Breast milk is the most balanced food
you can feed your baby. It passes on
valuable antibodies, it’s always the
right temperature, it doesn’t require
sterilization and it’s free!
Breast milk contains less sodium and
protein than formula, which puts less stress
on your baby’s kidneys and reduces the
incidence of dehydration.
Breast milk changes as your baby
matures. The milk of a mother with a
premature baby is different than the milk
for a full-term baby. It has more iron,
calories and antibodies.
Breast milk adapts to the climate. It is
more watery in hot weather and creamier
in cold weather.
Breastfed babies have a lower risk of
suffering from some bowel disorders (such
as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease),
asthma, respiratory, ear, and gastrointestinal
infections, meningitis, SIDS, juvenile
diabetes, allergies and eczema. Breast milk
even lowers the chances of appendicitis!
Breast milk may appear thinner than
formula, but it is more nutritious. It contains
just the right amount of calories, fat, sugar,
protein, vitamins and minerals your baby
The foremilk (at the beginning of a
feeding) is thinner and sweeter to quench
the baby’s thirst and keep the baby sucking,
while the hind milk (at the end of a feeding)
has more fat to help the baby feel full and
satisfied (this also helps with baby’s weight
Later in life, children who were breastfed
have lower cholesterol, better mouth
development and fewer cavities and
Your breasts may look a bit different
after breastfeeding, but most changes in
breast tissue occur over time, due to the
aging process, not because you breastfed.
Breastfeeding helps your uterus return
to normal size and helps your pre-pregnancy
body return faster.
Breastfeeding creates a unique bond
between mother and child.
Breastfeeding is better for the environment.
You don’t need bottles, liners or
nipples. And you don’t have the hassle of
preparing formula or warming bottles.
Pacifiers can teach your baby poor
sucking technique and hide hunger signs.
Do not give your baby a pacifier (soother)
to help him learn how to suck. If you do
use a pacifier, wait until breastfeeding is
well-established (after at least six weeks).
Mothers do not have to wean their
babies if they have to go back to work.
Mothers can breastfeed when they’re
home and express their milk for when
they are at work. Frozen breast milk can
also be used.
Studies show it is best to feed babies
whenever they are hungry, not on a
strict schedule. This is called demand
Originally published in ParentsCanada: Best Wishes, Spring 2012.