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Breast milk provides all of the nutrition that your baby needs. Most health care providers recommend that you exclusively breastfeed your baby for the first 6 months. Breastfeeding can reduce your baby’s risk of certain diseases. These include Type 1 diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and celiac disease. It also provides the nutrition your baby needs during the first six months of their life. Consult your doctor, midwife, public health nurse or lactation consultant if you have questions about breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is feeding a baby milk from the mother's breasts. Breastfeeding provides your baby with important nutrients and antibodies. It may also protect your baby against certain diseases and infections. Learn more:
Planning can help you be successful at breastfeeding. Learn about developing a plan and preparing to breastfeed your baby, in this section.
You can begin learning about breastfeeding at any time, before or after your baby has arrived. It is important to have a feeding plan in place for you and your baby. In this section, learn some tips and tricks to ensure you and your baby get the most out of breastfeeding.
Support While Breastfeeding
Partners and families often provide support to new parents during and after a pregnancy. Breastfeeding is no exception. Learn ways that your partner and family can help you as you start to breastfeed.
Many women can breastfeed, but some may face challenges for various reasons. In this section, learn helpful breastfeeding tips for different situations to help you navigate .
- Breastfeeding a Sick Baby
- Breastfeeding After a C-Section
- Breastfeeding and Returning to Work
- Breastfeeding at Work
- Breastfeeding During Pregnancy
- Breastfeeding Multiple Infants
- Breastfeeding Your Newborn and an Older Child
- Breastfeeding: Baby's Poor Weight Gain
- Breastfeeding: Waking Your Baby
- Quick Tips: Successful Breastfeeding
- Tips for Breastfeeding Preterm Babies
Supplements and Medicines
Breastfeeding alone can provide all the nutrients your baby will need for the first 6 months- except for Vitamin D. Health Canada recommends all breastfed or partially breastfed healthy, full term babies get a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU every day, from birth until 12 months of age. Babies fed formula alone do not need extra vitamin D. Many medicines are safe to use while breastfeeding. Consult your healthcare provider if you are taking a medication or considering a supplement while you breastfeed. Learn more:
Mastitis and Plugged Milk Ducts
Breastfeeding is comforting for your baby but can be uncomfortable for you. Mastitis and plugged ducts can be painful. There are ways to prevent or manage both. Learn more in this section:
Flat or Inverted Nipples
If your nipples are flat or inverted, breastfeeding may be a little more challenging. Learn more about breastfeeding with inverted nipples:
Breastfeeding After Surgery
If you have had or are considering breast surgery, you may wish to find out if the surgery can affect your ability to breastfeed. Learn more:
Physical activity is a healthy activity after giving birth. It doesn't impact the amount or quality of the breast milk you produce Learn more about Physical Activity and Breastfeeding.
Storing and Expressing Milk
In this section, learn more about how to express and store your breastmilk:
Learn more about managing your supply and how to manage your milk production.
Other Breastfeeding Concerns
Breastfeeding is not always easy. You may experience obstacles to success. Some may be beyond your control. Learn more about breastfeeding concerns:
- Abuse When You're Breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding When You Have Diabetes
- Breastfeeding: Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs
- Breastfeeding: When Baby Doesn't Want to Stop
- Caring for Damaged Nipples When You're Breastfeeding
- Common Breastfeeding Concerns
- Coping With Thrush When You’re Breastfeeding
- Experiencing Let-Down Reflex
- Nipple Shields for Breastfeeding Problems
In this section, you'll find resources dedicated to breastfeeding. These include how-to videos and information about how to access the Breastfeeding Buddy tool:
Last Updated: June 2021