Deciding How to Feed Your Baby

Deciding how you are going to feed your baby is a very important decision. Here are some things to think about to help you decide.

Considering breastfeeding?

  • Good for Baby:
    • Always fresh and ready
    • Reduces risk of overweight and obesity
    • May increase protection against illnesses such as childhood diabetes
    • Increases protection against ear, chest and stomach infections
    • May increase protection against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), also called crib death
    • Helps to prevent constipation
  • Good for Mom:
    • Promotes closeness and touching with baby
    • Helps the uterus to return to its normal size after birth
    • Helps to control bleeding after birth
    • Helps to protect against cancer of the breast and ovary
    • Saves money; formula is expensive
    • Saves time; there is no need to prepare formula and bottles
    • Does not produce any garbage; there are no formula and bottle packages to throw out
  • Birth control compatible with breastfeeding 
  • Women have the right to be accommodated in the workplace during pregnancy and breastfeeding 
  • Once breastfeeding is stopped it is difficult to reverse the decision

Find more information on breastfeeding

Considering Formula Feeding?

  • Increased risk of ear, chest and stomach infections
  • Formula does not change to meet baby’s growing needs 
  • Less convenient as extra time needed for sterilizing equipment and preparing formula
  • Potential for mistakes to be made during formula preparation
  • Potential for contamination during manufacturing and processing

For personal or medical reasons some families make an informed decision to provide formula. If you have decided to formula feed your baby and need information on how to prepare it safely, please visit Ottawa Public Health’s Food Safety Page.
To talk with a public health nurse about feeding and caring for your baby call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 or email

Other sources of infant feeding information: