How you feed your baby will be one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. This information can help you make an informed decision and be on your way to giving your baby a healthy start.
Breast milk will help protect your baby from:
- being overweight or obese
- bowel disease
- coughs or colds
- ear infections
- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- some childhood cancers
- the effects of toxins in the environment
Breastfeeding will help protect you from:
- breast cancer
- ovarian cancer
Breastfeeding promotes closeness and bonding of mother and baby.
- does not change to meet your baby’s growing needs
- does not protect your baby from infections and diarrhea
- is not sterile in the powdered form
- is not recommended for babies less than two months of age in the powdered form
Challenges with infant formula include:
- needing extra time to sterilize equipment
- making mistakes during preparation
Breast milk is all your baby needs for the first six months. The World Health Organization (WHO), Health Canada and Toronto Public Health (TPH) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding with the introduction of solids for two years and beyond. Giving your baby other foods or liquids before six months may decrease your breast milk supply and may affect your baby’s health.