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Breastfeeding - the early days

Breastfeeding - the early days

Tips for the early days

Effective attachment will help a baby get the milk they need and make breastfeeding more comfortable. Watch this video to learn why effective attachment is so important to breastfeeding and how to attach baby to the breast.

The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative and the Department of Health publication Off To The Best Start contains very helpful images and information about latching your baby effectively.

Also, Click here to download our poster (PDF, 427Kb) with hints and tips on breastfeeding in the early days.

See Resources in Other Languages for helpful videos and information about feeding your baby in other languages.

Breastfeeding Support

Our ward staff, Infant Feeding Team and Breastfeeding Peer Support volunteers will help you to learn how to hold and attach your baby to your breast, so that breastfeeding is comfortable and enjoyable for both you and your baby.

Click here for details of other sources of breastfeeding support.

Breastfeeding in the early days

Skin to skin

However you plan to feed your baby, skin to skin after birth is a really good way to start getting to know your new born baby.

Click here for more information on the importance of skin to skin for parents and baby.

Laid back breastfeeding

Many new mothers enjoy breastfeeding their baby in a ‘laid back’ position in the early days, so they can rest while they are breastfeeding.

Click here for more information on “Biological Nurturing” or laid back breastfeeding.

Hand expression

However you choose to feed your baby, hand expressing is a very useful skill to learn.

It’s ideal for relieving a full and perhaps uncomfortable breast and is an excellent way of giving your baby your breastmilk in the early days, if baby is not feeding from the breast.

Click here to learn about how to hand express, and why is can be useful for you and your baby.

Your new born baby’s tummy

A newborn baby’s tummy is very small (about the size of a grape) so it is normal for your baby to need feeding frequently.

Click here to view information about baby’s tummy sizes in the early days.

Early feeding cues, ‘responsive’ feeding and “rooming in”

While you are pregnant or after your baby in born, you may hear these phrases from time-to-time, but what do they actually mean, click here to find out more.

How to tell that breastfeeding is going well?

Our staff and volunteers can teach you how to recognise the signs that breastfeeding is going well for you and your baby, or when you may need more support.

Click here to view our “How can I tell that breastfeeding is going well” guide.

Tongue ties and infant feeding

If you are experiencing feeding difficulties and a tongue tie has been identified click here for more information on tongue-ties and how they might affect feeding.

If the baby is breast or bottle feeding well, then the tongue tie may not need to be divided. Ask a health professional for advice if concerned.

Cup feeding your baby

If your baby is not feeding at the breast they can be fed without using a bottle.

Cup feeding can be used from birth for both expressed breastmilk and infant formula, using any clean, open cup with a smooth surface.

The IBFAN and La Leche League International Cup Feeding poster explains how to cup feed your baby safely and effectively. Ask your midwife if you have any questions.

Getting to know your baby

After your baby is born, there are many ways to develop your relationship with your baby, including gazing into their eyes, responding to their 'babbling', mirroring their facial expressions as well as smiling and talking to baby.

Visit our Getting to know your baby webpage to find out more.

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham