Importance of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is the normal transition from pregnancy to post-partum. Your body begins making milk around the 20th week of your pregnancy in preparation for feeding your baby. You may see some evidence of this milk later in your pregnancy as your breasts may or may not start to leak small amounts. Breastmilk is produced by you specifically to meet your baby’s needs and provides everything that he/she needs for the first 6 months of his/her life. It will change as your baby grows to provide all the nutrition and protection that he/she needs. Breastfeeding is also great for Moms too and provides certain health benefits for you such as; added protection from certain types of cancer, protection from chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, and as a bonus it helps you lose weight faster!
Formula is not specific to your baby and does not change to accommodate what your baby needs and because of this there are certain risk factors that can be associated with feeding your baby formula. It is important that you discuss all of the benefits associated with breastfeeding and any potential risks associated with formula feeding with your healthcare provider so you are informed fully and can make the best feeding choice for you and your baby.
Health & Nutrition
What should I eat when I am breastfeeding?
Taking good care of yourself while breastfeeding is very important to feel your best; that includes eating well. Go ahead and enjoy all your favorite healthy foods. Even if you do not have a perfect diet, your milk will contain all the nourishment your baby needs. Follow Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating for healthy meals and snacks.
Drink plenty of healthy fluids, like water, to keep your body hydrated. Canada.
Health Canada, Canadian Pediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, and Breastfeeding Committee of Canada recommend:
Breastfeeding - exclusively for the first six months, and sustained 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.
Informed Decision Making
We support informed decision making. That means finding out all the facts before deciding how to feed your baby. In order to make a fully informed decision it requires that you:
- Talk to your health care provider about any concerns you may have related to feeding your baby
- Learn about the benefits of breastfeeding for baby, mother, family, and the community
- Learn about the health consequences for baby and mother of not breastfeeding
- Know the risks and costs of human milk substitutes such as infant formula
- Be aware of the difficulty of reversing the decision once breastfeeding is stopped
Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes
- Provided once a month, free of charge, at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital
- Contact the Breastfeeding Clinic at 902-567-7261 to register
Prenatal Tour and Education Classes
- Provided twice a month, free of charge, at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital
- Contact the Antenatal Clinic at 902-567-7840 to register