Feeding your Baby
Learn the basics of breastfeeding your baby, how to stay healthy during the process and what support is available. Explore alternatives to breastfeeding.
Your milk is the only food that your baby needs for the first six months. It is recommended that nursing continue for 2 years or more, with the addition of a variety of age-appropriate food starting at 6 months of age.
While breastfeeding/chestfeeding is natural, it is not always easy and can take time, patience and support.
- Importance of Breastfeeding and 10 Great Reasons to Breastfeed
- Read Breastfeeding: Learning the basics and 10 Valuable Tips for Successful Breastfeeding
- Watch a video on breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding and Skin-to-Skin Contact
- Doing Skin-to-Skin Safely
- Comfortable Breastfeeding Positions and Helpful Hints
- Tips for Breastfeeding Twins
- Indigenous Breastfeeding Wellness Teachings
- Breastfeeding Booklet for Indigenous Families
The words breastfeeding and breastfed are used throughout this section to describe a baby being fed human milk produced by a parent at the parent’s breast. You may prefer different words, like nursing or chestfeeding. Use whichever terms you are most comfortable with, and ask that your friends, family and health care providers use them too.
Everybody needs a bit of help sometimes. It can take time for you and your baby to get used to breastfeeding. Do not give up. It can sometimes take up to 6 weeks. Breastfeeding is good for your baby and good for you.
Health professionals have a lot of experience helping women and their babies breastfeed. They understand what you are going through.
You can get help, advice, tips, and support for breastfeeding from:
You might express milk if your baby is not sucking well or is unable to breastfeed, your breasts are uncomfortably full, to boost your milk supply, or you have to be away from your baby.
If it is not possible to give your baby your milk, try pasteurized donor human milk (if available). A prescription from a doctor or midwife is required for donor milk. For more information about donor milk or becoming a donor, visit the BC Women's Provincial Milk Bank website.
If you are thinking about giving your baby milk from an informal donor, talk with your health care provider first to discuss the risks and benefits of all feeding options. See Informal Milk Sharing for more information.
It is important to stay healthy while breastfeeding
- Canada's Food Guide : Healthy eating when pregnant and breastfeeding
- Dietitian Services at HealthLinkBC.
- Breastfeeding: Exercise and weight loss
- Sleep, rest and breastfeeding
- Baby blues, depression and anxiety
- Alcohol and smoking after pregnancy
- Cannabis, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
- Cannabis and Breastfeeding: FNHA
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