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Infant Feeding

Choosing how you will feed your baby is the first of many important decisions you will make as a parent. We want you to have all of the information you need to make an informed decision. Breastfeeding is best for you and your baby; however, for many different reasons, some parents decide to use formula. Regardless of how you choose to feed your baby, we have support and resources to help you feed your baby safely.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is recommended as baby’s first food by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Dietitians of Canada, the Canadian Pediatric Society and the College of Family Physicians of Canada. For the first 6 months, breastmilk is all your baby needs. At 6 months, solids foods should be added to the baby’s diet while still receiving breastmilk. You can continue breastfeeding for 2 years and beyond.

Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mom and baby. Breastfeeding is free, convenient and environmentally friendly. It helps protect babies from many infections and illnesses, builds healthy eating habits, promotes proper jaw development and promotes healthy brain development. Breastfeeding helps mothers because it controls postpartum bleeding, decreases rates of breast and ovarian cancers and slows the return of your period.

To learn more about breastfeeding, see Best Start's booklet, Breastfeeding Matters.  

 Formula Feeding

If formula feeding is how you are going to feed your baby, we can help there, too, working with you on a feeding plan.

It is also important to know that there are some risks to formula feeding. These risks can include:

  • Safety concerns and recalls to the formula itself
  • For babies, there is an increased risk of ear infections, lung and breathing issues, diarrhea and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Also, later in life there are increased health risks such as overweight, obesity and chronic illnesses like diabetes.
  • For ,others who do not breastfeed have a higher risk of health issues like postpartum bleeding, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

When you have all the information on formula feeding, you can talk to your health care provider for ways to reduce these risks for you and your baby.

To learn more about formula feeding, see Best Start's booklet, Infant Formula: What You Need to Know

Your infant feeding goals are important to us.  Please don’t hesitate to call one of our Growing Healthy Families Intake Nurses for support and information.