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Infant Feeding

We are proud to be a fully accredited UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital. This means that our services are designed to promote breastfeeding and close, loving relationships between you and your baby. For mothers who decide to formula feed we will also support your feeding journey and encourage close, loving relationships when you are bottle-feeding.

Before your baby is born

At 28 weeks you will be given a leaflet, ‘A Mothers and Other Guide to Feeding and Caring for your Baby’. This is full of useful information to read now, refer to later on and share with your partner/supporter. You will have the opportunity to discuss the leaflet and feeding your baby at 34 week of pregnancy.   

If you have particular concerns about feeding, have had a previous difficult feeding experience or have a complicated pregnancy, we can offer additional input and a chance to talk through your concerns with one of the NGH infant feeding team.

Please get in touch to discuss:

Phone: 07917 504 373

Collecting your milk in pregnancy

We continue to encourage women with diabetes and others to hand express their breastmilk antenatally (before baby is born). You can talk to a midwife about this when you come in for your antenatal appointment at around 34-36 weeks. If you are interested she can give you a starter pack and a leaflet with all the all the equipment and information you will need about expressing, storing and transporting your colostrum (first milk).

After your baby is born

Staff will support you with feeding your baby after birth, in hospital and at home. Before you go home and on your first home visit (or soon after your home birth) a member of staff will make sure you know:

  • How to feed your baby
  • How you’ll know your baby is having enough milk
  • What to do if you have any feeding problems

This applies whether you are breast or bottle feeding. All babies are weighed on Day 5 (the day your baby is born is Day 0). If you are breastfeeding your baby will also be weighed on Day 3

Before you leave hospital staff will let you know what to expect in terms of telephone consultations and appointments. 

You can ask any feeding related questions at any appointments / consultations.

Infant feeding and tongue-tie (ankyloglossia)

The lingual frenulum (the membrane that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is a normal structure. Some babies with a clearly visible frenulum can breastfeed well and you will be supported by maternity staff to position and latch baby effectively at the breast.

However, if the frenulum is particularly short or tight then it can restrict the tongue movement making breastfeeding and sometimes bottle feeding more difficult - this is known as a tongue-tie.

Babies with a tongue-tie can find it difficult to attach to the breast effectively which may lead to:

  • an inability to get enough milk which can lead to a low milk supply
  • sore and cracked nipples
  • a lower weight gain than expected

Some babies that are bottle fed, who have a tongue-tie, may also experience problems. They may:

  • find it difficult to make a seal around the teat leading to leaking of milk
  • take longer to feed
  • be ‘gassy’ and uncomfortable after feeds

If difficulties cannot be resolved with feeding support, a referral for further assessment and possible division of the tongue-tie will be offered.Current referrals for a suspected tongue-tie go to the ENT / Max Fax department at NGH.

Further information can be found on:

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