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, encouraging skin to skin contact whatever choice you may make.

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.

Breastfeeding mum

If you have decided to breastfeed, you will be offered support and advice, and there is no need to bring a bottle 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.  Don’t take in larger packs of ready-made milk as many NHS facilities are unable to store them safely.  Plan to use around 8 bottles in 24 hours.

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 information leaflets about feeding choices.

Parents can also attend Bumps to Babies sessions before the birth run by midwives and public health nurses. They can talk to you about feeding choices.

Useful links


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Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-19 years called Chat Health. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a public health nurse (health visitor/school nurse) within 24 hours. Outside of the service working hours, you’ll receive a message back to inform you that your text will be responded to once the line reopens.

Should you require urgent health advice in the meantime, please contact your GP, visit an NHS walk-in centre or call NHS 111. For emergencies, dial 999 or visit A&E.

Leicester City: text 07520 615381

Leicestershire & Rutland: text 07520 615382

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