Breastfeeding has been shown to prevent acute and chronic illnesses like lung and ear infections, diabetes and cancer. It strengthens the mother-baby bond and helps children reach their full learning potential. Services are offered free-of-charge and available to any mother in the Vancouver Coastal Health area.
Our services support early breastfeeding from birth to six months and continuing breastfeeding for two years and beyond. Services provided by public health nurses or lactation consultants include:
Find a public health nurse in your area.
- Telephone and hotline support
- Home visits
- Drop-in support groups
- Breastfeeding clinics
A public health nurse (PHN) will contact you within a day or two of leaving the hospital to talk to you about breastfeeding. You should call the public health nurse if:
- You are having pain or sore nipples during feeding
- Your baby is too sleepy to feed or feeds less than 8 times in 24 hours
- You are worried that your baby is not getting enough milk
- Your baby has fewer than 4-6 wet diapers and/or less than 3 stools in 24 hours after 3 days of age
- You experience stress with breastfeeding
A public health nurse can be an ongoing source of support for you as your baby grows and changes. You should call the public health nurse if:
- You are having difficulty with breastfeeding
- You are worried about your child’s growth
- You have questions about breastfeeding or returning to work
Sometimes mothers can’t make enough milk for their babies. If a mother’s own milk is not available, the next best thing is pasteurized breast milk from a donor. We are always in need of new donors, so learn more about our Breast Milk Donation Drop-offs.