Feeding your newborn baby

Feeding your newborn baby

Feeding your baby


Breast milk has every vitamin, mineral and other nutritional elements that your baby needs. There is no formula that completely mimics the milk your body creates. Breast milk has many immunological properties that are your baby’s first protection against the germs he or she may be exposed to. 

Breastfeeding is a wonderful process that you and your baby will learn together. While at the hospital for the birth of your baby, your nurse or midwife will provide education and support to begin and establish breastfeeding. You will be encouraged to cuddle baby skin-to-skin often, and your baby will remain in your room throughout your stay unless he or she needs additional medical care.

Breastfeeding will be a learning process for both you and your baby, and it may take a while to get the hang of it. Your nurses and our lactation consultants are here to help with your breastfeeding questions. Please check with your nurse regarding the schedule.

If you are breastfeeding, it is important that you stay hydrated. Be sure to drink frequently, preferably before you feel thirsty. Have a glass of water nearby when you breastfeed or pump breast milk for your baby. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water or other liquids a day.

You might need to eat a little more than normal – about an additional 400 to 500 calories a day – to keep up your energy. There is no need to go on a special diet while breastfeeding your baby. Instead, focus on making healthy choices to help fuel your milk production. Opt for a variety of whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables.

Although many medications and herbal products are safe while breastfeeding, some are not. It is always best to ensure that any prescription medication, over-the-counter drug or herbal remedy (including tea) you are taking is compatible with breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding classes and other information

Find out about our breastfeeding classes.

For additional information, please visit the following:

Formula feeding

At Markham Stouffville Hospital, we support mother’s choice of newborn feeding methods. We understand that you may have made the informed decision to formula feed your newborn. Our nurses, physicians and midwives will provide you with the support and guidance you need to safely feed your baby.