Breastfeeding

Woman in blue top breastfeeding a baby in bed

Contact(s)

The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. At about 6 months, your baby will be ready for other foods, but you can continue breastfeeding as long as it is comfortable for you and your baby, even well into the toddler years.

Breastfeeding and COVID-19 Vaccination

  •  COVID-19 vaccines can be safely given to people who are breastfeeding.
    • Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine while breastfeeding should not disrupt your breastfeeding and does not have an adverse impact on your baby.
    • The vaccine itself is not detectable in breastmilk.
    • Antibodies to COVID-19 have been shown to pass in breastmilk after maternal vaccination and may protect your baby against COVID-19.
  •  We continue to recommend breastfeeding whenever possible.
    • It has many health benefits and offers the most protection against infection and illness throughout infancy and childhood.
    • Breastfeeding can provide important nutrition for your baby.
    • Breastmilk is not known to transmit the COVID-19 virus.

 

For additional information:

Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health - https://www.pcmch.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/PCMCH-COVID-19-Vaccine-Pregnancy-Information-Sheet-2021Oct25_v4.pdf

For support with breastfeeding call your health care provider or the Family Health Information Line to speak with a Public Health Nurse at 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5351 or email healthy.families@healthunit.ca

Breastfeeding and COVID-19

 

Breastfeeding is recommended, when possible, as it has many health benefits and offers the most protection against infection and illness throughout infancy and childhood. The virus that causes COVID-19 has not been found in breast milk. Breastfeeding can provide important food security for your baby (Canada.ca).

If you have, or may have COVID-19, here are some tips to keep your baby safe (Best Start 2020):

  • Wash your hands and always wear a mask when feeding your baby.
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue and put it into the garbage right away. Then, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Place your baby two metres away from you or anyone else who is sick unless you are feeding or caring for your baby.
  • If you are too sick to care for your baby, ask a healthy adult to help. They should wash their hands and wear a mask each time they are near the baby.
  • To date, the virus has not caused infection in babies from breast milk. Your breast milk is safe and helps protect your baby from infections and illnesses.

 

Some extra tips (Best Start 2020):

  • If you use a pillow, put a clean towel on the pillow each time you feed your baby.
  • Do not share breast pumps or infant feeding equipment with other families.
  • Sharing human milk with friends, family or milk-sharing groups is not safe during COVID-19.
  • If there is a person who is well living in your home, have that person care for the baby, change the diapers, hold and feed the baby if you are sick. This may reduce your baby’s exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

 

For support with breastfeeding call your health care provider or the Family Health Information Line to speak with a public health nurse at 1-800-563-2808  ext. 5351 or email healthy.families@healthunit.ca

Breastfeeding clinics and telephone support

To speak to a public health nurse or to make an appointment at a breastfeeding clinic near you, please contact:

Breastfeeding Online Support

Baby Friendly Initiative

With support from community partners, the Health Unit has achieved Baby-Friendly Initiative (“BFI”) status. This means that the Health Unit provides high standards of care for pregnant women and their families by:

  • Welcoming all families
  • Providing all families with information about feeding their babies
  • Promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, and continued for up to two years or longer with the addition of other foods
  • Welcoming breastfeeding anywhere, anytime
  • Making sure staff have up-to-date breastfeeding training
  • Working with our community to support breastfeeding

The initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

If you’re a business owner or employee who would like to create a supportive feeding environment for families please call 705-474-1400 ext 5351. This could include staff education or drafting a breastfeeding policy for staff returning to work following their parental leave.

More general information on becoming baby-friendly

 

 

North Bay

345 Oak Street West
705-474-1400

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302
705-746-5801

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)
1-800-563-2808