Breastfeeding is the normal and healthiest way to feed your baby and is the first step in a lifetime of healthy eating.
Health Canada recommends that healthy full term infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life as breast milk is the best food for optimal growth. Breast milk is all your baby needs for the first six months of his/her life.
From six to 12 months of age, breast milk continues to be the main food for your baby. Your baby also needs solid foods to develop and grow. For information on introducing complementary foods, visit Introducing Solid Foods.
Breastmilk is the best food you can offer your baby. Health Canada and the World Health Organization recommend that it should be the only food for the first six months of life. After that, breastfeeding should continue for up to two years and beyond, along with age-appropriate solid foods. Start solid foods that are healthy, especially foods that are high in iron. Examples of foods that are iron-rich include:
- well-cooked and unprocessed meat, fish and poultry;
- well-cooked meat alternatives such as whole egg, tofu, beans, lentils and chickpeas;
- peanut butter spread thinly on toast or crackers;
- iron-fortified infant cereals.
For more information visit Choosing How To Feed Your Baby.
Breastfeeding mothers who feel supported often choose to breastfeed their baby for longer. Support can come from a variety of sources including partners, grandparents, family members, peers, social media, and health care professionals.
Services related to this information:
- 811 HealthLine (Newfoundland & Labrador) – Call 811 or 1-888-709-2929 / TTY 1-888-709-3555.
Eastern Urban/Rural Zones:
- Contact your public health nurse
- Breastfeeding Support for Families: What to Expect When You Leave the Hospital
- Breastfeeding Support Groups (BFSG)
- Lactation consultant support (contact your public health nurse)