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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.
  • 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)

Links

10 Tips for Successful Breastfeeding 

Resources

10 Great Reasons to Breastfeed Your Baby