Breastfeeding provides the newborn with nutrition, protection, and bonding time with the mother. Breast milk is the only food that a newborn needs for the first six months of life, making it a healthy, affordable, and accessible way to feed a baby. Breast milk provides antibodies to protect the baby from illness and infection. Women who breastfeed will need to give their baby a supplement of Vitamin D.
Breastfeeding can be difficult at first, and it may take time to adjust. Some women may also experience certain infections or soreness when breastfeeding. Women who plan to breastfeed are encouraged to continue trying and to talk with a health professional if they have any questions or concerns.
Formula is recommended for use only if the mother cannot breastfeed for some reason or if she has made an informed decision not to breastfeed. In Canada, breastfeeding is not recommended for women living with HIV, even if they have an undectable viral load. For more information about HIV and pregnancy, including Saskatchewan’s Infant Formula Program, please visit: https://skprevention.ca/sexual-health/hiv-and-pregnancy/. Women who formula feed should use a cow’s milk formula fortified with iron.