Right after birth, ask your health care provider to help you place your baby in skin-to-skin contact with you. Skin-to-skin contact has many benefits and helps your baby get used to their new world. Skin-to-skin also has many benefits for breastfeeding.
Benefits of breastfeeding:
Improves milk supply
Can help your baby find the breast and self-latch
Your baby may breastfeed sooner and longer
Can help your baby breastfeed when they are sleepy
Mother and baby should remain together as much as possible to get the best start at breastfeeding.
Video with permission from Peel Health Unit - Skin-to-Skin
Begin breastfeeding as early as possible (within 30 minutes) after birth. Your baby is awake and ready to learn how to breastfeed during this time. Breastfeeding early helps to:
Increase oxytocin (an important hormone for mother's milk let-down, reducing stress, and controlling after birth bleeding, also called the "love" hormone)
Provide the newborn with drops of nutrient rich breast milk called colostrum
Tell your breasts to make more milk
Breastfeeding can take time for both you and your baby to learn. In the early hours, some babies may only lick and smell the breast. You can learn how to hand express your milk and give your baby colostrum with a spoon. Give your baby lots of skin-to-skin contact.
Video with permission from Peel Health Unit -Breastfeeding in the first hours
Ask your health care provider to help you get started with breastfeeding while you are in the hospital.
Any amount of breast milk you provide is better than none at all. The longer you breastfeed, the better it is for you and your baby!
Newborns have small stomachs and need to feed often to satisfy both their hunger and thirst.
In the first 2-3 days, your breasts will make small amounts of special milk called colostrum. Colostrum is important as it helps to boost your baby's immune system and provides them with all the nutrients they need in the first few days after birth, before your breasts begin to make lots of milk.
A young baby will need to feed a minimum of eight times in 24 hours and often will feed much more frequently than this, especially in the evening and at night.
The second or third night after birth, your baby may seem fussy, be awake most of the night and want to suck at the breast frequently. This can be called cluster feeding. This behaviour is normal and has many benefits for mother and baby. Because your breasts respond to your baby feeding, frequent feeding can help to tell your breasts to make lots of milk.
While you and your baby are learning to breastfeed, you can give your baby extra colostrum by hand expressing drops onto your baby's mouth.
Tips to help with the first couple of days after birth:
A quiet, calm environment is helpful. If you find visitors distracting, ask them to visit in a few weeks or create visiting hours
Over the course of the next few days, your breasts will become fuller and the amount of breast milk you make will increase.
As your baby grows, you may notice a pattern of frequent feedings occur again. These are times your baby is growing more quickly, called growth spurts.
You may notice some cramping of your uterus while breastfeeding. This is your uterus beginning to return back to its normal size and helping to prevent after birth bleeding or hemorrhaging. These cramps can continue for up to 20 minutes after breastfeeding. This happens during breastfeeding because the same hormone that allows milk to flow from your breasts also makes your uterus return back to its normal size.
Keep your baby close to you and feed them whenever they are hungry. This helps to remind your body to make lots of milk
Watch your baby's feeding cues
You should not expect your baby to eat on a schedule. Every baby is different and needs to be fed when they show signs of hunger. Remember in the first few weeks these feeding cues may not be obvious and your baby may need to be woken up to breastfeed. See waking a sleepy baby.
Signs your baby may be hungry
Putting their hands in their mouth
Making sucking motions or sounds
Sticking out their tongue and licking
Turning their head and searching with an open mouth
Watch for these signs of hunger and try to feed your baby as soon as you see these signs. If you do not notice the hunger signs right away, your baby may begin to cry. It is easier to feed a calm baby.
Watch your baby. They will tell you when they're hungry and when they're full.
All babies breastfeed at different speeds. When your baby begins to show signs of being satisfied, offer your baby more to see if they are interested. Your baby will let you know if he was just taking a break, or if they have had enough.
Give your baby only breast milk
Breast milk is the only food a healthy baby needs for the first six months of life. Giving other foods or drinks before this time may slow down your milk supply as your baby is not drinking from your breast reminding your body to continue to make milk. Some foods or drinks may also affect your baby's health.
DO NOT feed any of the following to babies under six months of age:
Water since breast milk will satisfy a baby's thirst
Evaporated or condensed milk since these are not suitable for babies and may cause harm
Cow's milk, soy or rice beverages since these do not have all the nutrients your baby needs
Cereal or other solid foods; when babies are fed these they may not get enough breast milk with the nutrients they need
Note: Giving cereal will not help your baby sleep through the night!
Wait until your baby is six months old and showing signs of being ready before offering solids. Iron rich foods should be the first foods offered to your baby. See Introducing Solids page. Then breast milk should continue to be given (along with solid food) for up to two years and beyond.
Avoid using pacifiers and artificial nipples
Avoid using artificial nipples and pacifiers (soothers) as they can negatively affect breastfeeding and decrease the amount of time your baby spends at the breast. If you make an informed decision to use artificial nipples or pacifiers, avoid their use during the first 4-6 weeks while breastfeeding is being established. This gives your baby a chance to learn to breastfeed well and helps increase your milk supply.
Be well supported
Before you have your baby is the best time to get information about breastfeeding. The more information and support you have, the more likely it is for you to have a good breastfeeding experience with your baby.
There are many breastfeeding supports available in our community to help you whenever you may need help, both over the telephone and in person.
See Breastfeeding Supports or call Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400 to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
Latch and Positioning
Good positioning is important for a good latch! There are many different positions you can try while breastfeeding. Pick the position that works best for you and your baby and allows your baby to have a deep latch and easy swallowing. In the beginning, while you and your baby are learning, you may feel most comfortable in a position that provides more support, such as in a chair or lying down.
Tips to remember:
Your baby's chest and body is turned towards you - "Tummy to Mummy"
Your baby's head is slightly tilted back to get a deep latch, and be able to swallow and breathe easily
You are comfortable and relaxed; your back and arms are well supported
Your baby's whole body is supported and tucked in close to your body (avoid holding the back of their head)
Video with permission from Peel Health Unit - Breastfeeding Positions
Babies are born to breastfeed!
Video with permission from Peel Health Unit - Latch
A good latch is key for a successful breastfeeding experience. At the start of the breastfeeding, your baby will have shallow quick sucks. This starts your milk flowing. Then your baby's suck becomes deep and slow. There is a pause during sucking where your baby's mouth opens wide for swallowing. This pause is also for your baby to take some breaths.
Signs of a good latch:
You hear a quiet "ka ka" sound
You see your baby sucking and swallowing
Your baby has a wide open mouth with lips curled out and their chin pressed into your breast
You feel your nipple being pulled with no pain
Your nipples look the same shape after a feeding and not pinched
Your baby is able to stay on the breast without slipping off
It is normal for babies to lose an average of seven per cent of their birth weight in the first three days after birth. Your baby should regain their birth weight by 10 -14 days of age.
Be sure to see your primary health care provider within 48 hours of going home from the hospital to have your baby's health assessed.
Most breastfed babies then gain at least 4 - 8oz a week in the first three months. Then they gain 2.5 - 4.5oz a week from 4 - 6 months of age.
Breastfed babies tend to grow more quickly than non-breastfed babies in the first six months and grow more slowly from 6 -12 months of age.
Get help right away if your baby is not showing signs of breastfeeding well or if:
Your baby is very hard to wake to feed
Your baby is crying and will not settle after feedings
Your nipples are sore and not getting better
You have a fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, or a red and painful area on your breast
If you are concerned about the amount of breast milk your baby is getting, contact your primary health care provider, Breastfeeding Supports or go to the Emergency Department at the hospital.
There are many different herbs, foods and medications available that are being used to increase a mother's milk supply with varying degrees of success. There is little research done on the effectiveness of these options. If you are considering any of these options, speak with your health care provider or contact Motherrisk at 1-877-439-2744 or go to www.motherrisk.org
Video with permission from Peel Health Unit - Milk Supply
Over supply of breast milk
It is common for women to make more milk than their baby needs. Breastfeeding frequently, having a good latch and positioning, and allowing your baby to finish breastfeeding on your first breast before switching to the next breast, can help your baby better control your milk supply or milk that is flowing fast.
Sometimes over supply of milk can result in difficulties with breast fullness, engorgement and plugged ducts, or a baby that appears gassy, fussy, or has trouble latching at the breast.
If you experience difficulties with over supply, it is a good idea to get breastfeeding support from a breastfeeding expert.
Tip: If you are expressing and storing your extra breast milk in the freezer, you can use it once your baby is eating solids by adding it to their cereal or other baby foods.
You can also donate expressed breast milk you are not using to a Human Milk Bank for sick or premature babies. To learn more, go to www.milkbankontario.ca
Trust your body to make all the food your baby needs.
Caring for your breasts
Caring for your breasts is important since your baby will be breastfeeding often.
Many women think having sore nipples is a normal part of breastfeeding. This is not true!
If you have sore nipples, ask for help and find out why!
It is best to prevent breastfeeding issues before they happen.
Here are some tips:
Do not wash your nipples before or after each feed. Your regular bathing routine is all that is necessary
Rinse your breasts with water once a day and let them air dry
Wear a bra that fits well and is not too tight
Avoid underwire bras
If you are using breast shells, be sure they have good ventilation
If you are using breast pads, avoid pads with a plastic back
Wash your hands before touching your nipples, especially if they are cracked
For sore nipples:
Express some breast milk onto your nipples after each feeding and let it dry (avoid this if your nipples are cracked or you or your baby have signs of thrush)
Some women have found soaking their breast in a mild salt water solution or an Epsom salt bath to be helpful. While there is no evidence to support the success of this practice for sore nipples, there is likely no harm as long as your baby is not drinking the solution
Remember you and your baby are learning. Keep practicing!
When your breasts begin to make more milk, your breasts may feel fuller, heavy and warm - this is called breast fullness. This feeling usually begins 2-4 days after birth. Breast fullness is normal and is different than engorgement.
After a few weeks of breastfeeding this breast fullness will lessen. You may find your breasts begin to feel softer. This change is common and means your breasts are adjusting to making milk for your baby. It does not mean your milk supply has gone away! Continue to breastfeed or remove milk regularly to remind your breasts to keep making milk. Continue to watch for the signs that your baby is getting enough breast milk.
Your body goes through many changes while breastfeeding. Softer breasts do not mean less milk.
Engorgement, Mastitis, Thrush, Plugged Ducts
Engorgement (painful, swollen breasts) is different than breast fullness. Three to four days after birth, a lot of women find their breasts feel bigger, heavier, and slightly tender. This is considered breast fullness and may last a couple of days.
If you have engorgement:
Your breasts feel painful
Your breasts feel hard
Your breasts feel tender and swollen
You have a low-grade fever
Your baby is having a hard time latching to your breasts
Engorgement is often caused by a build up of milk in your breasts that is not being removed often or well enough. It can also be happening because there is swelling of your breast tissue.
Thrush is also known as a yeast infection. Sore nipples are not always caused by issues with latch and positioning - it is possible the cause is thrush. You can continue to breastfeed if you and your baby have thrush.
Signs of thrush:
Painful or itchy nipples during or between feedings
Nipples may be shiny, red, cracked, flaky or have white spots
You may have a vaginal yeast infection at the same time
Your baby has white patches inside their mouth, cheeks or tongue
Your baby has a diaper rash
Your baby is fussy, refuses the breast or is gassy
Things you can do to help with thrush:
Consider all possible sources of infection (e.g. sexual partners, other children, pets)
See your primary health care provider for treatment for yourself and your baby
Wash hands frequently
After each breastfeed, wash nipples with water and allow to air dry. Do not express breast milk onto nipples
Avoid breast pads if you can or use disposable pads and throw them out after each feeding
Apply a cold cloth to your breasts for comfort
Wash bras frequently and if possible and allow them to dry in the sun
Sterilize all breast pump equipment and any objects your baby puts in their mouth
Monitor your symptoms and see your health care provider immediately if mastitis is suspected.
Important things to know
Video with permission from Peel Health Unit - What to do when?
Waking a sleepy baby
Newborn babies sleep a lot. You should wake your baby up for feedings for the first couple of weeks or until they are waking themselves and have regained their birth weight.
Remember to feed your baby at least eight times in 24 hours.
Here are tips for waking a sleepy baby:
Undress your baby and remove blankets - your baby will stay warm being skin-to-skin with you while breastfeeding
Change your baby's diaper
Give your baby a massage or rub their back
Roll your baby gently from side to side
Talk or sing to your baby
Express drops of milk from your breast with your hand into your baby's mouth to give your baby a taste
Gently squeeze your breast while breastfeeding to help your milk flow and give your baby extra milk
Calming a fussy baby
Babies cry for many reasons, but never to make you angry. It is normal for a baby to cry for up to two hours total in a 24 hour period. The crying usually subsides by the fourth or fifth month.
To read more about crying and calming a fussy baby, see the Infant Crying page.
Babies are born with many red blood cells that their body must break down. Sometimes there is a build up of these red blood cells in your baby's body, this causes jaundice and usually begins in the first few days after birth.
Your baby might:
Have yellowing skin or eyes
Be extra sleepy
A simple blood test can be done by your health care provider to check if the jaundice or bilirubin level is too high. Many things can be done to help prevent and treat jaundice.
Here are some ways you can help if your baby has jaundice:
Do not put your baby in direct sunlight as they can get sunburnt very quickly.
Growth spurts are times your baby is growing more quickly. They usually occur around two weeks, three weeks, six weeks, three months and six months of age. A growth spurt may last a few days each time.
Your baby may need to breastfeed more often during a growth spurt. This in turn helps your body make more milk.
Most women are able to express breast milk by hand. It can take time to learn, but becomes easier with practice. It is good for all mothers to learn how to express colostrum and breast milk by hand. There are no fees, it is always available and it can be done anytime, anywhere. See how to express milk by hand.
Sometimes, there are reasons to express breast milk such as:
Separation from your baby after birth
Softening engorged breasts that are too hard for your baby to latch on to
Stimulating your breasts to increase your milk supply
Going back to work or school
Medical reasons suggested by your doctor
You can express breast milk by hand or by using a pump and give the milk to your baby by spoon or cup. To learn more about cup and spoon feeding, call Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400 and ask to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
Breast milk is especially beneficial for twins and other multiple birth babies.
These babies are often small at birth and need all the health advantages human milk provides.
Breastfeeding will also help you create that special attachment with all your babies.
Many mothers of multiples worry about being able to supply enough milk for all their babies, however this is rarely a problem. Feeding your babies often and on demand will tell your body how much milk to produce for your babies needs.
If you or your babies experience health problems that result in separation it does not mean you cannot have a successful breastfeeding experience. Expressing breast milk early and often can help to establish and maintain a good milk supply for your babies.
Continuing to express breast milk from each breast at least eight times in 24 hours, including overnight will help maintain your milk supply until you or your babies are well enough to breastfeed.
Make preparations in advance to have extra help around the house with meals, cleaning etc.
You may want to feed your babies one at a time in the early days while you learn this new skill
Use lots of pillows to support your babies so your hands are free to assist with latching
Breastfeeding two babies at the same time can be helpful for time management once you are more comfortable with breastfeeding
Experiment with different positions to find what works for you and your babies
It is good for each baby to be offered milk from both breasts. Throughout the day, offer both breasts to each baby
Learn where to get support. Along with Region of Waterloo Public Health, organizations such as La Leche League Canada or Breastfeeding Buddies can offer local support as needed
Health Canada recommends giving all breastfed babies a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU every day until they are two years old.
Do not put your baby in direct sunlight as they can get sunburnt very quickly.
For more information about giving vitamin D to your baby, talk to your Health Care Provider or call Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400 to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
Nutrition and breastfeeding
You do not need to avoid any food unless you have a food allergy. Even if your diet isn't perfect every day, your breast milk will still have the nutrients your baby needs.
Eat 2-3 extra Canada's Food Guide servings every day for added calories
Caffeine does pass into breast milk so avoiding large amounts of caffeine is best.
Health Canada recommends no more than 300mg of caffeine per day for breastfeeding women. This is approximately two cups (237ml each) of coffee. If possible, try having caffeinated drinks and food immediately after breastfeeding.
If you have a restricted diet, such as vegan, you should speak with a Registered Dietitian by calling Eat Right Ontario at 1-877-510-5102.
For a copy of Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide, call Region of Waterloo Public Health Resource Centre at 519-575-4400 ext. 2196 or go online to Health Canada - Canada's Food Guide to print a copy.
Medications and illness
It is usually safe to continue breastfeeding when taking medications or when you or your child is sick.
Before taking any substance, including prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, alternative therapies or herbal supplements, contact Motherrisk at 1-877-439-2744 or go to www.motherrisk.org or contact Region of Waterloo Public Health at 519-575-4400 to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
If there is a concern about a medication you are taking while breastfeeding, ask your primary health care provider if there is another medication you can take that is safe while breastfeeding.
If you are sick and need to be separated from your child or unable to breastfeed, here are some tips:
Protect your milk supply by expressing breast milk
Feed your child your breast milk with a cup or spoon (contact Region of Waterloo at 519-575-4400 to learn more)
If you can, avoid using bottles so your child can get back to breastfeeding easily
You can still continue breastfeeding once you start using birth control. Certain types of birth control can affect breast milk supply so it is important to speak with your health care provider before choosing a method.
For questions, contact Region of Waterloo Public Health Sexual Health Program at 519-883-2267 to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
Weaning is a natural process when your child begins to eat solid foods other than breast milk. There is no best time or way to stop breastfeeding; it is different for every mother and child. Weaning is most successful when your child decides they are ready.
At six months of age, when your child shows signs of being ready, you may start to offer other foods to meet their nutritional needs. As you introduce new foods, it is recommended that you continue to breastfeed.
Not offering your breast, but allowing your child to breastfeed if they want to
Delaying breastfeeding if you feel your child can wait
You may consider expressing your breast milk while weaning your child.
Nursing strike is not considered weaning, especially under one year of age. Nursing strike is when a child suddenly refuses to breastfeed. This is usually temporary and may occur for many different reasons. If this occurs, call 519-575-4400 to speak with a Public Health Nurse. See Nursing Strike for more information.
Breastfeeding and returning to work or school
Returning to work or school after having a baby may be a stressful and hard time for you. When the time comes to return to work or school, it helps to be prepared. Research shows that women who breastfeed their children miss fewer days of work from caring for a sick child. Continuing to breastfeed and giving your child your breast milk has many benefits for you, your child and your employer.
Health Canada promotes breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or longer with additional feeding of solid foods when baby shows signs of being ready.
Continuing to breastfeed your child past six months of age allows you and your baby to spend special time together. It also continues to provide nutrition and protection from illnesses for your child, as well as comfort and security as they explore and learn new things.
As your baby grows, breastfeeding behaviours can change. Your child may take less time to breastfeed, be more interested in things going on around them while they breastfeed, may choose different breastfeeding positions, or may hold your breast while they feed.
These changes in your child's growth also bring new learnings such as introducing solid foods, or possible breastfeeding challenges such as teething, nursing strikes, pregnancy, or breastfeeding two children at once.
Introducing solid foods
At six months of age, when your baby shows signs of being ready, you may offer solid foods to meet their nutritional needs.
As you introduce new foods, continue to breastfeed.
Your breast milk supply will change to meet your baby's needs as long as your baby continues to breastfeed. See the Introduction to Solids page.
It is good to continue breastfeeding while your child is teething to help them with their discomfort. Many mothers worry about their child biting once they have teeth or are teething.
Your child may chew on your nipples to help with their discomfort or because they are learning how to use their new teeth. Your child does not understand that this may cause you pain.
Teething does not mean your child will bite you. Changes in breastfeeding patterns may occur during teething as your child's gums are sore.
If your child is teething:
Offer them something cold to chew on, for example a clean cold wet cloth before breastfeeding
Avoid gum numbing medications before breastfeeding - it can numb your child's mouth affecting the latch or even numb your breast
Make sure your child has a deep latch - this makes it harder for them to bite down
If your child does bite, try to stay calm and break the latch. This tells your child that their meal stops when they bite
Watch and recognize when your child is finished drinking - they are unable to bite when they are actively drinking
A good milk supply is important because it helps to reduce frustration and may help to prevent biting
Keep your breastfeeding time together relaxed and positive
Remember, teething is temporary!
To learn more about teething, see the Oral Health page or call 519-575-4400 to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
Breastfeeding does more than just provide your baby with nutrition; it also provides your baby with comfort and security.
If you find out you are pregnant, you can continue to breastfeed. In a healthy pregnancy, breastfeeding has not been shown to be a risk to an unborn baby.
The World Health Organization recommends infants be breastfed until at least two years of age and beyond. A healthy pregnancy that occurs before your child turns two years of age does not need to interrupt the child's continued need for breast milk.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding require extra nutrients and calories to ensure that you, your breastfed child and your developing baby are getting the extra calories and nutrients needed.
Tips to help with getting enough calories and nutrients:
Being more tired is common in pregnancy and is more noticeable when you have an older active child. Breastfeeding your older child will provide the opportunity for you and your child to relax quietly together.
You may notice your nipples become tender. This is normal in pregnancy and is related to pregnancy hormones.
Breastfeed for shorter times to reduce comfort sucking
The presence of Braxton-Hicks contractions (periodic uterine tightening) is expected in pregnancy. These contractions are caused by frequent breastfeeding and they usually stop when your child is finished breastfeeding. If you are concerned about these contractions or if they do not stop when your child is finished breastfeeding, contact your health care provider to discuss the signs and symptoms of preterm labour.
It is possible for your milk supply to decrease or the flavour of your milk to change around the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy. Most children don't notice a difference or mind the change. Watch your child's weight gain and make sure they are getting enough age appropriate nutrition. If your child does stop breastfeeding, seek breastfeeding support.
You can continue to breastfeed your older child when your new baby is born. Breastfeeding two children of different ages at the same time is called tandem nursing.
During the first week after birth, it is important to meet the needs of your newborn.
Tips on how to meet the needs of your newborn:
Make sure your newborn baby receives colostrum (nutrient-rich milk available in the first few days after birth)
Breastfeed your newborn baby first
Offer your newborn both breasts at each feed
Breastfeed your newborn a minimum of eight times in 24 hours
A couple of weeks after birth, your breast milk supply will adjust to meet the needs of both your children.
When your milk comes in, some women experience breast fullness or engorgement. Your older child will be able to assist in milk removal, making your breasts feel much more comfortable as well as make it easier for your newborn to latch on to your breast. See more tips for helping with engorgement.
Your older child's reaction towards sharing breastfeeding with their younger sibling will depend on the child's age, temperament and sucking needs.
Try offering a consistent time for your older child to breastfeed or try breastfeeding your child whenever they ask for it and see which plan works best for them. See the Introducing Siblings page for other tips on this new adjustment for your older child.
As a mother you will not only want what is best for your children but also what is best for yourself.
You can feed both your children at the same time or at different times. Breastfeeding two children together can save you time. However, some mothers feel irritable when feeding both children at the same time. Some mothers like to breastfeed whenever their children want. Do what works best for you and your family.
Refusing the breast/Nursing Strike
Nursing strike is when your child suddenly refuses to breastfeed. This is not considered weaning, especially if it occurs before your child is one year of age. A nursing strike can last approximately 2-4 days and your child is usually unhappy about it. Most of the time there is a reason such as illness, teething, or even changes in routine. If this happens, here are some tips:
Protect your milk supply by expressing and feeding your child your breast milk in other ways. See the Expressing and Storing Breast Milk handouts
Avoid using bottles and artificial nipples/pacifiers as this can prevent your child from returning to the breast; try feeding your child using a cup
Offer the breast while your child is in a light sleep or tired
Use the breastfeeding position your child likes the most
Continue to make breastfeeding a relaxing and positive experience
For more information about breastfeeding your older child, call 519-575-4400 to speak with a Public Health Nurse.
Although breastfeeding is natural, it can take time to learn. The more help and support you have, the better. It is helpful to get support from health care professionals who have experience and knowledge about breastfeeding.
Prenatal Breastfeeding Education
Me? Breastfeed? - a free workshop designed to help you learn the basics of breastfeeding before your baby is born
Region of Waterloo Public Health, 519-575-4400 - breastfeeding advice and connections to supports in the region
Telehealth, 1-866-797-0000 - 24/7 breastfeeding support by Registered Nurses and Lactation Experts
Breastfeeding Support in Waterloo Region
Public Health Breastfeeding Services - offers individualized breastfeeding assessments/advice/referrals for families with infants of all ages; Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services, 519-575-4400
Partners and family are very important sources of support for breastfeeding mothers. Family and friends who have breastfed can be great to go to with questions and for support. Partners are great for encouragement and can provide help and comfort to you and your baby.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) protects your right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere. It is against your human rights to be asked to stop feeding your child, move to a new location, or cover up.
Protecting the rights of mothers to feed their children anytime, anywhere is important because it sends a message to families that they are supported in nurturing their children. It also provides a message that breastfeeding is both normal and natural.
When breastfeeding rights are denied
What can you do if your breastfeeding rights have been denied?
It is important to remember that all families have the right to breastfeed their children anytime that their child is hungry, anywhere that they are.
If you have been asked to stop breastfeeding, cover up, or breastfeed in another location, the Self Advocacy Guide provided below might help you decide on a course of action. The Guide contains two sample letters that you could use or adapt to suit your purpose. The package also provides some ideas about where to send the letter.
Community Breastfeeding Alliance of Waterloo Region
The Community Breastfeeding Alliance of Waterloo Region (CBAWR) works toward a vision where breastfeeding anywhere, anytime is supported and valued in Waterloo Region through the following activities:
Advocacy for Policy Development through campaigns and initiatives to promote Baby Friendly policies in public and private spaces
Education and Promotion of a breastfeeding friendly community through targeted forums, events and announcements, and other venues as appropriate
Networking and Sharing among health care providers and individuals related to breastfeeding-related projects
Our membership includes hospital staff, doulas, breastfeeding mothers, childbirth educators, La Leche League leaders, a peer breastfeeding program coordinator, breastfeeding peer workers, public Health staff, midwives, physicians, and researchers.
Please credit the Community Breastfeeding Alliance of Waterloo Region as the source of these materials. Copies of any materials produced will be appreciated. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org letting them know about your work, and include electronic copies of the documents if possible.
Looking for more information about the Community Breastfeeding Alliance of Waterloo Region?