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Breastfeeding and Breast Milk

Breastfeeding is the normal, natural and optimal way for a mother to feed her baby. It is a learned skill, one that mothers and babies can master with time, patience, practice and support. This webpage provides a variety of breastfeeding resources that might be of interest to mothers, families, and community partners.

Northern Health supports the following recommendations from World Health Organization, Health Canada, Dietitians of Canada, and Canadian Pediatric Society:

  • Exclusively breastfeed infants for the first six months of life (i.e., the infant only receives breast milk without any additional food or drink unless medically indicated);
  • Introduce complementary, iron rich, solid foods and other fluids around the age of six months; and
  • Continue breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond.

It can be helpful to discuss information you find online with health care providers. We encourage mothers and families to bring copies of information with them to their appointments, to discuss and get answers to questions.

Support for Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a learned skill, one that mothers and babies can master with time, patience, and practice. A little support goes a long way! Women can benefit from support from their families, spouses, and peers. If additional support is needed, there are also professional and community-based supports available.

Partner, Family, and Peer Support

Professional Support

Community-Based Support

General Information for Women and Families

Helpful Resources for Community Partners

Are you a community partner who works closely with women, young children, and families? This is a great place to learn more about how you can support breastfeeding mothers in your community.

Creating Breastfeeding-Friendly Spaces

Understanding Baby-Friendly Initiative

Celebrating Breastfeeding Week

Additional Resources for Community Partners

Prenatal: Planning for Baby’s Arrival

Are you pregnant or know someone who’s expecting? Pregnancy is a great time to learn about what to expect with breastfeeding and to talk to your health care provider about any questions or concerns you may have. The links below provide information to help you get started.

Getting Started

Baby Has Arrived: Getting Started

In the early postpartum period, one of the most important things you can do is early and often skin-to-skin contact with your newborn. This allows your bay to have unlimited access to your breast while you are establishing your breastfeeding journey together.

Whether this is your first child or another addition, check out this list of topics as you learn how to breastfeed your new baby.


Comfortable Positions

Co-Sleeping and Safer Infant Sleep

Effective Latching

Baby Behaviour

Milk Supply

Expressing Milk

Alternate Feeding Methods

Maternal Lifestyle

Special Circumstances

Breastfeeding Your Growing Child through Ages and Stages

While your baby may start to explore solid foods at about six months, continued breastfeeding is recommended for two years and beyond. Learn what other mothers have to say! Many mothers continue breastfeeding their toddlers even during new pregnancies and in tandem with newborns. This section includes resources for you and your growing child!

Nutrition in the First Year

Nutrition for Toddlers and Preschools

Returning to Work

  • Many mothers decide to continue breastfeeding once they return to work.
  • Breastfeeding is a human right.
    • Did you know that BC employers are required to accommodate your breastfeeding needs, such as providing adequate breaks and a comfortable space for you to pump and/or breastfeed your baby?
    • Talk to your employer about how they can support you to meet your breastfeeding goals.
  • Breastfeeding at Work
  • Learn more about Returning to Work after Baby (Best Start Resource Centre, page 7).

Toddler Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding during Pregnancy and Tandem Breastfeeding


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