You can breastfeed your child as long as you want to. Health experts recommend that babies are breastfed up to 2 years of age or longer.
Breast milk is good for your baby because:
- It has over 200 natural live nutrients needed for growth and development
- It is easy to digest
- It is “custom made” to meet your baby’s needs
- It contains antibodies that protects from illness and infections
- It promotes healthy jaw and brain development
Breast milk is free. It's always safe, fresh and ready for your baby to eat anytime, anywhere. It's also good for the environment.
Giving your baby the nutrition they need is important for their growth and development. Infant formula is a suitable choice if breast milk is not an option or if you choose not to breastfeed.
Babies eat “on demand.” This means they eat whenever they are hungry. It's normal for infants to eat often; 8 or more times in 24 hours. Your baby may also want many short feeds over just a few hours. Your baby may tell you they are hungry by putting their fingers or fist in their mouth, making sucking movements or noises or by crying.
Feeding time is an excellent chance to bond with your baby. Make the most of this time by holding your baby close, doing skin-to-skin time, talking softly to your baby and looking into your baby’s eyes.
Breast/Chest Feeding and Vitamin D Supplementation
Breast/chest feeding on its own will not provide your baby with enough vitamin D. Breast/chest fed babies should be started on Vitamin D 400 international units (IU) each day to prevent vitamin deficiency. If you are formula feeding, you do not need to supplement as the formula contains vitamin D.
Sources of Medical Information
- Feeding Your Baby
Information from the Government of Saskatchewan regarding feeding your baby including breast/chest feeding and formula.
- Breastfeeding Committee of Saskatchewan
Educational fact sheets on a variety of breast/ chest feeding topics, resources and challenges.
- Saskatoon Breastfeeding Matters
Saskatoon based resource which includes the Baby-Friendly Initiative, Human Milk Banking, and Breastfeeding in Public with a vision of supporting mothers and children in hospital or at home to meet their breastfeeding needs.
- More Milk Sooner
Information from medical professionals and families promoting hand expression and a variety of other breastfeeding tools including helpful videos for new families feeding their baby.
- New Mom Collective
Information for new families within the postpartum period including breast/chest feeding help. New Mom Collective offers a variety of courses and blogs for new and expectant parents.
- Health Canada
Infant care Information on safety and nutrition.
- Breastfeeding Your Baby
Importance of breastfeeding and the need for Vitamin D when exclusively breastfeeding. Guidelines with smoking and alcohol use while breastfeeding.
- Infant Formula Feeding
Information on formula feeding with a variety of resources for supporting the formula fed baby.
- Breastfeeding Information for Parents
Information for parents to support, promote and protect breastfeeding. Downloadable resource links and educational videos supporting the Indigenous families.
- Best Start Resources for Breastfeeding and Nutrition
Resources available in multiple languages including French, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu and Vietnamese
- International Breastfeeding Centre Information Sheets
International information sheets supporting the breast/chest feeding parents to overcome difficulties with breastfeeding.
Importance of effective breast/chest feeding techniques within the first few hours of birth.