From the minute you become pregnant and even before, you have been making decisions that affect your baby. Throughout your pregnancy and your baby’s life, you will be making many more decisions. They will not always be easy. To help you make informed decisions for you and your baby, you need good quality information. This website and the Breastfeeding Matters book will provide you with information about feeding your baby.
Most of the information regarding infant formula comes directly from formula companies. They are trying to encourage you to feed your baby formula. When women decide to formula feed, they will have to buy formula and feeding equipment until their baby is at least one year old. Many families are surprised at the cost over the long-term.
Formula companies often give mothers samples of formula “just in case” they might need it. The free formula may come at a time when you are feeling tired, still getting to know your baby and not yet confident about breastfeeding.
When mothers have samples of formula:
- They are more likely to feed formula to their babies.
- A mother’s milk supply does not get established if she feeds formula supplements to her baby. Milk supply is directly linked to how often you feed your baby.
- Babies who receive formula supplements are more likely to feed less from the breast and need more formula.
- Mothers and babies who use formula in the first few weeks of breastfeeding are more likely to stop breastfeeding earlier than planned.
If you are planning to breastfeed, learn about the Breastfeeding Help and Support in Grey and Bruce so you can get the support you need to feel confident breastfeeding your baby.
There are times when a baby needs extra milk. If this happens to your baby, it is best to give your own expressed breastmilk. For more information on expressing breastmilk, see that section of our website.
Babies, especially premature and very sick babies, can sometimes receive donor milk from a human milk bank. For more information about human milk banks in Canada, visit the Human Milk Banking Association of North America or The Rogers Nixon Ontario Human Milk Bank.
There are times when it is necessary to give formula. Some reasons for giving formula are:
- The baby has a medical condition and needs to be fed formula or given a special formula. View the information document from the World Health Organization on the subject.
- The mother has a medical condition and is unable to breastfeed her baby. View the information document from the World Health Organization on the subject.
- The mother and baby are separated from one another and the mother is unable to get enough breastmilk to her baby.
If you think you need to give your baby formula, get help right away. Breastfeeding Supports in Grey and Bruce provides information on resources available in your community.
Adapted with permission from the Best Start Resource Centre.