Our core purpose is to work with people and lead communities in improving their mental and physical health and wellbeing for a better life; through delivering excellent and responsive prevention, diagnosis, early intervention, treatment and care.
Our Infant Feeding Team provides mothers and families in Derby with advice and assistance to make informed feeding choices. The team also provides support to enable women who choose to breastfeed to do so for as long as they wish. This helps to improve health outcomes.
The team works closely with our health visiting team, and provides training and support to local children’s centre staff and GPs.
Our Infant Feeding team contact details
0300 1234586 option 1, followed by option 7
Available Monday to Friday excluding Bank holidays.
Women’s bodies are designed to produce milk and babies are designed to receive it. Breast milk is perfectly made to give your baby everything they need. In the early days colostrum provides your baby with antibacterial fighting properties which help keep infections at bay. It is highly concentrated in a small volume as a baby’s tummy can only take about:
As your baby grows, your breast milk changes to ensure your baby gets everything that is needed. Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer:
For mums it helps to:
If you breastfeed your babies for a joint total of two years or more, it can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer by 8%.
Breastfeeding is an instant soother if your baby is upset or needs comforting. It can also reduce the pain from immunisations.
We now know you can never overfeed a breastfed infant.
Breastfeeding Clubs offer support for like-minded breastfeeding women and those who are providing breast milk. The clubs also welcome mums to be who would like to gain more information about breastfeeding.
All the breastfeeding clubs are led by a member of the Infant Feeding Team.
11.30am – 12.30pm
Tel: 01332 861176 Option 2
Tel: 01332 574902
1pm – 2pm
Tel: 01332 288774
Tel: 01332 670634
11am – 12noon
Tel: 01332 380134
10am – 11am
Infant Feeding Team
Tel: 0300 1234586
Option 1, option 7
Would you like to see an Infant Feeding Practitioner on a one-to-one basis? Please contact the Infant Feeding Team or your Health Visiting team to book into one of the following clinics (subject to availability):
During pregnancy mums often start to develop a relationship or bond with their baby. Once your baby is born, this can continue in a number of ways.
You may have started this with skin-to-skin contact following your baby’s birth which will have enabled you to say hello to your baby. This normally stimulates milk producing and mothering hormones.
Skin-to-skin contact helps your baby feel calm and safe as they will be able to hear the familiar sound of your voice and heartbeat. This special time promotes the positive mother-baby relationship, regardless of how a mother feeds her baby. It promotes the release of oxytocin, a hormone which has a calming, soothing effect on both you and your baby. Skin-to-skin contact is valuable at any time to help settle and calm a baby and it is also something your partner can enjoy with your baby. It can help you to get to know your baby and fulfil their need for love, comfort and food. You can’t spoil a baby by picking them up.
When a baby is hungry they will start to show signs called feeding cues. These are:
If the feeding cues are not responded to in a calming manner, babies will cry. It is not recommended to leave babies to cry for a long periods as this will increase their stress levels. When babies are picked up, cuddled and comforted they release oxytocin which helps them to feel calm and safe. Oxytocin levels are high during breastfeeding, helping your baby’s brain to grow by making nerve pathway connections, which are an important part of brain development.
At times a baby will want a breastfeed for comfort; this is okay to do as a breastfed baby cannot be overfed.
Unicef - Useful guidance and information on positioning and attachment.
Responsive Feeding – Cluster Feeds
Young babies feed at least eight times in 24 hours and vary the amount of time they spend at the breast. Some feeds can be short, some can be long; mums are encouraged to look how their baby feeds over a 24-hour period. A lot of babies tend to feed frequently in the evenings; this is often referred to as cluster feeding and this is normal. Many mums may not know this and may think their milk supply has reduced but this is not usually the case. Mums are encouraged to be responsive to their baby’s cues for feeding and comfort.
Responsive Feeding – Growth Spurts
Sometimes, for a day or two, babies can seem to want more frequent feeds than at other times. Such times have been referred to as growth spurts. More frequent feeds at any time stimulate an increase in milk supply for future feeds to meet the needs of the baby. Mums are encouraged to respond to their baby’s feeding cues.
On the first day your baby can only take about 5 – 7 mls of milk per feed. This first milk is referred to as colostrum. The amount a baby takes increases gradually.
Here are a few tips to help you know your baby is getting enough milk during each feed:
Your baby needs to be attached well at the breast. Feeding should be comfortable and pain free. Your baby needs to be fed when they want for as long as they want. During breastfeeds there will be a rhythmic swallow pattern; this starts off as rapid sucks, progressing to deeper sucks and swallows with some pauses. Towards the end of the feed you will notice some flutter-type sucks with occasional deeper swallows where your baby is getting the last of the fattier milk, so it is important you let your baby finish the feed.
Unicef baby friendly initiative
Signs that your baby is getting enough milk include:
The contents of your baby’s nappy are a good indicator that your baby is getting enough milk. See the section 'What baby poo looks like' on the NHS page 'How to change your baby's nappy' for more details.
This is a new skill to learn and to start with you may find you do not obtain much milk. The amount of milk expressed can vary. Healthy term infants can usually obtain more milk when feeding at the breast than the amount of milk that can be expressed. It is normal for your very nutritious breast milk to look thin, watery or even a bluey colour.
There are a few key points to follow which you may find helpful:
Unicef - Advice and guidance for hand expressing
It is important to wash your hands before you start and to use a sterilised container to collect your milk. Your milk should also be stored in a sterilised container with a lid. Label the container stating that it contains breast milk, your name, date and time.
It is recommended that you use a fridge thermometer so that your breast milk is kept at its best.
Once the baby has drunk from a bottle of expressed milk it should be used up within an hour or thrown away. To avoid wasting your expressed breastmilk it is best to offer the baby only a little at a time. You can do this by keeping most of it in one container, in the fridge, and using it to top up the baby’s bottle a little at a time.
It is recommended to defrost breastmilk in the fridge and use within 12 hours of removing from the freezer. If your breastmilk is still frozen after this time, or you need to use it quickly, defrost under cool, then warm, running water and use immediately after drying the container. Shake gently to mix the creamy, separated particles together. If your milk is often frozen after 12 hours in the fridge, try to freeze in smaller quantities.
If you are thinking of giving formula milk there may be other options for you depending on your reasons. These may include expressing breast milk and giving this instead of formula, getting support with feeding if you are experiencing a difficulty or getting support to breastfeed discreetly when out and about.
Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis. If this is interrupted with formula milk the breast may not produce enough milk for future feeds.
When a breastfed baby is given formula it changes the protective coating that the breast milk creates in the baby’s gut. This can increase the risk of baby getting infections such as gastroenteritis.
Babies given formula milk may appear to be less satisfied with subsequent breastfeeds as formula milk is harder for the baby to digest and can stay in the baby’s tummy for longer.
Sucking from the teat of a bottle is different from breastfeeding and this may make it harder for your baby to attach correctly to the breast.
Giving formula milk may increase the risk of your baby developing allergies such as asthma and eczema.
Your breasts can become full and uncomfortable (engorged) if the baby does not go to the breast frequently enough. This can make it painful and difficult to attach the baby to the breast.
Breastfeeding can take practice to learn how to get it right.
Sometimes partners can feel left out so it is important to talk to each other about how you feel.
A mum is more likely to choose to and to continue to breastfeed if her partner is positive and supportive about it. There are lots of ways for partners to help with breastfeeding. Try the following:
Other suggestions for supporting the breastfeeding mum:
After a few weeks, if feeding is going well and you want to feed your baby, you could give expressed breast milk. Giving a baby a bottle before feeding is going well may result in your baby preferring the bottle.
It can be difficult to know whether to use a dummy for your new baby or not. The following information may help you to decide what is best for your baby and you:
Some reports suggest that some parents use a dummy to settle their baby to help to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths states that dummies should not be used for breastfed babies for the first four weeks in order to allow for breastfeeding to become established.
It is important to protect a baby’s teeth from about six months of age or when teeth first appear. Brush your baby’s teeth twice a day every day, using a small smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Do not forget to use the toothbrush pack that your Health Visiting Team gave you at the six-eight week review. Never let babies suck directly from baby food pouches as doing so can cause dental problems.
In a healthy breastfed baby it is recommended to wait until your baby is around six months before giving them any other food or drink. The guidelines then recommend continuing to breastfeed alongside solid food until your baby is one year old and beyond.
Giving solids before this time will reduce the amount of breast milk your baby takes due to the solids taking the place of the milk in your baby’s tummy. Breast milk is made on a supply and demand process. The foods available for younger babies are limited in order to reduce the risk of allergy. Foods such as baby rice, pureed fruit and vegetables contain fewer nutrients and calories than breast and formula milk and are less likely to meet the demands of a growing baby. Younger babies can only swallow food and not chew so it needs to be pureed and be runny in consistency.
Remember every day of breast milk counts.
Infants given solids before six months will push food out of their mouth with their tongue. This is a reflex which is the body’s way of saying it is not ready for solid food. From about six months this tongue-thrusting reflex will disappear. Trying to give solids earlier can increase the risk of allergies such as eczema and asthma and also infections such as gastroenteritis.
These signs indicate when your baby is ready for solids:
Infants at this age quickly progress onto family meals, so this provides a great opportunity to be included in family meal times and to start to learn the social aspects of eating.
When babies are introduced to starting solids they can start with baby-led weaning which enables babies to eat at their own pace. Start with foods that are easy to pick up – thick sticks or long strips. Introduce new shapes and textures gradually so that your baby can learn how to handle them.
Don’t expect your baby to eat much at first. During the first few months of baby-led weaning, many babies eat only small amounts. Most healthy family foods can be offered to your baby. These include vegetables, meat, cheese, fruit, well-cooked eggs, bread (toast), rice, pasta and most fish. Offering a variety of foods will give your baby the chance to discover different tastes and textures. Always supervise your baby when offering food.
Never let babies suck directly from baby food pouches as this can cause dental problems.
At first it may seem a little embarrassing or scary to breastfeed away from home. It may be easier to practise breastfeeding at home with the clothes you are likely to wear when you do go out for the first time. Wearing new or different clothing may not be easy at first to undo. Your next step could be visiting one of the breastfeeding clubs in Derby, where there are like-minded mums who can share hints, tips and experiences. This may help you to develop your confidence.
You may find it beneficial to try on your clothes in order to find out which will be more comfortable to wear when breastfeeding away from home. If you have a new bra make sure you know how to open it and you can do so easily. Most mums use their existing clothes but there are clothes designed for breastfeeding mums such as tunic-style tops and shawls. But ordinary T-shirts can be just as effective. Some mums drape a muslin cloth or beach wrap over them or wear a waterfall style cardigan to feel more discreet. Some mums like to wear a vest top under their T-shirt which can be rolled down to keep their tummy covered. There are now capes and screens aimed at helping mums feel discreet. They are expensive and sometimes make you more noticeable. Have a try feeding in front of the mirror to see what others see rather then what you see when you look down. Others will not see as much as you!
Set yourself realistic goals; probably avoid the first couple of weeks before you go out and about to feed so you have gained more confidence with positioning and attachment.
A tip to help you feel more relaxed breastfeeding your baby when away from home is to have a trial run. Plan your trip, for example to a café, at a time when it is less likely to be busy – so avoid lunch time. Get all your belongings ready, including the changing bag, pram in the car and then offer your baby a feed before you leave home. Go straight to the café and get your drink. Choose a part of the café where you would feel most comfortable. It is likely that your baby will be calm and relaxed after having had a recent breastfeed which makes the situation much easier. Then offer your baby a breastfeed. A lot of breastfeeding mums have found having a trial run really helpful even if their baby only had a brief feed. Why not give it a try!
If you are travelling by car you could buy a sun visor for the side window and sit in the back to feed.
There are a number of places local mums feel comfortable when breastfeeding – see below, ‘Breastfeeding Friendly Places’.
Nationally, there has been an increase in the number of children with rickets which is associated with a lack of vitamin D.
Our main source of vitamin D is from the action of sunlight on our skin, but in UK the sunlight is not strong enough to make vitamin D in the winter months.
Due to this, during pregnancy all women are advised to take a daily supplement of vitamin D to prevent babies being born with depleted stores. It is recommended that pregnant women take vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms or 400units daily.
Women who breastfeed are advised to continue to take the vitamin D supplement. The amount of vitamin D in the mother’s breastmilk will depend on her vitamin D intake and vitamin D stores; so as a precaution, it is now suggested that breastfed babies be given additional vitamin D, 8.5 to 10 microgram per day from birth until one year, as well as their mother.
If you are if you are eligible for the Healthy Start Scheme you can get vitamins free for your child from one month of age up to their fourth birthday and for yourself until your baby is one year old. If you are not entitled to the scheme you can buy vitamins at local retail outlets - please check the amount to be given as brands can state different doses.
You can exchange your Healthy Start vouchers for vitamins locally from:
Here is a list of places in and around Derby where mums have felt welcome to breastfeed. If you would like to recommend somewhere please contact the Infant Feeding Team.
Restaurants and pubs
National Child Birth Trust
Helpline: Tel: 0300 33 00 771
(8am – 10pm)
La Leche League
Tel: 0845 120 2918
24 hour help line
*Automatic connection to local advisor
Monthly meetings in Derby City Centre – learn more on the La Leche League website.
The Breastfeeding Network
Supporter Line – Tel: 0300 100 0210
9:30am – 9:30pm
Association Of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM)
Tel: 0300 330 5453
9.30am – 10.30pm
Non urgent enquiries – email firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporter Line in Bengali and Sylheti
Tel: 0300 456 2421
9.30am – 9.30pm
*This system recognises the area code of your phone to do this. You will therefore not be connected to a local supporter if your telephone number is withheld or if you use a mobile phone.
National Breastfeeding Help Line
Tel: 0300 100 0212
Run by the ABM and the Breastfeeding Network
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