Breastfeeding

Breast milk gives your baby a healthy start in life. At Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH), we provide a variety of breastfeeding clinics, support groups and resources to help you get started.

Access breastfeeding support

Make an informed decision

It is important to understand the facts before making a decision on how to feed your baby. Consider the health benefits of breastfeeding. The Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization recommend:

  • Breast milk only for feeding your baby from birth to 6 months
  • At 6 months, add iron-rich solid foods and continue breastfeeding for up to 2 years and beyond

Try skin-to-skin contact

Skin-to-skin contact during your baby's first hours and months can help you and your baby bond. This also triggers certain instincts and brain functions in your baby and encourages the release of natural hormones necessary for milk production.

To gain the benefits of skin-to-skin contact, you can:

  • Take off your baby's blanket and clothing, leave the diaper on
  • Move clothing away from your chest
  • Hold your baby, facing you, against your chest
  • Place a blanket over you and your baby for warmth

You and your partner can both bond with your newborn baby through skin-to-skin contact.

Benefits of breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has many benefits for you and your baby. Some benefits for the mother include:

  • Controlling postpartum bleeding
  • Decreased rates of breast and ovarian cancers
  • Saves money and time
  • Promotes bonding between you and your baby
  • An environmentally friendly form of feeding

Breastfeeding includes the following benefits for your baby:

  • Decreases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome
  • Protects your baby from illnesses, such as childhood diabetes
  • Increases protection against ear, chest and stomach infections
  • Builds healthy eating habits
  • Promotes proper jaw development
  • Promotes health brain development

Breastfeeding toddlers

Extended breastfeeding gives your child significant health and developmental benefits, including:

  • Protection against infectious and chronic diseases
  • Support for improved brain development and social skills