Feeding your baby, getting off to the best start
Welcome to Infant Feeding at Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust. We provide breastfeeding training and support to health professionals across all three of our hospitals.
We support infant feeding developments within the Trust and promote breastfeeding awareness.
We have a team of specialists ready to help you with your feeding journey meaning you need never feel alone. Here you'll find useful information about feeding your baby.
- About breastfeeding and formula feeding.
- Links to free on-line antenatal education are available for you to access.
- Copies of our infant feeding policies and helpful information leaflets are available for you to view online, meaning you will be well informed when making your choices about how to feed your baby.
- Videos dealing with a range of subjects.
- Places you can go for support and advice.
- Meet the team - so that you can find out about us all and familiarise yourself with the team.
We’ll support you in your chosen feeding method and provide you with the information you need to feed your baby confidently and safely.
Usually we provide feeding support for the first 28 days after having your baby, or whist you are under the care of a community midwife.
Breastfeeding is the healthiest and most cost-effective way to feed your baby.
Breastfeeding is a skill that takes time to get the hang of. Lots of mums wonder if their baby's feeding well and getting enough - especially in the first few days. But once you've mastered it, you'll probably find it's the easiest and most satisfying way to feed your baby. (Source: www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/breastfeeding)
The benefits of breastfeeding
Apart from the fact that breast milk is tailor-made for your baby, free, and always available, it offers protection from:
- helps to fight infection – breast milk provides natural (germ killing) antibodies that help your baby fight infections like tummy bugs, diarrhoea, colds and chest and ear infections.
- vitamins and nutrition – your breast milk provides the perfect combination of vitamins and nutrition, it’s also much easier to digest than first infant formula.
- SIDS and childhood leukaemia – breastfeeding reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as cot death, and childhood leukaemia.
- long-term health – breastfed babies are less likely to develop diabetes, or become overweight when they are older.
- decreased risk of tooth decay – breastfeeding up to 12 months is associated with a decreased risk of tooth decay.
Any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial, but exclusively breastfeeding your baby for 6 months offers a lot more protection. There are benefits and advantages for you too – breastfeeding helps:
- your uterus get back down to size – after your baby is born, your uterus (womb) will gradually get smaller day-by-day, but breastfeeding will help speed this up.
- bonding with your baby – breastfeeding is a lovely way to feel close and strengthen the bond between you and your baby.
- protect your health – breastfeeding lowers your risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis (weak bones), diabetes and cardiovascular disease (conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels).
- burn off calories – if you are exclusively breastfeeding, this will help burn off about 300 calories a day.
There are many benefits of carrying on breastfeeding after 6 months – your breast milk protects your baby from infections and there’s some evidence it helps them digest solid foods. (Source: www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/breastfeeding)
Please note: It can be difficult to resume breastfeeding once you have stopped feeding or using a breast pump, (however, it’s sometimes possible). Introducing formula feeds whilst breastfeeding reduces a mother’s breast milk supply.
For breastfed babies, in the early weeks, they will typically feed at least eight to 12 times in a 24-hour period (if they are fed when they show signs they’re hungry). It’s important to remember that breastfed babies cannot be overfed. See the feeding cues below which help to establish when your baby needs more milk. If you feed your baby when they are showing ‘early cues’ this will often lead to a more relaxed and calmer feed.
Expressing breast milk
Remember to collect and store breast milk in clean containers specifically made for breast milk storage.
Got a breastfeeding question? Use ‘Breastfeeding Friend’ chatbot
Use the 'Breastfeeding Friend' for fast, friendly, trusted NHS advice anytime, day or night. You can sign in to Facebook, use Amazon Alexa or Google Home to access the Start4Life 'Breastfeeding Friend' chatbot
If you intend to formula feed you’ll need to bring powdered ‘first milk’ formula into hospital with you (this came into effect on From 1st June 2020). We have the facilities for the safe preparation of powdered formula on the maternity ward. (link to leaflet: feeding your baby when in hospital). Our Trust will only provide formula milk for babies on maternity wards if there is a medical indication.
If you use formula milk it is very important for your baby’s health that you use only first infant milk from birth up to one year of age.
- Make sure that you follow all the instructions to make the feed. All feeding equipment must be sterilised correctly. Before you and your baby go home we will show you how to do this, and provide you with written information.
- More information about responsive bottle feeding and how to make up a bottle safetly: How to make up baby formula
- You should not share bottles or a breast pump with anyone else. Have a look at the NHS guide to sterilising bottles.
Coronavirus and infant feeding
- Everyone should follow the latest government advice on coronavirus
- There is currently no evidence to suggest that coronavirus can be carried or passed on in breast milk. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be encouraged to initiate or continue to breastfeed. Click here for more information.
- Pay special attention to sterilising equipment. If your baby is having formula or expressed milk, make sure you sterilise the equipment use to collect and feed your baby carefully before each use.
Follow the above NHS guidelines on how to make up formula feeds safely.
MY Maternity – Better Births at Mid Yorkshire
Please join our Facebook page where you can find out more information about pregnancy and birth and postnatal services. You can also access the messenger service to get in touch with a midwife if you have any questions.
Download the following resources to help with infant feeding:
Information for parents for babies with Tongue Tie
The use of dummies and breastfeeding
Infant Feeding Policy
Safer sleep for babies: a guide for parents 2020
Start4life Guide to bottle feeding
Start for life - off to the best start leaflet
Infant feeding when in hospital
Mid Yorkshire’s Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife
If you are under the care of your midwife and need support with breastfeeding please contact the service on 07824 417802.
If you are under the care of your health visitor and need support with breastfeeding please contact the following services
Wakefield Single Point of Contact 01924 310130
Kirklees Single Point of Contact 03003 045555 or Text for Support 07520 618867
Further Feeding Support organisations
Auntie Pam's support mums-to-be in Kirklees. They offer help, guidance and information for mums and families through centres in Dewsbury and Huddersfield.
The Baby Buddy App provides trusted, evidence-based information and self-care tools to help parents build their knowledge and confidence during the transition to parenthood and throughout the early stages of parenting.
Baby Café is a network of breastfeeding drop-in centres. Find your nearest drop-in by entering your postcode
FAB provide peer support services offering evidenced based information & support to help improve health & well-being within families. They offer antenatal classes and breast pump hire.
First Steps Nutrition Trust is an independent public health nutrition charity that provides information and resources to support eating well from pre-conception to five years.
La Leche League offers mother-to-mother support with breastfeeding. Lactation Consultants of Great Britain can help you find a lactation consultant near you.
National Childbirth Trust (NCT) is a charity that provides information and support on all aspects of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood, including breastfeeding.
Sure Start Children's Centres Some local children’s centres offer breastfeeding support groups for families. Use the link to find your nearest centre.
Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) has information about feeding twins and triplets.UK Association for Milk Banking has information about using donated breast milk if your baby is premature or ill, and how to donate breast milk.
West Yorkshire Sling Library An independent carrier resource based in Leeds and Wakefield, we have been working since 2011 to offer families safe and comfortable carrying solutions. Our drop-in sessions around Leeds and Wakefield offer free sling and carrier advice and fitting services.
Antenatal Feeding Education:
The following places offer online courses free of charge for families. They provide parents-to-be with excellent information and knowledge so that you can fully prepare for your feeding journey.
Online breastfeeding course (click on the play icon to begin)
National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers 0300 330 5453
La Leche League 0345 120 2918
National Childbirth Trust (NCT) 0300 330 0700
The Breastfeeding Network supporter line in Bengali and Sylheti: 0300 456 2421