Home Page Follow Up Care Help and Support Publications from HRLC

Why is Breastfeeding Important for Me?

  • Breastfeeding develops a strong bond between you and your baby.
  • Breastfeeding is relaxing and helps your body in these ways:
    • Contracts the uterus which reduces bleeding after childbirth
    • Helps you return to pre-pregnancy weight earlier
    • Lowers your risk of ovarian cancer. The longer you breastfeed the lower the risk.
    • May reduce the risk of cancer of the breasts and ovaries
    • May help keep your bones strong
    • May help prevent perinatal mood disorders, such as depression
    • May decrease your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes
  • Breastfeeding is free and convenient. Breastmilk is always warm and ready to feed.

Why is Breastfeeding Important for My Baby?

YOUR breastmilk is especially made for YOUR baby.
It is the perfect food for your baby.

  • Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed your baby. It provides nutrients that help his mind and body grow to full potential.
  • Breastfeeding protects your baby from harmful germs.
  • Breastfeeding is comforting and develops your baby’s sense of trust and security.
  • Breastfeeding develops the muscles in your baby’s face, mouth and lips. This improves sucking, and the position of his teeth later on.
  • Breastfeeding has none of the risks related to formula.

    Formula increases your baby’s chance of:
    • Infections of the ear, lungs, bowel and urinary tract
    • Allergies
    • Diseases such as diabetes, obesity, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and lymphoma, which is a type of cancer
    • Sudden infant death syndrome, also called SIDS
    • Colic-like symptoms: crying, gas, constipation


Breastfeeding is Important

Breastfeeding has important benefits for you and your baby. These benefits begin right away and increase as you breastfeed longer. 

Breastmilk is the only food your baby needs for the first 6 months or so.

  • Breastfeeding may continue for 2 years or longer if you and your baby desire.
  • Around 6 months of age your baby will show signs of being ready to eat solid foods. Breastfeeding is still the most important food, but solids give your baby nutrients such as iron as well as new flavours and textures.

How can you tell if your baby is ready for solids?