Breastfeeding Your Baby
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I give my baby vitamin D?
What about soothers?
What about spitting up?
What about hiccups?
How do I burp my baby?
Can I drink alcohol when I am breastfeeding?
Should I breastfeed if I am sick?
When should I give my baby solid foods?
What about formula feeding?
Can I continue to breastfeed when I return to work?
Should I give my baby vitamin D?
Health Canada recommends that starting at birth, all breastfed, healthy, full term babies get a daily vitamin D supplement of 400 IU per day. Continue giving it until your baby is 12 months old. After 12 months, continue a vitamin D supplement if your baby does not get 600 IU of vitamin D per day from foods.
Formula fed babies will need a vitamin D supplement if they drink less than 1000 ml (4 cups) of formula each day.
Call Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC (8-1-1) for more information about vitamin D food sources and supplements.What about soothers?
Breastfed babies rarely need soothers because their need to suck for comfort, stress release, and pleasure can easily be met by breastfeeding. If you choose to use a soother, wait until breastfeeding is going well (about 4‑6 weeks after birth). Avoid using a soother if your baby has any problems with feeding or you have low milk production.What about spitting up?
Spitting up small amounts after a meal is very common in the first few months of life and is not the same as vomiting. Spitting up usually stops as your baby grows.What about hiccups?
Many babies have frequent hiccups, which can be quite loud. Baby’s hiccups often bother the parent more than they seem to bother the baby. Hiccups go away by themselves.How do I burp my baby?
Burping between feedings may help bring up air bubbles and prevent some spitting up. To burp your baby, gently rub or pat him or her on the back. Thumping your baby on the back can make your baby spit up all the milk that was just taken.Can I drink alcohol when I am breastfeeding?
It is best not to drink alcohol at all while breastfeeding. Alcohol may affect your baby’s sleep or decrease the amount of milk your baby takes at feeding time. If you choose to drink alcohol, try to feed your baby before you have a drink. Also try to wait for 2‑3 hours after a drink before you breastfeed.Should I breastfeed if I am sick?
If you get sick with a cold or flu, you should continue to breastfeed because your breast milk can help protect your baby from illness.
Before taking any prescription or non‑prescription medications – including natural health products – speak with your health care provider or pharmacist. Some medications will pass into the breast milk. While some are safe, others are not.When should I give my baby solid foods?
Your baby does not need any food except breast milk for the first six months. For information about introducing solid foods, click here.What about formula feeding?
Breastfeeding is recommended until your baby is 2 years or older. It is rare that a woman is advised not to breastfeed her baby. If you are unsure about breastfeeding or are considering formula feeding, talk first with your health care provider or phone HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.
To protect a baby from harmful bacteria, boil water for one minute and then cool it to 70°C before mixing with formula. For more information on safely preparing infant formula, visit the Health Canada website. Health Canada says to boil the water for two minutes, but unless you are above 2,000 metres in elevation, one minute is enough in BC. Never give your baby formula mixed with well water that has not been tested by a laboratory and found safe. For more information, see the HealthLink BC file Should I Get My Well Water Tested?Can I continue to breastfeed when I return to work?
You can continue to breastfeed and work outside the home. In British Columbia, employers must make reasonable efforts to allow you to breastfeed or express milk at work. For more information about returning to work, click here.