or need to express milk to maintain a milk supply if their baby isn’t latching to the breast. This section contains information about how to express milk by hand or by using a breast pump.
Section 7 – Milk storage
This section contains information about how to store, freeze, thaw or warm your expressed milk.
Section 8 – Formula feeding
For medical or personal reasons, you may decide to formula feed your baby. This section contains information about:
- different types of formula
- using formula
- how much formula to give