Feeding your baby

Congratulations on the birth of your baby!

Welcome baby!

Having a new baby can be an exciting and wonderful time, a time of significant change for you, your partner and other children, but can also be exhausting and worrying.

Holding your baby in close skin contact helps to calm baby and mum and help get breastfeeding off to the best start. Skin to skin contact helps to stabilise baby’s breathing, heartrate and temperature, and encourages baby’s instinctive feeding behaviour. Skin contact releases breastfeeding hormones in mums, and helps with bonding for all babies and their parents. Keeping baby close to you helps you get to know each other, and is comforting for baby.

Keeping baby close helps parents to recognise when baby needs feeding, calming and soothing.  How babies attach at the breast matters so that it is comfortable for mum and baby gets enough milk.

Your midwives, health visitors and the Baby Feeding Team will help you to learn how to hold your baby for feeding. Ask for help early. In the first few days your baby’s tummy is small, and your breasts make the perfect special first milk called colostrum. These small feeds are packed with immune factors that only you can make.

To make enough milk for your baby, feed baby whenever he/she wants. This will tell your body to make milk. Continue to eat a healthy, balanced diet and carry on taking vitamin D, and if breastfeeding, give the baby a Vitamin D supplement too.  Find out more on how to claim free vitamins.

Night feeds are important in the early months for establishing milk supply, and babies need frequent feeds. Caring for your baby at night offers information to support parents with getting some rest, night feeding, safe sleeping environments and helping baby to settle.