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Grandparents - Your Support for Breastfeeding Makes a Difference!

Help give your grandchild the best possible start in life.

A lot has changed since you had your children. For example, we now know much more about the importance of breastfeeding.

  • Breastmilk is the best food for baby and it changes to meet a baby’s needs as he/she grows and develops
  • Health Canada recommends that babies: receive only breastmilk for the first 6 months and that around six months, they should be introduced to solid foods with continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond.
mom and baby

Breastfeeding is important for both baby and mother.

For the baby, breastmilk:

  • Provides protection from infections and illnesses
  • Decreases the risk of allergies
  • Decreases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • May help brain development

For the mom, breastfeeding:

  • Decreases risk for ovarian, uterine and breast cancer
  • Can help with weight loss after pregnancy

As well as providing many health benefits for mother and baby, breastfeeding allows lots of time for bonding and skin to skin contact and is environmentally friendly. Breast milk is free and always ready anytime, anywhere!

It is important to know that:

  • Babies breastfeed when they are hungry, which means 8 or more times in 24 hours.
  • Frequent feeding increases milk supply.
  • Babies have growth spurts and feed more often during these times.

Time, patience and humour help!

Whether or not your own children were breastfed, you can play an important role in supporting breastfeeding.

  • Breastfeeding is a skill that takes practice.
  • Health care professionals provide support in the first few hours and days after birth, but at home, partners, family and friends can do a lot to help.
  • Support and encouragement from you, may give your daughter or daughter- in-law the confidence she needs to continue breastfeeding.

Women tend to breastfeed longer if they are supported!

Ways to be supportive: grandparents looking at baby

  • Respect her decisions about how she wants to feed her baby
  • Ask her how you can help best
  • Be positive and non-judgemental while she is learning
  • Encourage her to rest
  • Learn more about breastfeeding.

If you live nearby:

  • Offer help with cleaning, cooking or laundry
  • Bring her drinks or snacks
  • Hold the baby while she has a shower
  • Go with her to a Breastfeeding Support Group