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Feeding your new baby whilst in hospital

Making a decision about how to feed your baby will be one of many you will be making during your pregnancy in preparation for your new arrival.

NHS Trusts maternity units will support you however you choose to feed your baby, with early feeds and by encouraging skin to skin contact.

The majority of NHS Trusts don’t supply formula milk for well babies during their hospital stay, however they may have emergency supplies if there is a medical reason for giving your baby formula milk.

Breastfeeding mum

If you have decided to breastfeed, you will be offered support and advice, and there is no need to bring bottles and formula milk with you.

If you have made the decision to formula feed then you will need to bring in a first milk starter pack.  These can be purchased from most supermarkets and include six ready to feed bottles with teats. You will need to use approximately 8 bottles in 24 hours.

Avoid taking in larger packs of ready-made milk as many NHS facilities are unable to store them safely.

If you are still undecided, don’t worry. Staff will support you to make the right choice for you and your baby. Talk to your midwife, who will give you more information and leaflets about feeding choices.

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Page last reviewed: 28-07-2021

Next review due: 28-07-2024