Breastfeeding is a skill that you and your baby learn together and all new skills need practice.
If you have specific concerns, your midwife or health visitor should be able to help, or contact a local breastfeeding support group in Hertfordshire.
The Children’s Centre Group is accredited as Baby Friendly by the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative for excellence in the support of breastfeeding and parent-infant relationships.
Children’s Centre staff are available to provide breastfeeding support before and after your baby is born – please call us to check availability. If your baby is under 10 days old you are still under midwifery care so you are able to contact them for support.
Responsive feeding tips
When feeding your baby, there are some important things you can do to make sure you’re closely responding to your baby’s needs.
Skin to skin contact
This is when you hold your baby close, skin to skin, as soon as possible after birth. Your warmth, smell and heartbeat will make your baby feel safe and calm.
You can also do it when you or your baby need some calm time. Dads can do it too.
Learning your baby’s cues
Keeping baby close to you so that you can recognise feeding cues is helpful.
Most babies will “ask politely” in the first instance. This is a much easier time to feed than when crying.
Feeding at baby’s pace
Babies will often cluster feed and often in the evenings. Like an adult, there will be times when they’re hungrier than others.
More about feeding cues – signs baby is hungry
Formula-fed babies may not finish every feed. Look for signs that they’ve had enough and avoid overfeeding.
Looking at and holding baby close
Babies need this for healthy brain development. There are simple things you can do to ensure you’re enhancing baby’s learning, both before and after baby is born.
Plenty of cuddles
You can’t spoil a baby by picking them up and keeping them close. It helps your baby to feel secure and loved.
Remember, baby cries as a last resort and mostly wants to be close to you. In the early days, limit the number of people who give them a feed. Your baby is getting to know you and is still building up resistance to bacteria.