Infant feeding

Our maternity services have been accredited by UNICEF as Baby Friendly since 2002 and it is very important to us to support women and their families in their baby feeding choices, and in building a close and loving relationship with their baby.

We recommend feeding your baby responsively. This is responding to your baby when they show feeding cues such as rooting, hand to mouth movements and wriggling. Ways to respond to and comfort your baby are:

• cuddling your baby
• frequent skin-to-skin contact
• offering a breastfeed for comfort as well as for nutrition
• keeping your baby near to you
• touching, massaging and rocking your baby
• talking to your baby

Do not leave your baby to cry.

You may find this link to Building a Happy Baby Leaflet helpful

Infant Feeding Team

All midwives, maternity support workers, maternity infant feeding assistants and neonatal nurses receive training in infant feeding. This training is updated regularly to ensure the advice and support we offer you is up to date, consistent and appropriate. Our obstetric and paediatric doctors also have the opportunity for regular training (obstetric doctors specialise in pregnancy and childbirth and paediatricians specialise in babies and children).

The following staff are key to our feeding support service:

Specialist Midwife Infant Feeding
This experienced midwife:

• is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant having specialist knowledge about feeding so she can give support to women with feeding their baby
• leads and trains our infant feeding team
• is contactable  Monday-Friday, 9am to 5pm, via the main switchboard on (01384) 456111

Maternity Infant Feeding Assistants
Their role is to provide support and advice to women in the hospital about feeding their babies. They are:

• mothers themselves and have experience of breastfeeding
• trained to support women in their feeding choices
• available in the Maternity Unit from 8am until 8pm

Skin-to-skin contact
When your baby is born hold him against your skin as soon as possible and for as long as you want. Skin-to-skin contact is a lovely way to say hello. Some mothers do not decide how to feed their baby until after birth. When your baby is born, skin-to-skin contact and holding your baby can make you feel differently, so it is a good idea to keep an open mind.
However you decide to feed your baby, we encourage all mothers to have skin-to-skin contact with their baby. Skin-to-skin contact can:

• be relaxing for you and your baby
• encourage your baby to feed
• regulate your baby’s breathing, heart rate and temperature
• protect your baby from infection
• help maintain your baby’s blood glucose level
• help you to bond with your baby

As baby relaxes he will begin to search around for your breast making tiny mouthing and head bobbing movements. If you decide to breastfeed let your baby take his time to seek out and find your breast as he is learning exactly what to do to get that valuable first feed. You may decide to only give your baby one breastfeed but this still has many benefits for your baby.

If you choose to bottle feed this is a good time to give that special first feed while still in skin-to-skin contact with your baby.

It is also recommended that dads and birth partners have skin-to-skin contact with their baby.

For more information:

Meeting baby for the first time video