Skip to content

Infant Feeding

Baby-Friendly Initiative

At the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit:

  • We welcome ALL families.
  • We help all families to make informed decisions around feeding their baby.
  • We promote the World Health Organization’s recommendations for exclusive breastfeeding up to six months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.
  • We welcome mothers to breastfeed anywhere, anytime.
  • Our staff receive training to support breastfeeding families.
  • We support our staff in the continuation of breastfeeding upon their return from parental leave.
  • We work with our community partners to provide a consistent approach to breastfeeding support in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.
  • Baby-Friendly Initiative Policy – French Translation

**DISCLAIMER – The Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit recognizes that not all breastfeeding parents identify as mothers. The terms “mother” and “parent” are used interchangeably in our language. The term “breastfeeding” refers to direct feeding from the breast by a parent of any gender identity or expression. Some parents may identify as “chestfeeding” rather than breastfeeding. The Health Unit respects gender-inclusive language used by parents.

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit has been designated as a Baby-Friendly organization.

The Baby-Friendly Initiative is a global campaign to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding all around the world.

The goal of the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) is to increase the rates of mothers who begin and continue to exclusively breastfeed. Through the BFI, all parents receive accurate and unbiased information and support to enable them to make informed decisions about infant feeding. All mothers and babies are supported to safely feed their baby, regardless of their feeding method. By empowering parents with more information and support, parents will feel more confident to breastfeed.

At the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit, we are committed to providing the best evidence-based practice and breastfeeding support and care to women, infants and families in our community.

To become designated as Baby-Friendly, we have implemented the 10 steps to becoming a baby-friendly organization and are compliant with the WHO Code of Marketing Breastmilk Substitutes.

Make an Informed Decision

All mothers and their families have the right to make a fully informed decision about how to feed and care for their babies. The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit supports all women and families to feed their babies in a safe and nurturing way by providing reliable information based on facts, and opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns with a Public Health Nurse or Registered Dietician by calling 1-800-660-5853.

We want you to make the best choice for you and your baby when it comes to feeding and caring for your baby. There are a few things you need to know so that you can make an informed decision around infant feeding.

The World Health Organization, Canadian Pediatric Society, and the Dieticians of Canada, recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, and continued breastfeeding with the addition of iron-rich solid foods for up to 2 years and beyond. You have the right to breastfeed your baby anywhere, any time. The term breastfeeding/breast milk is also known as chestfeeding/chest milk and can be used interchangeably.

There are many reasons why some babies may be fed with infant formula. This can be for medical reasons, or for personal reasons. Giving formula may not be your first choice. All families are encouraged to access support with feeding at our Infant Feeding Clinics.

For the mother, some of the many benefits of breastfeeding your baby:

  • Controls postpartum bleeding
  • Promotes bone health
  • Promotes resistance to breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers
  • Supports the natural health of mom’s body

For the baby, some of the many benefits of getting breastmilk:

  • Supports a healthy digestive system
  • Helps normal jaw and tooth development
  • Helps healthy brain development
  • Provides resistance to illness and disease, including food allergies and digestive disease

For the family and community:

  • Convenient, always the right temperature and is available anytime
  • Free
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Reduces health care costs for the family and society
  • Assists with natural child spacing

If an informed choice is made to start using formula, it can be hard to start to breastfeed again. There can be an increase in health risks for both mom and for baby when a baby is getting formula. Risks for the mother:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain cancers (breast, ovaries, and uterus)
  • Brittle bones
  • Increased risk for postpartum bleeding

Risks for the baby:

  • Infections (ear, chest, gastrointestinal, diarrhea)
  • Digestive problems (inflammation of the digestive tract, Crohn’s disease, colitis, diarrhea)
  • Food allergies
  • SIDS – Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
  • Childhood illnesses

Giving infant formula to a breastfed baby can decrease your milk supply. Supplementing with infant formula may lead to stopping breastfeeding before you had planned to stop. It can be hard to restart breastfeeding after stopping. If your plan is to breastfeed, please seek support at our Infant Feeding Clinic.

Powdered infant formula can have bacteria that may make your baby sick. Follow the directions on the formula package carefully to make sure it is safe for your baby. When there are problems with formula, recalls can be found on the Healthy Canadians website.

The average price of basic cow’s milk formula with iron is listed below. Formula costs were collected in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark Counties in May 2022.


  • Yearly $1,166.14
  • Monthly $97.18
  • Daily $3.19


  • Yearly $1,713.47
  • Monthly $142.79
  • Daily $4.69


  • Yearly $3,439.19
  • Monthly $286.60
  • Daily $9.42

If you have made an informed choice to feed your baby formula, or your baby requires formula for medical reasons, we have a formula feeding resource titled Infant Formula: What You Need to Know. This resource will give you reliable information on feeding formula to your baby in a safe way. You can get this resource on our website or at any of our Health Unit offices.

A Public Health Nurse or Registered Dietitian can help you make the best choice for you and your baby. Call 1-800-660-5853 extension 2467 to discuss any questions or concerns.

For a hard copy of this information, call the Health Unit for our Make an Informed Decision about Feeding Your Baby resource.


Breastmilk is the only food or drink your baby needs for the first 6 months. After 6 months, it is recommended to continue breastfeeding for two years and beyond, along with offering iron-rich solid foods. You have the right to breastfeed your baby anywhere, any time.

Early breastfeeding support can be very helpful. Even if you are not having problems, early support can boost your confidence to know your baby is doing well. Check out the Infant Feeding Clinic schedule to find a clinic near you. You can also call 1-800-660-5853 extension 2467 to get support right away.

In addition to our Infant Feeding Clinics, additional support can be found within the community.

Hold your baby skin-to-skin as soon as possible after your baby is born. Skin-to-skin contact has many benefits including better breastfeeding outcomes. For more information on skin-to-skin contact, visit our Healthy Growth & Development section.

It can be hard to know where to find reliable breastfeeding information. Below you can find some links to information you can trust.

Disclaimer: The following videos show a baby being swaddled or with hands tucked in several times throughout the video.  The Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark District Health Unit recommends skin to skin contact during feeding and allowing your baby to move hands and arms freely.  Research outlines many risk factors to swaddling which can affect breastfeeding, growth and development and baby’s safety while sleeping.

The Attaching Your Baby to the Breast video does discuss how a poor latch can result in a decreased supply or a perceived decreased supply, leading to an increased rate of supplementation. Prior to supplementing, the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District health Unit recommends visiting one of our Infant Feeding clinics for support or calling 1-800-660-5853 extension 2467 to speak with a Public Health Nurse.

Positions for Breastfeeding – Video – Global Health Media Project

Attaching Your Baby at the Breast – Video – Global Health Media Project

Breastfeeding Rights

You have the right to breastfeed anywhere, anytime. This right is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. If you feel your breastfeeding rights are not being respected, report what happened to the Ontario Human Rights Commission.

A parent who is breastfeeding and returning to work has a right under the Ontario Human Rights Commission to be accommodated in the workplace so that she can continue to breastfeed her baby. Here you will find more information on policies to support a family-friendly workplace.

Introduction to Solid Food

When your baby is around 6 months old and showing you signs of readiness, you can start to offer iron-rich solid foods. Visit the Healthy Eating – First Year page for more information about feeding your baby in the first year.

Feeding Your Growing Child

All parents and caregivers want the best for their children when it comes to healthy eating. Understanding your child’s nutrition needs and what to expect at different stages is the first step to feeding children in a healthy and happy way. For information and tips on feeding your growing child from toddlers to youth, visit our Feeding Children – Toddlers to Youth page.