When you’re making a choice about how you want to feed your baby, you’ll be influenced by the views of family and friends, by past experiences, by what you see in the media as well as by the advice from health professionals.
It’s an important decision, and you need to feel that you have all the facts and information you need. While you’re still pregnant, it’s worth finding out more about the choices available to you, even though you don’t need to make any firm decisions until your baby arrives.
As well as exclusively breastfeeding or exclusively formula feeding, you have other options such as mixed feeding, or expressing breastmilk which you give to your baby from a bottle. Whatever decision you make, support will be available. During your pregnancy you’ll have regular contact with your midwife, and when you reach 28-32 weeks, you’ll also meet your public health nurse (health visitor). Both these health professionals will be happy to discuss feeding choices with you. They can also signpost you to ante-natal groups running in your area.
- The Best Beginnings website has a series of short films about different aspects of breastfeeding, including the first feed after giving birth, breastfeeding in the early days, breastfeeding out and about, overcoming challenges and breastfeeding twins
- Leaflet: Feeding your baby from birth to five
- National Childbirth Trust (NCT) – breastfeeding and antenatal support. Breastfeeding helpline, open every day from 8am – 10pm: 0300 3300 770
- First Steps Nutrition – this site provides more detailed information about UK formula milks, including a simple guide
- Start4Life guide to bottle feeding
- Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland Infant Feeding Support Groups
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