- Do You Need Help with Feeding?
If you require the help of your community midwife, you can call the mobile number they have provided, or liaison: 01257 27 5193
Health Visiting Services: 0300 247 0040
Families and Babies Peer Support Breast Feeding Support: 01257 77 29 29
National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0300 100 0212
- Social Media
Keep up to date with Infant Feeding Information through our Public Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LancsHospitalsMaternityServices
- Feeding Cues
you can recognise their feeding cues when they are first ready to feed. In the early days and weeks – you may be surprised just how much your baby wants to feed, but we do encourage responsively feeding your baby.
Early cues include:
- Moving / wriggling
- Sucking fingers / putting fist to mouth
Late cues include crying or getting very upset and red / agitated. Babies will show the early hunger cues before they start crying. If you are trying to feed your baby when recognising late cues, it is best to calm your baby and then feed them.
Some ways to calm your baby include:
Skin to skin
- During pregnancy
Pregnancy is the perfect time to start connecting with your baby. You can get family members involved with this such as partners and siblings. Talking, stroking and taking some time out every day to connect with your baby whilst they are a bump can help develop those bonds. Babies start to hear during the second trimester and will recognise their families voices when born.
During pregnancy, you may wish to start to be prepared for how you are going to feed your baby.
Our Local Hospitals have worked together to produce some Antenatal Videos for infant feeding information which you can find at the links below. These videos include ones for parents of multiples too: https://www.healthierlsc.co.uk/BetterBirths/Families/preparing-birth-and-parenthood
- Skin to Skin
One of the best ways to get feeding off to a good start is to have skin to skin immediately following the birth of your baby. Not only will this help your baby with their breathing and temperature, it will also help them with their natural feeding cues. Ideally at least an hour is advised to have a cuddle in skin to skin and until they have completed their first feed – regardless of method.
Skin to skin will also provide your baby with lots of good bacteria from your skin which will help build their immunity.
If you are unable to have skin to skin immediately, your partner or family member can do this until you are able to and when you are able, it can be commenced with you.
Skin to skin is also encouraged on the neonatal unit so if your baby needs care on our unit, please talk to your nurse about how to facilitate this.
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for you and your baby. Your new baby will seek the breast not only for food, but also comfort and reassurance. As you hold, cuddle and talk to your baby they will release hormones that help support their brain development and build their relationship with you. It is important to note that you cannot spoil a baby by holding them or responding to their needs and also that you cannot overfeed a breastfed baby. Being able to sit and rest whilst feeding or cuddling your baby, will also ensure you can enjoy their newness!
You can see more about the benefits of breastfeeding here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2adrIKweZTE
You may find this leaflet useful: https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2018/04/happybaby_leaflet_web.pdf
It is important that positioning and attachment is effective to ensure that not only do you not get sore but also that baby gets all the milk they need to grow. This video helps explain the importance of effective attachment and what to look for as you baby feeds: https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/baby-friendly-resources/breastfeeding-resources/positioning-and-attachment-video/
This Global health video also can assist with ensuring your baby is attached at the breast well. The Global Health video can also be access in multiple languages which can be selected from the website: https://globalhealthmedia.org/videos/attaching-your-baby-at-the-breast/
Some useful links for getting breastfeeding going well can be accessed here:
- Hand Expressing
You may have heard about hand expressing colostrum before your baby has been born. This can be helpful if baby is reluctant to feed, or may struggle to maintain their blood sugar following birth for various reasons as you would have colostrum ready to give alongside establishing breastfeeding. For most women, this can be done from 37 weeks. If there is a medical need, it may be suggested to commence this sooner. You can find more information here:
In some cases, it may be not be recommended so please check with your midwife prior to commencing.
If your baby may be going to the Neonatal Unit straight after birth, or you are at risk of giving birth early – you can also familiarise yourself with how to hand express, as we advise providing colostrum for your baby as their first feed within 2-6 hours of birth if they are taken to the Neonatal Unit. Please discuss this further with your medical team or a member of the neonatal team.
How to hand express.
It can take some practice to feel comfortable with hand expressing, please see the below video for how to hand express effectively: https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/baby-friendly-resources/breastfeeding-resources/hand-expression-video/
You can find further information on how to store it and transport it to hospital if required from this website: https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/wp-content/pdfs/BFNExpressing_and_Storing.pdf
Your midwife will always be able to answer any queries you may have in regards to breastfeeding, but if they feel they require further assistance in your care plan, they may suggest a referral to the Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife.
- Bottle Feeding
If you have decided to bottle feed your baby, please use the information on this page to do so as safely as possible.
You may have decided to feed your own expressed milk in a bottle, or decided to feed only formula milk. You may have decided to offer formula in addition to your own milk. If this is what you decide, it is important to try and continue to provide as much breastmilk as possible, so your baby can continue to benefit from the health benefits breast milk provides. If you wish to return to full breastfeeding at any time, please ask your midwife for further help and information.
If you have chosen to formula feed, at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, we encourage you to give your baby their first feed whilst remaining in skin to skin following birth as this helps to start building a close and loving relationship. Holding your baby in skin to skin for at least an hour or until after their first feed also helps them adapt to life outside the womb better.
If you have chosen to formula feed, please be aware that at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, we cannot store opened bottles of formula in our fridges. Therefore, all parents who choose to formula feed, will need to bring in ‘First Milk Starter Packs’ into hospital with them.
If you choose to breastfeed, you do not need to bring any formula with you. If your baby requires formula for any medical reasons, you can still express your milk and resume / continue exclusive breastfeeding following medical use of formula.
You can find more information in regards to safely making up formula feeds here: https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2008/02/start4life_guide_to_bottle_-feeding.pdf
Further information regarding types of formula milk can be found at First Steps Nutrition Trust Website by following this link: https://www.firststepsnutrition.org/parents-carers
Responsive Formula Feeding
- Sit and cuddle your baby with lots of eye contact during the feed
- Encourage rooting
- Invite your baby to take the teat in their mouth
- Pace the feed by removing the teat at various times, or alter angle of bottle to give them a break from the flow of milk, or when baby appears to want to take a break
- Never force a full feed
- Alternate sides you hold your baby when feeding
- Limit the number of people who feed your baby
Type of Formula milk
It is advised that your baby remains on First stage infant milk up to the first 12 months of life – there is no need to purchase follow on milk at any age
After 12 months, you can stop formula and offer Cows milk or a suitable alternative
All formulas are nutritionally similar and there is no best brand. You can look over the contents at this website of all formulas on offer in the UK: https://infantmilkinfo.org/type-of-infant-milk/
Formula preparation machines, Cooling Flasks and Formula Tablets
We get asked lots of questions regarding these additional products to the formula market. Unfortunately we are unable to say if these are safe to use and therefore cannot advocate their use and advise to follow the recommended method of making up Formula powder as found in the link above.
You can find further information from First Steps Nutrition Trust and their evidence base here: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59f75004f09ca48694070f3b/t/624edeb6873c47686bd34825/1649335991943/Bacterial+contamination_April+22.pdf
- Starting Solid Foods
It can be confusing knowing when and how to start solids with your baby. Introducing solid foods, also known as complementary feeding, starts when your baby is around 6 months old. For further information, please follow this link: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/weaning/
- Returning to Work
It is perfectly possible to continue Breastfeeding when returning to work. For further information and tips, please follow these links:
You can access breast and bottle feeding information from UNICEF in the following languages
By following this link: https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/baby-friendly-resources/foreign-language-resources/