Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed babies and has many benefits to both mother and baby. Health Canada recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months. Sustained breastfeeding for two years and beyond with the introduction of complementary foods is important for the growth and development of infants and toddlers.
Babies who are breastfed or receiving breast milk need a daily Vitamin D supplement of 400 IU (10 µg) from birth to 2 years old. This is available at pharmacies. Vitamin D protects your baby from getting a bone disease called rickets (Health Canada). Babies who are formula feeding do not need additional Vitamin D because it has been added to formula.
- Meets the nutritional requirement for every stage of development
- Promotes brain development
- Decreases the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Increases protection against childhood diabetes and certain childhood cancers
- Protects against ear, stomach and respiratory infections
- Promotes healthy tooth and jaw development
- Decreases risk of childhood obesity
- Helps uterus return to normal size and controls bleeding after birth
- Helps the mother lose weight faster
- Protects against cancer of the breast and ovaries
- Decreases risk for osteoporosis
- Saves money - no need to purchase formula and supplies
- Is convenient and always available
- Promotes bonding between mother and baby
Adapted/Reprinted with permission by the Best Start Resource
Breastfeeding Support Services we offer:
- Timiskaming Breastfeeding Buddies Facebook Support Group is a closed Facebook page for mothers across the district of Timiskaming. Parents can post questions, information or anything else relating to breastfeeding and motherhood. The THU Healthy Babies Healthy Children nurses are on the page to assist with questions and provide any resources that you might need.
- Public Health Nurses and our Board Certified Lactation Consultant answer questions and provide support for breastfeeding mothers. Contact us to speak to a nurse.
- Breastfeeding Classes. Learning about breastfeeding helps you have a successful breastfeeding experience. Classes can be offered 1 on 1 or in groups, online or in-person. Contact us for more information.
Have questions about breastfeeding? Check out Breastfeeding FAQ or contact us to speak to an HBHC nurse.
Timiskaming Health Unit is a part of the Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) which advocates for and supports breastfeeding within our communities. Recertification is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additional support is available through the following resources:
- Telehealth Ontario has a 24 hour telephone service, where all nurses are specially trained in providing breastfeeding support. You can reach them at 1-866-797-0000
- Bilingual Online Ontario Breastfeeding Services is an online database where you can search all breastfeeding support services available in your area.
Best Start Resource Centre has developed several helpful resources for breastfeeding mothers:
- The Mixing Alcohol and Breastfeeding resource will help you make an informed choice about drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding Matters is an informative booklet that covers many topics about breastfeeding, including getting started, and common issues and concerns with breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding for the Health and Future of Our Nation is a booklet for Indigenous parents about breastfeeding. Available in English (pdf) and Ojibway (pdf).
- Breastfeeding Your Baby This graphic helps nursing mothers recognize signs that baby is getting enough milk.
- Ontario Human Rights Commission Brochure This brochure outlines information on your rights as a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, employment laws and where to seek more information.
- La Leche League Canada – This organization supports families looking for information on breastfeeding from pregnancy to weaning.