Maternity Unit

Feeding your baby

Deciding how to feed your baby is a very personal decision.

breastfeeding parentsThis section of the website gives you more information about the options, and provides details about the help and support available to you.

Making your choice

We support all mothers to choose how they want to feed their baby. We also recognise the importance of breastfeeding, and we will support mothers to breastfeed for as long as they would like.

When pregnant, it’s important to get all the information you need to help make your decisions about how to feed your baby. Mothers don’t have to decide how you are going to feed your baby while pregnant - some mothers wait until they have had their baby before making this important decision. 

Your midwife or health visitor can give you all the information you need, but these web pages may help you as well.


As soon as your baby is born

Before you even think about feeding, there are lots of things you can do as soon as your baby’s born:

  • Holding your baby against your skin straight after birth is a lovely way to get to know your baby, and will help keep it calm and warm. It will also steady your baby’s breathing and heart rate.
  • Your baby should stay in skin-contact for at least an hour to give it a good chance to calm down after the birth, and be ready for feeding.
  • Your baby will often have a good early breastfeed if it is left undisturbed in skin-contact after birth for at least an hour (or until it is ready to feed).
  • Having lots of skin contact in the early days and weeks after birth can help prevent/reduce breastfeeding problems. It also helps you and your baby get to know each other.
  • Your baby will be happier if it is kept near to you and is fed whenever it is hungry.

Undecided or planning on formula feeding?

Any breast milk given to your baby is precious, and will benefit them.

If you’re undecided whether to breastfeed, or you’re planning to feed your baby with formula milk, think about offering the first feed as a breastfeed. This would ensure your baby gets some of the precious Colostrum - nutritious milk produced in the late stages of pregnancy.

This can reduce the baby’s risk of infection and will help to calm your baby after being born. It’s also a lovely way to get to know your baby after birth.

It’s your decision on how to feed your baby, however many mothers who choose to feed with formula milk will be happy to offer their baby one or two breastfeeds after delivery.

Remember, you don’t need to decide how to feed your baby until after it is born and you have had some time to get to know each other in skin contact.

When it’s time to introduce your baby to solid food, you can get more information on the UNICEF Baby Friendly website.

Advice about feeding

If you’re worried about any aspect of feeding, please seek help and advice from your midwife or health visitor.

The majority of problems can be overcome with help and support. 

It’s important that mothers ask for help if they are worried about feeding their babies. There is lots of help and support available for mothers who are worried about feeding their baby. Have a look at our information and support web page for more details. We also have answers to a range of frequently asked questions on babyfeeding.

Baby Friendly Accreditation logoUNICEF Accreditation

Newcastle Hospitals Trust has achieved the full UNICEF Baby Friendly Accreditation - an award recognised worldwide for excellent infant feeding care.

We succeeded in passing the last stage of the award in October 2014.   

More information

For more information about feeding your baby, please speak to your midwife or health visitor, visit our Information and Support web page, or contact:

  • The Infant Feeding Co-ordinator
  • tel: 0191 282 0437
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