The Brant County Health Unit promises to support families in making an informed decision about infant feeding. All families will be supported no matter how they decide to feed their baby.

We promise to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

We support Health Canada’s guidelines to:

  • Recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.
  • Support continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond with the addition of age-appropriate family foods at six months

By learning about breastfeeding and getting support, most women can breastfeed successfully. If you are looking for help, reassurance, or want to make sure your baby is feeding well, we can help for free.

Breastfeeding is important for you and your baby.

We understand how important breastfeeding is for the health of mom and babe, so it’s important we stay committed to supporting breastfeeding up to 2 years or older.

  1. Special bond. Breastfeeding builds a special bond with baby.
  2. Breast milk helps your baby fight off sickness and disease.
  3. Ideal nutrition. Breast milk is perfect for baby’s growth and development.
  4. Portable and ready. Breast milk is the right temperature and fresh at any time.
  5. Any size. All shapes and breast sizes make the same nutritious milk for baby.
  6. Saves Money. Breastfeeding is free and saves you money.
  7. Helps mothers. Breastfeeding can protect mothers from many diseases.
  8. Friendly planet. Breastfeeding is good for your baby and the environment.
  9. All in one. Breastmilk is the only food baby needs for the first 6 months of life.
  10. Brain power. Research states children who were breastfed score higher on tests.

Skin-to skin is a way of holding your baby that helps to comfort and nurture. The baby wears only a diaper and is held on the mother or father’s bare chest in an upright position.

  • Increases bonding
  • Breastfeeding easier
  • Increases milk supply
  • Helps mom recognize baby cues
  • Baby will cry less and be soothed
  • Baby will be protected by parents ‘good bacteria’
  • Baby stays warm and is able to regulate body temperature
  • Baby will have better blood sugar levels and hear rate regulation

Milk Supply Video

Look for your baby’s early signs of wanting to feed such as:

  • Rooting reflex – Baby will turn their head and open their mouth in search of food when you touch their mouth or cheek
  • Licking Lips – Baby will to lick their lips or put their hand to their mouth
  • Crying is a late hunger cue and will need to be settled before feeding

Baby should breastfeed often with no time schedule.  Early on baby should breastfeed no less than 8 times in 24 hours or on demand and showing adequate signs of output and weight gain.

Breastfeeding Basics Video

There are many different breastfeeding positions to use.  Breastfeeding should be comfortable for mom therefore positions will be unique to each individual situation. Using a breastfeeding position that is comfortable will help ensure the latch provides optimal milk transfer to baby.

Breastfeeding Positions:

  • Cross-cradle position: This position is a good start for early breastfeeding. It allows for more control if baby is small and if the baby needs support to stay latched.

  • Cradle position: This position can be used once breastfeeding is established and the latch is comfortable.

  • Football position: This position is used when baby is small, mom has large breasts or a cesarian section incision.

  • Side Lying position: This position works well if mom has large breasts, has had a cesarian incision or if mom has a sore bottom and cannot sit comfortably.

Breastfeeding Positions Video

It is important to have a good latch during breastfeeding. If the latch is comfortable and efficient milk production will be high and milk transfer to baby during feeding will be abundant. This ensures baby will gain weight after birth.

Below are some tips to ensure the breastfeeding latch is effective.

  • Try out several breastfeeding positions to find which one suits you best
  • Hold your breast with your thumb on top and fingers below your breast
  • With your other hand, support baby’s head and guide nose towards your nipple
  • Wait for baby to have a wide-open mouth and gently allow baby to latch
  • Baby’s chin should be touching the breast first and lips should be curled outward
  • Latch should feel like gently tugging and not be painful
  • Mom should be able to see baby sucking and hear baby swallowing
  • If the latch is painful gently de-latch baby with a clean finger in the corner of baby’s mouth to break suction

Latch Video 

There are many reasons why a mother may need to express breast milk some reasons for expressing breast milk are as follows;

  • Increasing breastmilk supply
  • Painful or difficulty with latching
  • Prolonged separation from baby

Expressing breastmilk can be done using hand expression or mechanical pump. Hand expression can provide good results if the technique is done correctly. Hand expression takes time to learn however it requires less equipment, no cost and can be done at anytime as needed.

It is important to note, excessive mechanical pumping after delivery can produce an oversupply or abundant milk supply for baby therefore consult your nurse for more information on expressing breastmilk.

Hand expression Post Card Document

Hand Expression Video


If mom cannot breastfeed, baby can be fed expressed breast milk or breast milk substitutes using a bottle.  It is important to understand risks and benefits to using other methods of feeding. If bottle feeding is used it is important to also understand how to ‘pace bottle’ feed baby to ensure baby is tolerating bottle feeding.

  • Watch for early feeding cues such as rapid eye movements, cooing sounds, sucking or licking sounds and actions, hand to mouth actions and restlessness
  • Support baby’s neck and shoulders in an upright position
  • Ensure the bottle has a slow flow nipple on top
  • Watch for baby to have open mouth signaling readiness to feed
  • Ensure that the nipple is inside babe’s mouth
  • Do not tilt back the bottle. Instead only tilt the bottle slightly to ensure the milk has entered the tip of the nipple.
  • As feeding continues the bottle will move from horizontal to slightly angled
  • Be sure to constantly assess baby’s breathing, swallowing and tolerance of milk flow during feeding.
  • Pause feeding every 3 swallows to mimic breastfeeding by angling the bottle more upright or taking the bottle out of baby’s mouth
  • Do not force the baby to drink the entire bottle. Watch baby for satiation cues and pace the feeding.
  • Stop once baby shows signs of fullness

Pace Bottle Feeding Video

Health Unit Breastfeeding Support/Visit
​Description: Telephone support or in-home visit from a public health nurse
​Location: ​Brantford/Brant County
​Contact: ​519-753-4937 ext. 464
​Cost: ​FREE
​Availability: ​By appointment, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Brantford Pediatrics Breastfeeding Clinic
​Description: Staffed by lactation consultants and pediatricians. This is self-referral.
​Location: ​379 St. Paul Ave., Brantford
​Contact: ​Call: 519-512-0030
Text: 226-450-0300
​Cost: ​FREE
​Availability: ​By appointment. Call for details.
Six Nations Breastfeeding Support Group
​Description: Group gathering for mothers and babies. For mothers living on Reserve only.
​Location: 18 Stoneridge Circle, Ohsweken
​Contact: ​519-445-4922
​Cost: ​FREE
​Availability: ​Monthly group meetings. Call for details.
Aboriginal Health Centre
​Description: Breastfeeding support
​Location: 36 King St., Brantford
​Contact: ​519-752-4340
​Cost: ​FREE
​Availability: ​By appointment. Call for details.
Grand River Community Health Centre
​Description: Support and advice from a nurse practitioner
​Location: 363 Colborne St., Brantford
​Contact: ​519-754-0777
​Cost: ​FREE
​Availability: ​By appointment. Call for details.
La Leche League Canada: Brantford
​Description: Mother-to-mother support or telephone help from an accredited leader
​Location: Brantford
​Contact: Website
​Cost: ​FREE
​Availability: Monthly group meetings. See website for details.

Other supports:

  • Your family physician, midwife or doula is also able to provide support.
Cambridge Pediatric & Breastfeeding Clinic
​Description: Support for any breastfeeding-related difficulties.
Referral required.
​Location: 200 Franklin Blvd., Cambridge
(inside Zehrs)
​Contact: 519-620-3600
​Cost: ​FREE
​Availability: By appointment. Call for details.
Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Donor Milk Bank
​Description: Lactation Consultant screening and support for mothers who wish to donate excess breast milk. Pasteurized donor milk is available to eligible hospitalized babies in Ontario hospitals.
​Location: Room 18-252, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto
​Contact: or 416-586-4800 ext. 3053
​Cost: ​Free for approved donors
​Availability: The milk bank is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 – 4:30 for phone consultation, but potential donors are asked to visit the Milk Bank website to assess their eligibility to donate, and submit their contact information.
Ontario Breastfeeding Support
​Description: Support from a public health nurse
​Contact: 1-866-797-0000
​Cost: ​FREE
​Availability: 24hrs / 7 days a week
Brant County Health Unit
​Description: Speak with a public health nurse
​Contact: 519-753-4937 ext. 464
​Cost: ​FREE
​Availability: Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.