We want to support families to make an informed decision
about how to feed their babies. To do this, we want to provide you with some of
Breastfeeding is important because it is free, convenient,
environmentally friendly, and reduces health care costs. It helps babies with
brain development, building healthy eating habits and proper jaw development.
For mothers it controls postpartum bleeding, slows the return of your period,
and helps you to return to your pre-pregnancy weight faster.
Formula feeding is expensive, never changes, has a risk of
contamination or preparation error and requires extra time to sterilize the
equipment. Formula fed babies are more at risk for infections, upsets of the
stomach and gut, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), some childhood cancers
and later in life, obesity and chronic diseases. Mothers who do not breastfeed
are at increased risk for postpartum bleeding and cancer of the breast or
A mother’s milk supply is linked to how often she feeds her
baby. When babies are given formula, even only occasionally, the mother’s milk
supply can be affected and decrease. Babies who are given supplemental formula
are less likely to feed from the breast as often and require more and more
formula. Mothers and babies who use formula in the early weeks are less likely
to breastfeed as long as they had planned.
Sometimes babies need extra milk. It would be best to give
your baby your expressed breastmilk – we can help you learn how to hand express your breastmilk. If donor milk from a milk bank is available it would be the second best option. If you think your baby
needs more milk please contact us.
A baby may need a special formula due to a medical
condition. Sometimes mothers cannot provide breastmilk to their babies due to
their own medical condition. If you are told by a health care provider to give
your baby formula it is okay to ask why.
If you make an informed decision to give formula to your baby please speak with your health care provider and/or contact us. See A Guide to Formula Feeding Your Baby.
If you have questions about breastfeeding or feeding your baby, call to speak with one of our public health nurses at 1-866-747-4305.