Importance Of Breastfeeding
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.
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.
- it is free and environmentally friendly.
- it promotes bonding between you and your baby.
- it satisfies both you and your baby’s emotional needs.
- it builds healthy eating habits and relationships for life.
- it 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)