Infant Feeding

Breastfeeding is normal, natural and the healthiest way to feed your baby but it is not always easy. This is especially true if you do not get the right support. We follow the quality standards set out by UNICEF Baby Friendly UK and this means our staff and services are designed to support your feeding journey however you choose to feed. For more information on the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative, please click here.

Baby Friendly unicef Accreditation
Baby Friendly unicef Accreditation

We have a dedicated Infant Feeding Team based at the Trust, which was highlighted as Outstanding, by the Care Quality Commission in 2019.

The Infant Feeding team are here to give you information and support over the phone or they can arrange to see you face-to-face.

You can contact them before you have your baby, while you are in hospital and once you are discharged home.

If you have particular concerns about feeding, have had a previous difficult feeding experience or have a complicated pregnancy, the team offers parent craft classes one-to-one or in small groups which can be tailored to your needs.


We offer a range of services throughout your pregnancy and after you have had your baby. Please call us with any questions or concerns you may have had as we are always happy to help. If you are diabetic, carrying twins or triplets or have previously had a baby born prematurely we are happy to meet with you to help prepare you for feeding your new baby. We work alongside our colleagues in clinic and can meet with you on a one to one basis at a time to suit you or alternatively we are happy to discuss any issues over the telephone. We provide one-to-one support on our postnatal and paediatric wards.

We can support you with many feeding issues including weight loss, tongue tie, meditation in breast milk, access to donor milk medication or anything that’s concerning you no matter how small you might think the problem is. Please also see our contact section for details of local and national feeding support. We can offer help and support on breastfeeding and returning to work, future pregnancies and tandem feeding.

If you have enjoyed breastfeeding your baby and would love to help support other local mums, why not consider attending peer support training? Please call us for details.

Information for Patients

Films - educational 'how to' videos

The links below go to videos created by the Infant Feeding Team. They are a series of instructional and educational videos which show parents “how to” feed their baby, and clean and use equipment.

How to hand express breast milk
How to breastfeed comfortably
How to wash breast pump equipment on the Neonatal unit
Expressing your breast milk before your baby is born
How to use a Carum breast pump
How to use a Calypso breast pump
Responsive bottle feeding
How to use nipple shields

Baby and Infant Mental Health

However you feed your baby, responding to them and holding them close for feeds and cuddling them when they feel sad will help them feel safe and secure and flood their developing brain with happy hormones. This relationship starts when you are pregnant.

There is lots of useful information about raising a happy baby in the leaflet ‘Building a happy baby’ which you can find by clicking the link here.


How do I get off to a good start?

Skin-to-skin contact as soon as you are able and for at least after the first feed will help you get off to a good start with feeding. Feed your baby frequently. In the first 24 hours your baby may only feed three or four times but they may feed more. After the first 24 hours your baby will need to feed at least eight to ten times in 24 hours. You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby. For more information click here.

For Information in other languages on breastfeeding and bottle feeding you can click this link.

How will I know my baby is breastfeeding well?

Many parents worry that they will not know if  the baby is breastfeeding well because they cannot see how much milk they are taking. Watch the videos below to see what an effective feed looks like:

Babies need to breastfeed frequently around eight to twelve times in 24 hours. It is normal for them to feed during the night. For information about feeding your baby at night, please download this leaflet.

Feeling sad during a breastfeed

A small number of breastfeeding mothers experience feelings of depression (or anxiety, homesickness, agitation or anger) beginning immediately before their milk lets down and it may last a few minutes. This is called Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex, or D-MER. This appears to be a physiological response (not a psychological response) that may be tied to a sudden decrease in the brain chemical dopamine immediately before milk let-down.

Many mums experiencing these symptoms find it helpful to visit, but you can also contact the Infant Feeding Team on 07816 061633

Feeding on the Neonatal Unit

If your baby is born sick or preterm, your milk is like medicine. We will support you to express your breast milk and can provide you with a breast pump.

For more information on NEC visit SIGNEC and NEC UK

I think I have a low milk supply, what can I do?

Many new mums think they have a low milk supply, but the majority may not and there are things they can do to help increase it.

  • Make sure that the baby is feeding effectively. If feeding is hurting, baby may not be able to transfer milk effectively. Seek help from the ‘where can I get help’ section.
  • Breastfeed frequently for as long as your baby is actively feeding. Babies breast feed at least eight to 10 times in 24 hours, sometimes more. It is normal for gaps between feeds to be one-and-a-half to two hours at times and go no longer than three hours between feeds.
  • Take a ‘baby moon’. Take two or three days when you do nothing but feed your baby and rest. Avoid extra visitors if you can and get help from those close to you to provide you with support with things like food, house work and answering the phone.
  • Offer both breasts at each feed. Let baby finish one side then offer the other breast. Baby may not look interested in another feed at first but many will take milk from the second breast.
  • Try ‘switch feeding’. Feed on one side and when baby’s feeding slows down put them on the other breast. When they become sleepy on that side ‘switch’ them back to the other side.
  • Avoid teats and dummies. If baby wants to suck let them suckle at your breast.
  • Take care of yourself, rest when you can and eat and drink well.
  • Consider expressing after feeds or between feeds. This should encourage your breasts to produce more milk. Expressing for two or three minutes after your milk has stopped flowing will help increase your milk supply too.

How can my partner and family help me?

Partners may not be able to breastfeed but there are lots of other ways they can support mum and baby, like helping with chores, cuddling baby and holding baby, providing food and drink for mum and finding good sources of information and support like the ones found on these pages.

Supporting parent mental health

If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, speak to a health care professional like your midwife, health visitor or GP. You can also find support via: and  PANDAS Foundation UK.

For information on maternal mental health and breastfeeding click here.

Is it normal for breastfeeding to hurt?

You may have had a painful experience or spoken to people who have. With the right support breastfeeding should be comfortable and should not hurt. This film clip will help show you how a baby breastfeeds so that it is comfortable:

Useful websites for breastfeeding complications

Visit for useful information on complications including:

  • Thrush
  • Mastitis
  • Drugs in breast milk


Tongue tie is common in babies but they do not always affect feeding. You can also get information from the NHS website.

If you suspect your baby has a tongue tie which is effecting how well they feed, you can speak to the Infant Feeding Team for information.

What should I do if I think that my baby has jaundice?

For most babies, jaundice is mild, harmless and clears up by itself. But it is important that you tell your midwife, or your doctor if you notice that your baby’s skin, the whites of their eyes or the inside of their mouth or gums have a yellow colour. If this happens in the first 24 hours after birth, contact them urgently. This could be a sign of another medical problem.

If your baby is more than 24 hours old, contact them on the same day that you notice the change in colour. You should also tell your midwife or on-call midwife or doctor if your baby passes pale, chalky coloured stools or dark urine that stains the nappy. Follow the link for more information about jaundice, click here.


Infant Feeding team clinic helpline: 07816 061633

Further support can be obtained from:

Sandwell Breastfeeding Network helpline
07505 775357

La Leche League helpline
0845 102 2918

For more information about disabled access for this service

Click here