Breastfeeding provides unique health benefits for both women and their breastfed children.

Accordingly, the World Health Organization and Health Canada recommend exclusive breastfeeding for an infant’s first six months of life, with continued breastfeeding up to two years and beyond. The Health Unit provides a variety of supports to help families meet their breastfeeding goals. These supports include prenatal breastfeeding classes, phone support by registered nurses, a virtual support group for parents of newborns, and face-to-face consultation from one of our certified lactation consultants.

Visit Breastfeeding Support to access these services


Breastfeeding Matters (Best Start, 2021)   
This booklet is an important guide for breastfeeding women and their families. The guide provides information about when to feed your baby, how to latch and position your baby, and how to store and prepare expressed breast milk. Available in English only.  

My Breastfeeding Guide (Best Start, 2020)   
This guide answers questions parents may have about breastfeeding. Available in English, French, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

Breastfeeding for the Health and Future of our Nation (Best Start, 2017)   
This booklet was developed to support Indigenous women and discusses the tradition of breastfeeding, while providing information about how to start and continue breastfeeding. Available in English, Cree, and Ojibway.  

Signs that Feeding is Going Well (Best Start, 2020)   
This one page guide provides simple ways to assess if breastfeeding is going well. Available in English, French, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Cree, Farsi, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean, Ojibway, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tamil, Urdu and Vietnamese.


How to position your baby while breastfeeding (Peel Region)

How to latch your baby to your breast (Peel Region)

How to breast feed a sleepy newborn, manage engorgement, and hand express breast milk (Peel Region)

How to increase the flow of your breast milk while feeding - breast compressions (International Breastfeeding Centre)

How to bottle feed your baby: paced bottle feeding (Peel Region)

Breastfeeding videos in multiple languages (Global Health Media)

Frequently Asked Questions

Your newborn baby will need to breastfeed 8 or more times in 24 hours. Your baby will show you signs when they are hungry. These signs are called feeding cues. Learning to recognize your infant’s more subtle, early feeding cues can reduce your child’s need to cry to let you know they are hungry. Responding earlier can also help your child feel well cared for, can strengthen your bond with your baby, and often results in calmer feeding times. Early feeding cues, include:

  • Awakening
  • Soft sounds
  • Mouthing (licking lips or sticking tongue out)
  • Rooting (turning the head and opening the mouth)
  • Hand to mouth movements.

You can breastfeed your baby for as long as your baby wants to feed. The time of each feeding will vary depending on the time of day, your baby’s level of hunger, and the number of distractions in their environment. Some babies feed for 20 minutes, other babies need more time to complete a feed.

At each feed, offer your baby the breast they finished on during their last feed. Switch to the other breast once your breast is empty or when baby is no longer sucking actively. It is important to allow your baby to completely empty one breast before switching to the other breast to ensure they are getting the nutrient-dense hind milk. Having your baby feed from both breasts regularly is important for establishing and maintaining your breast milk supply.

Breastfeeding should not be painful. If you are experiencing pain with breastfeeding, contact a breastfeeding professional for support. Pain with breastfeeding is often the result of a shallow latch. Follow the steps below to improve your baby’s latch.

Look for the following signs to make sure your baby is getting enough breast milk:

  • Your baby feeds at least 8 times every 24 hours.
  • Your baby is active and has a strong cry.
  • Your baby has a wet, pink mouth, and bright eyes.
  • Your baby has enough wet and dirty diapers, according to their age (see chart below).

   This chart is available in multiple languages here.

Your baby’s primary healthcare provider (i.e., doctor or nurse practitioner) will also track their growth as another way to make sure that your baby is getting the right amount of breast milk. Your baby’s growth should be monitored one to two weeks after birth and at two, four, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months of age and every year after age two. Your baby’s primary healthcare provider may monitor your child’s growth more frequently if there is a feeding concern.

If you notice signs that feeding is not going well, especially if your baby is not producing the recommended number of wet and dirty diapers, seek medical attention.

For information about hand expressing, pumping, and storing breast milk safely, review the following fact sheet:

Expressing and Storing Breast Milk (Best Start, 2020). Also available in French.

Note: you will need to scroll down past the Breastfeeding Matters resource to access the fact sheets. 

For information on preventing and managing these breastfeeding challenges, review the following fact sheets:

Blocked Ducts (Best Start, 2020) This fact sheet explains what causes a blocked milk duct and what you can do to help.

Breast Infection (Mastitis) (Best Start, 2020) Outlines the signs and symptoms of mastitis, when to seek treatment, and other tips to help.

Thrush (Best Start, 2020) Describes the signs, symptoms, and treatment for thrush.

Note: you will need to scroll down past the Breastfeeding Matters resource to access the fact sheets.

Sore Nipples (international Breastfeeding Centre, 2021).  This is a resource, from Dr. Jack Newman, outlines the most common causes of sore nipples and what you can to do to help.


Maternal Newborn Clinic - Windsor Regional Hospital: 519-254-5577 ext. 56908   
Free, in-person breastfeeding support from lactation consultants for babies up to six weeks of age. Services are for clients who give birth at Met hospital.

Expecting and Connecting Program - Midwifery Collective of Essex County:  519-252-4700   
Free, virtual prenatal and postpartum program open to everyone in Windsor-Essex County. The program led by a registered midwife and lactation consultant.

Lactation Consultation - Midwifery Collective of Essex County: 519-252-4700   
Free, in-person lactation consultant services until six weeks post partum. Service is provided by a registered midwife and lactation consultant.

La Leche League Windsor:,   
Free, mother-to-mother breastfeeding support from pregnancy to weaning. Support offered via email, phone, or monthly virtual meetings.

Health Connect Ontario  8-1-1 (TTY: 1-866-797-0007)   
Breastfeeding phone support is available 24-hours, 7 days a week in multiple languages.

First Exposure is a website that provides information about the safety of medications, plants, environmental substances, and other exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. 

Always speak with your medical provider before starting a new medication or when you are ill during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.