Feeding your baby
We are committed to providing you with up-to-date information on infant feeding and caring for your newborn baby. We are pleased to confirm that our maternity unit has achieved UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative full accreditation.
The information on these
pages is aimed at providing a resource for you to use during
pregnancy and following the birth of your baby.
You do not have to make a
decision on how you feed your baby until after the birth when
he/she is in your arms. We promote breastfeeding in
accordance with the World Health Organisation and UNICEF Baby
Friendly Initiative, because of the enormous health benefits to you
and your baby. All staff are trained in breastfeeding
management and formula feeding for the newborn and we will
support you in your chosen method of feeding.
During your pregnancy your
baby's brain is developing very quickly and this can be enhanced by
taking time out each day to relax, stroke your bump, talk and sing
to him/her. Your partner, baby's siblings and other close
family members can all be a part of this. The UNICEF
leaflet 'Building a happy
baby' provides more information.
Skin-to-skin contact for you
and your baby has enormous benefits and is the best way to welcome
your baby at birth. It is a recommendation by UNICEF Baby
Friendly Initiative that babies receive skin-to-skin contact
(ideally with his/her mother) for at least an hour following
delivery and until after the first feed, whether formula feeding or
You may want to know the
weight of your baby; however he/she will be happy to stay with you
in skin contact and will be calmed during this period of
time. If you want to breastfeed, this is a great time to
start as your baby might move towards the breast and work out the
best way to suckle for himself.
Breastfeeding also releases
lots of oxytocin in baby and mother, which will help you to feel
close and connected.
The benefits of skin-to-skin contact are listed
temperature, breathing and heart rate
Good start for feeding,
calms baby and mum
Stimulates baby's digestion,
improves breastmilk production
If you choose to bottle
feed, giving the first feed in skin contact while holding your baby
close and looking into his eyes will also help you bond. Skin
contact can be useful if baby is having problems with feeding, as
it helps to enhance the baby's natural feeding behaviours.
Dads/partners can also enjoy a period of time in skin-to-skin
contact with baby.
Our leaflet 'The benefits of
skin-to-skin' provides further information and can be found on our
During the early days
Newborn babies need to feel
secure and they have a strong need to be nurtured and feel close to
their parents. Well meaning relatives and friends may advise
that holding baby too much will make he/she "spoilt", when in
fact the opposite is true. When babies feel secure and loved,
they release a hormone called oxytocin, which helps their brains to
grow, leading to more happy and confident children and
You can find further
information in the UNICEF leaflet 'Building a happy baby'.
The following pages provide information on
breastfeeding and formula feeding to help you make decisions about
how you wish to feed your baby: