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Breastfeeding Support

Mother breastfeeding newborn.

The choice you make in how you feed your baby is one of the most important ones you will make as a parent. Breast milk, or human milk, is made for babies. It is the optimal food of choice for your baby during the first six months and continues to be important for up to two years and beyond. 


What to Expect From Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding fosters a unique bond promoting emotional and psychological growth. Beyond the immediate benefits, breastfeeding also contributes to long-term health outcomes, reducing the risk of chronic diseases. Recognizing its significance, public health initiatives worldwide advocate for and support breastfeeding as a fundamental pillar of optimal child and maternal health.

Infant Teething While Breastfeeding  

Just because your baby is teething, doesn’t mean it is time to wean. When your baby is breastfeeding correctly, it will not be painful for you. If you have questions about baby biting while breastfeeding, give us a call at 1-866-888-4577 ext 5003. 

Nursing Strike  

A nursing strike happens when a baby who has been breastfeeding, suddenly refuses to breastfeed. This is not the same as weaning, as weaning usually happens over a gradual period of weeks or months. Nursing strikes can happen for many reasons, such as  

  • A change in deodorant, soap, or perfume 
  • Stress 
  • Baby has an illness or injury that makes breastfeeding uncomfortable (ear infection, stuffy nose, thrush) 
  • Recent change to the breastfeeding pattern 
  • Sore gums from teething 
  • Mother scared the baby when she reacted to being bitten while breastfeeding

How to Get Baby Back to the Breast  

  • be patient and remember that your baby is not rejecting you 
  • get extra help with household chores and older children  
  • relax and concentrate on making breastfeeding a pleasant experience  
  • comfort your baby by cuddling, stroking, and providing skin-to-skin contact  
  • offer the breast when your baby is sleepy or asleep  
  • breastfeed in a quiet room with the lights dimmed  
  • try rocking or walking while breastfeeding  
  • expressing breastmilk to keep your milk supply up  
  • stimulate the let-down reflex and get milk flowing before offering the breast  
  • feed baby expressed milk with a cup, eye-dropper, syringe or spoon  
  • seek medical attention if an illness or injury seems to have caused the strike  
  • get help – we can answer questions about feeding your baby 

Health Canada recommends breastfeeding until babies are at least two years of age or older, while also feeding them solid foods. 

There are many benefits of breastfeeding beyond six months of age, such as: 

  • supports growth and development of your baby’s brain, gut, and other organs.  
  • lowers illness and infections, as kids often get sick from daycare/other children.  
  • allows for more time to connect with your baby. 
  • helps kids become more independent and secure.  
  • reduces the chance of obesity and diabetes.  
  • decreases your risk of breast and ovarian cancer.  
  • saves your family money.  

After breastfeeding for 6-months, your breasts may look and feel softer, smaller, and less full – this is normal! You will continue to produce enough milk for your baby. As well, the time that your baby breastfeeds may be shorter. This just means that they have learned to take the amount of milk needed in a shorter period of time.

You have a right to breastfeed in public. It’s not a matter of finding a private location – or of anyone else’s comfort. No one can ask you to move or conceal yourself and your baby.

Breastfeeding is your right – and your baby’s.

See Ontario’s Human Rights Code on breastfeeding.

The HKPR District Health Unit provides the Feeding and Nutrition Clinics which helps parents develop skills to feed their baby, child, or themselves.

The Healthy Babies Health Children Program which is a free home visiting program helps to give children the best start to life. The HBHC program is available for eligible families who are pregnant or have babies/young children. 

All HKPR District Health Unit Programs are listed here. If you have any questions about our programs call the Healthy Families Information and Support Line 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5003

Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI)

The HKPR District Health Unit is a Baby-Friendly Initiative designated organization.  Our Public Health Nurses can support you make an informed choice on feeding your child that is best for everyone. We also provide a comfortable space to feed your baby at each of our office locations.  

The Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) protects and promotes breastfeeding around the world. We support the World Health Organization’s Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) and the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes and Subsequent Resolutions. the Health Unit works to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. 

To become BFI designated, agencies must adhere to and fulfill the requirements of the 10 Steps as outlined by WHO/UNICEF (2018) and adapted by the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada for all healthcare institutions. This process is evaluated by a team of BFI assessors.

For more information check out the video below!


What is the Code?

The WHO International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, approved by the member states participating at the World Health Assembly (except the US), was approved in 1981 to protect breastfeeding by ensuring the ethical marketing of breastmilk substitutes by industry. 

The Code includes these ten important provisions: 

  • No advertising of products under the scope of the Code to the public.
  • No free samples to mothers.
  • No promotion of products in health care facilities, including the distribution of free or low cost supplies.
  • No company representatives to advise mothers.
  • No gifts or personal samples to health workers.
  • No words or pictures idealizing artificial feeding, including pictures of infants on the labels of products.
  • Information to health workers should be scientific and factual.
  • All information on use of breastmilk substitutes, including the labels, should explain the benefits of breastfeeding and all costs and hazards associated with artificial feeding.
  • Unsuitable products such as sweetened condensed milk should not be promoted for babies.
  • Products should be of a high quality and take into account the climatic and storage conditions of the country where they are used.

Need Help Registering for a Program?

Call the Healthy Families Information and Support Line 1-866-888-4577 ext. 5003

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