Babies only need breastmilk for the first six months. At about six months, babies need to eat solid foods and continue to breastfeed for up to two years and beyond.
Breastfeeding is a unique experience with each new baby. It takes time for both of you to "get it right".
Vitamin D Supplement
Remember that babies who are breastfed should get a vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms (µg) or 400 international units (IU) each day. This will help reduce vitamin D deficiency which could cause other health problems.
Vitamin D supplements can be bought over the counter at a pharmacy. Talk to your pharmacist about which option is best for you.
To get the best start at breastfeeding, it's important to:
- Hold your baby "skin to skin" for at least 60 minutes right after delivery and often during the days that follow
- Put your baby to breast as soon as possible. The first hour is most important.
- Hold and position your baby correctly
- Latch your baby correctly
- Remove breastmilk frequently by hand expressing even if your baby is feeding well. This milk can be fed to the baby by spoon, syringe or medicine cup.
- Removing breastmilk by hand expression in the first hour can increase your milk supply by 130 per cent at six weeks
Many new moms worry that their child is not getting enough milk when they’re breastfeeding. A baby who feeds well will show the following signs:
- Small sucks moving to large deep sucks (open mouth, pause, close mouth slightly)
- Your baby will end each feeding by falling asleep at the breast or coming off the breast satisfied
- Your baby is waking to feed eight or more times in 24 hours
- Your baby has a loud cry and moves actively
- Your baby’s mouth is wet and pink
- Your baby’s eyes look bright and awake
If you're planning to breastfeed or are breastfeeding, visit Breastfeeding Matters or International Breastfeeding Centre, a website by well-known breastfeeding expert Dr. Jack Newman.
Nutrition for Breastfeeding Moms
A new baby brings many changes. Taking care of yourself will give you energy to keep up with your baby. You don't need to follow a special diet while breastfeeding. Continue eating a variety of foods based on Canada's Food Guide and drink water to satisfy your thirst.
There are many supports for breastfeeding moms in Niagara. If you're having any challenges, you can:
- Connect with a public health nurse at Niagara Parents to ask all your breastfeeding questions
- Attend a free breastfeeding clinic. The breastfeeding clinic involves a one-on-one appointment with a breastfeeding expert. Gain help with positioning and latching, and overcome some challenges associated with breastfeeding.
- Drop by a Well Baby Clinic. Visit one of our scheduled drop-in clinics to ask a public health nurse questions about breastfeeding.
- Telehealth provides new and expecting moms in Ontario access to expert advice and support for breastfeeding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This free service is provided by registered nurses who’ve also received training in breastfeeding and lactation support. For more complex situations, lactation experts are also available.
- TTY : 1-866-797-0007
- Bilingual Online Ontario Breastfeeding Services
- La Leche League Canada