Infant Feeding and Relationship Building

Maternity Services - Postnatal care - Infant feeding - Top image
Breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can do to improve the lifelong health and emotional development of your child. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of your baby’s life. After that, giving your baby breastmilk alongside other food will help them continue to grow and develop as well as reducing their risk of illnesses.
 
We provide encouragement, support and up-to-date information for you to feed your baby in a loving and responsive way.
 

Learning about feeding your baby before birth

 We host face-to-face breastfeeding workshops for expectant parents in the Whittington Hospital and we recommend attending these from 30 weeks of pregnancy. Please ask your midwife for more details.
 
You can also watch our virtual breastfeeding workshop video below before the class and come with all your questions. 
 

Whittington Health Breastfeeding workshop from Whittington Health NHS Trust on Vimeo.

 
 

What to expect in the first few days after birth

  • Day 0-1: Your baby might be sleepy as they are recovering from birth and may only feed around 3 times in the first 24 hours. You can ask for help to hand express your colostrum if your baby is not attaching.
  • Days 1-2: Your baby will start to feed more, about 6-8 times per day and especially at night. They may also become unsettled and want lots of cuddles – this is normal.
  • Day 3 onwards: Your baby will continue to feed often, at least 8-12 times per day. They will be more settled as you become more confident meeting their needs, and they get used to their gut changes and having more milk.
  • Newborn babies are nocturnal, so you should try to sleep when they sleep.
  • Babies breastfeed for comfort as well as for food. You cannot overfeed or spoil the baby by feeding them often.
  • Please see these leaflets and videos on breastfeeding and bottle feeding for more information.

 

Infant feeding support

Each borough in North Central London (Haringey, Islington, Barnet, Enfield, and Camden) provides infant feeding support. Please click here for more information on the services available in each borough.
 
You can also access telephone breastfeeding support from the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212. Opening hours: 9.30am-9.30pm every day.
 
Support is also available in Welsh, Polish, Bengali, and Sylheti, and for people who have hearing or speech impairments.
 
These websites also have useful information about breastfeeding:

 

Last updated08 Nov 2023
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