How you choose to feed your new baby is a very personal decision. We will support your choice of breastfeeding, or formula feeding by providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. We always encourage new mothers to breastfeed, if possible, because it of the benefits breast milk provides. It provides nutrition and protects your baby against illness. It can also help prevent diarrhea and decreases the risk of SIDS, ear, chest and stomach infections.
Health Canada recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their life. Breastfeeding is a learned skill that you and your baby will develop over time. Your care team on the postpartum unit will assist you in learning and developing the skills necessary for breastfeeding. These skills are:
- The latch
- Breast care
- Techniques for expression
- Storage of breast milk
Telehealth Ontario now offers new and expectant moms 24/7 access to expert advice and support for breastfeeding. Breastfeeding doesn¹t always come naturally, so if you are experiencing any issues or have any questions concerning breastfeeding, Telehealth's registered nurses and team of lactation experts are here to help. For more information call 1-866-797-0000.
Click here to download Breastfeeding Matters, a comprehensive guide from Public Health to support breastfeeding families.
We will also help direct you to community support services and breastfeeding resources for more advice. For information on what food, drugs and activities are safe while breastfeeding please visit Mother to Baby. If you would like more information about hand expression please click here to see our pamphlet.
If your baby is not breastfed, or is partially breastfed, commercial formulas are the most acceptable alternative to breast milk. These can be used until your baby is nine to 12 months of age, which is when solid foods begin to take a more prominent role in your baby's diet. Please remember that formula does not contain the same kind of valuable antibodies or benefits as breast milk and carries certain risks. Information is available and will be provided to you to help you formula feed your baby. This includes information on how to choose a formula, prepare the formula and sterilize your equipment.