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Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Importance of Breastfeeding

How you feed your baby is a personal decision and each parent’s situation is unique. Call the Health Unit to speak to a Public Health Nurse to explore your options and have your questions answered.


Breastfeeding is important for your baby

Breastfeeding is the biologically natural way to provide infants with the nutrition they need for healthy growth and development. Health Canada recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, with continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond.1

It is important that you start breastfeeding shortly after birth as it may be challenging if you decide to start later. Also, if you stop breastfeeding at any time, it may be difficult to restart.


  • is the perfect food that you make for your baby,
  • has exactly what your baby needs to grow and develop,
  • changes to meet your baby’s growing needs,
  • is easily digested by your baby,
  • increases success in school, according to the research,

Breastfeeding Supports

Breastfeeding the first few hours

We offer many types of breastfeeding supports for you and your baby.

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  • contains many antibodies that can protect your baby from illness, disease and development of allergies, and
  • is readily available and is always the right temperature. No preparation or heating required.

Breastfeeding is important for mothers

Women who breastfeed:

  • have a decreased risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, depression, Type 2 diabetes and weak bones,
  • may lose their pregnancy weight faster and may not have their period again for a little while longer,
  • create an extra-special bond with their baby,
  • save money,
  • can continue to breastfeed after they return to work, and
  • are helping the environment because no garbage is created.

If you make a decision to use infant formula

Date of creation: July 6, 2017
Last modified on: August 4, 2023


1Health Canada, Canadian Pediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. (2012). Nutrition for healthy term infants: Recommendations from birth to six months. Retrieved from
3INFACT Canada. (2006). The risks of formula feeding. Retrieved from
4World Health Organization. (2017). The international code of marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Retrieved from
5World Health Organization. (2023). Breastfeeding. Retrieved from