All new mothers want to do what’s best for their child. According to the experts this means breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of an infant’s life — meaning no food or drink other than breast milk. Of course, this is easier said than done, particularly when you leave the privacy of your home.
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help you and your baby enjoy both the outdoors and the benefits of breastfeeding. Here are a few tips.
1. Be patient with your baby and yourself. Although breastfeeding is natural, it can take time for both mom and baby to learn what works for them. If you’re having trouble, ask for help and support if you need it to start you and your baby on the path to success.
2. Check out local support services. Ontario has many resources for new mothers and those looking to refine their technique or get ideas from other mothers to cope with day-to-day challenges. There are many great programs available, including drop-ins where you find a space to sit down, meet other mothers and feed your baby. Find a searchable list of services near you online at ontariobreastfeeds.ca.
3. Call for help. Did you know that Ontario has a free telephone breastfeeding support service? If you just need some support at home, registered nurses with breastfeeding training can provide confidential and evidence-based tips and information to callers. Reachable 24/7 at 1-866-797-0000 (or 1-866-797-0007 for TTY), the service is available in more than 100 languages. It’s also free of charge, with no limit on the duration or frequency of calls. So if you’re one of the many moms who have questions on how to breastfeed, give them a call.
Breastfeeding is good for babies in many ways. However, some moms may not be able to breastfeed for medical reasons, and some mothers and babies, despite all best efforts, experience challenges. We encourage these moms to speak with their primary care providers about the best options for their babies. The most important thing is to ensure your baby is getting the nutrition he/she needs.