Should you need urgent health advice please contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency please visit A&E or call 999

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Breastfeeding essentials

Paced bottle feeding

If you wish to give your baby a bottle of expressed breast milk, you may find using a paced approach helps them cope with the flow to more mimic how breast milk is delivered. You can find a short video on YouTube.

Breastfeeding in public

As you get more used to breastfeeding, you’re likely to feel more confident. You should not ever be made to feel uncomfortable about breastfeeding in public. It is illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place.

It can help to plan ahead and think about where you will feel comfortable breastfeeding. Ask breastfeeding friends for recommendations. Some mums like to wear loose tops that can be lifted, others prefer to keep their tummy covered. A good tip is to wear two stretchy tops, so that the top layer can be lifted, and the bottom layer can be pulled down. Some baby slings are designed so you can breastfeed while your baby is in the sling. Some mums feel more comfortable putting a scarf or muslin cloth over their chest while they’re breastfeeding.

It can help to go with a friend or family member whist building confidence. The key is practice, finding out what works for you and if any concerns reach out for help and support.

Coping with night feeds

Becoming a parent is a very special time. Getting to know your new baby and learning how to care for their needs can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. However, it can also be challenging, especially when you are tired and your baby is wakeful and wanting to feed frequently during the night. It might be reassuring to know that it is both normal and essential for your baby to feed during the night. Babies grow quickly in the early weeks and months of their lives and have very small stomachs. Therefore, they need to feed around the clock to meet their needs. This great leaflet talks about how top tips for night feeds.

Breastfeeding and returning to work

Going back to work or study may be the first time you have been separated from your baby for long periods. Continuing to breastfeed helps to keep the close relationship you’ve built up, providing your baby with extra comfort and security for as long as you both want. You don’t need to stop breastfeeding just because you’re returning to work or study. Many women find ways to continue breastfeeding their baby. Employers and course providers have certain obligations towards breastfeeding women to support your return to work or study. Please see this leaflet for more information.

Introducing solid foods

Breast milk is all the nutrition your baby needs for their first 6 months of life. At around 6 months, your baby should start to do 3 things which indicates they are ready for solid foods.

  1. Stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady
  2. Co-ordinate their eyes, hand and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put it in their mouth all by themselves
  3. Swallow food

Babies who are not ready will push their food back out, so they get more around their face than they do in their mouths. The Department of Health now recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for at least six months and that breastfeeding is continued, with the addition of appropriate weaning foods, for as long as the mother and baby want. Please see this leaflet for more information.


ChatHealth Logo

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust runs a confidential secure text messaging service for parents of children aged 0-5 years called ChatHealth. The service operates Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm, excluding bank holidays. All texts will be responded to by a health visitor 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 service 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.

This page was last reviewed on 03-11-2021

This page will be next reviewed on 03-11-2024