May 21,

Importance of Breastfeeding

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Importance of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Matters!

Breastmilk is the natural food for newborns. It contains everything your baby needs.

  • Babies need only breastmilk for the first 6 months.
  • Around 6 months, babies begin to eat solid foods and continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years and beyond.
  • Start solid foods that are nutritious, especially foods that are high in iron.

Why Breastfeed?

Today, most mothers in Ontario decide to breastfeed their babies.

Breastfeeding matters because…

  • Everyone benefits from breastfeeding: you, your baby, your family and your community.
  • Breastmilk is convenient, always the right temperature and available anytime.
  • Breastfeeding is free and environmentally friendly.
  • Breastfeeding promotes bonding between you and your baby.
  • Breastfeeding satisfies both you and your baby’s emotional needs.
  • Breastfeeding builds healthy eating habits and relationships for life.
  • Breastfeeding reduces health care costs for the family and society.

Breastfeeding matters to your baby, because breastfeeding…

  • Decreases the risk of ear, chest and stomach infections.
  • Prevents diarrhea.
  • Decreases the risk of Crohn’s and colitis.
  • Decreases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Decreases the risk of obesity.
  • Promotes proper jaw and tooth development.
  • Promotes healthy brain development.

Breastfeeding matters to you, because breastfeeding…

  • Controls postpartum bleeding.
  • Protects against osteoporosis (brittle bones).
  • Lowers the risk of developing breast, uterine and ovarian cancers.
  • Helps you return to a healthy body weight postpartum.
  • Delays return of menstrual cycles providing a period of natural infertility.

Content of this webpage adapted from Breastfeeding Matters (Best Start Resource Center, 2011)

Last modified on Feb 27, 2014