Some quick facts…
• Physiologically, breastfeeding is what follows pregnancy and childbirth. All women produce breast milk;
• Breast milk is made up of unique nutrients that perfectly meet babies’ specific needs. It is easy to digest and fully absorbed by the baby;
• No commercial baby formula can imitate or replace breast milk;
• Since commercial baby formulas do not contain antibodies and other nutrients that protect the child against certain diseases, infants nursed with these products have a greater risk of developing gastro-intestinal, respiratory and aural infections;
• It is sometimes difficult for some women to endure the looks of disapproval from onlookers when they breastfeed in public, because we still live in a culture where nursing with commercial baby formula is the norm. However, the more often women breastfeed in public places, the more comfortable the public will become with this occurrence.
What are the benefits for the child, mother and family?
• For the child: breastfeeding ensures optimal growth and development of the child. It helps protect the child against gastrointestinal infections and reduces the incidence and severity of several infectious diseases.
• For the mother: breastfeeding her baby has beneficial effects such as a low risk of breast cancer for pre-menopausal women. Breastfeeding also provides a unique and comforting contact between the mother and her baby; and
• For the family: breastfeeding is inexpensive, ecological and practical. Furthermore, having a baby in good health is reassuring for the parents.
And many other reasons...
What do the different health organizations recommend on how long to breastfeed?
The World Health Organization (WHO) and Health Canada recommend breastfeeding exclusively (no other liquid or food) for a period of six (6) months. Around 6 months, solid food can be introduced and the mother may continue breastfeeding until the child is 2 years old and even beyond, if she and the child wish. However, how long you breastfeed depends on your personal goals.
How do I make breastfeeding comfortable for myself?
Breastfeeding is natural, but it still requires that you learn how to do it! It is therefore necessary to inform yourself on the practice of breastfeeding. Several conditions can make it easy to start and continue breastfeeding, including the father’s involvement.
To learn more, check out the document: Comment vivre mon expérience d'allaitement de façon satisfaisante pour moi?
PDF File: 197 KB | Available in French only
Pregnancy is a good time to consult your doctor, midwife and nurses who offer prenatal classes. It is also an opportunity to get in touch with community groups who could support you before and after your delivery.
Breastfeeding support classes are held all across Outaouais.
J'ai le droit d'allaiter mon enfant en public (carte à imprimer)
PDF File: 74 KB | Available in French only
Y-a-t-il des conséquences possibles à ne pas choisir l'allaitement?
PDF File: 419 KB | Available in French only