It is never too early to start thinking about how you are going to feed your baby, but you do not have to make a decision until your baby is born. This section of the website aims to give you all the information you need to make an informed choice about how you are going to feed your baby.
NHS Tayside is a UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Accredited Board - this means we are in the best possible position to support you to build a close, loving relationship with your baby and to help you to feed your baby in ways which will support optimum health and development.
Here is the latest edition of NHS Health Scotland's 'Off to a Good Start'.
You should be given a copy of this from your midwife.
It explains all you will need to know about breastfeeding and is a good resource for you and anyone who is going to be supporting you to read.
Please click on image to read.
Virtual Infant Feeding Classes
Responsive feeding put simply is feeding your baby when they show sign's that they are hungry. This involves responding to your baby's cues which makes your baby feel safe and secure. This helps you develop a close and loving relationship with your baby. It is important to keep your baby close and enjoy lots of skin to skin contact.
Below is a video showing you what cues to look for that your baby is hungry...
Early Feeding Cues
Mid Feeding Cues
Late Feeding Cues
Responsive breastfeeding is when a mother responds to her baby's cues, as well as her own desires to breastfeed. Feeds are not just for nutrition, they are for love, comfort and reassurance between a mother and her baby. You cannot overfeed a breastfed baby so enjoy that special time together.
Breastfeeding responsively means -
- Offering the breast in response to baby's feeding cues
- Offering the breast if baby is distressed, fractious or lonely
- Offering the breast if baby is unwell or need reassured
- Offering the breast to meet mothers needs - full breasts, before she goes out or if she just wants a cuddle
Responsive Bottle Feeding
Responsive bottlefeeding allows parents to build a close and loving relationship with their baby. Feeding your baby when they show feeding cues and limiting who feeds baby to the parents (particularly in the early days and weeks) helps with this relationship and enables your baby to feel safe and secure.
Bottlefeeding responsively means -
- Offering a bottle in response to baby's feeding cues
- Holding baby close during feeds with lots of eye contact
- Gently letting baby take the teat into their mouth and allowing them to pace the feed
- Not forcing baby to finish the feed
Remember skin to skin contact with your baby is not just for straight after the birth. Having skin to skin contact releases the hormone Oxytocin - this is known as the Love hormone. This will help you and your baby develop a close and loving relationship, and in turn reduce the stress hormone. Having this bonding time with baby is important not just for mum's, but for both parents.
Breastfeeding your baby has many benefits for you both. For your baby it protects them from a wide range of illnesses including infections, diabetes, asthma, heart disease and obesity, as well as cot death (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome SIDS). For you it protects you from breast and ovarian cancer and heart disease. It supports the close and loving relationship between you and your baby and both of your mental health. It is free, readily available and not harmful to the environment.
Breastfeeding responsively ensures that your baby is getting enough milk and helps your body make the right amount of milk for you baby.
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding please click the link below
Positioning and Attachment
Learning how to position yourself and your baby for breastfeeding is an important skill to learn. You and your baby will learn together and will receive lots of support during this time. Attachment is when your baby latches onto your breast. It is important to get positioning and attachment right so there is good transfer of milk from your breast to your baby, and also so you do not get sore nipples.
For more information on Positioning and Attachment please click here
Below are some videos explaining this further.
How to know if your baby is getting enough milk
A big worry a lot of new mum's have who are breastfeeding is how will they know that their baby is getting enough milk. It is important to know that frequent feeding is normal, especially through the night. Below is a Breastfeeding Assessment form that staff will complete with you as a guide to how breastfeeding is going.
We look at lots of different things to assess how feeding is going - an important one you can do at home is looking at how many wet and dirty nappies your baby is having. Below is a guide for you at home to see how feeding is going. It explains how many wet and dirty nappies to look for at each stage to know how the feeding is going.
Knowing how to express breastmilk is a really important skill for new mum's. You can express breastmilk either by hand or by using a breastpump.
Expressing breastmilk can
- help provide relief if your breasts are very full and heavy
- help your baby attach to the breast
- help resolve problems such as blocked ducts and mastitis
Expressing breastmilk can also help breastfeeding fit in with your life, this protects your milk supply so you can still feed your baby when they are with you.
Here is a video showing you how to hand express.
Click here for the latest leaflet from The Breastfeeding Network on Expressing and Storing Breastmilk
There is lots of support available across NHS Tayside to help you and your baby get off to the best start. For the first 10 days or so your midwife will have regular contact with you and will be happy to answer your questions, following this your health visitor will be there to support you.
If you live in Dundee the NHS Breastfeeding Support Workers will call you for the first 10 days to ensure you have the most up to date and supportive information for your breastfeeding journey.
Throughout Tayside we have Breast Buddies. This is an amazing team of women who have breastfed in your area, have had additional training and will provide support to you via text messaging, facebook groups, Whats App groups and Zoom sessions. Please find more information within your area on the following Facebook pages:
For additional support please contact the Infant Feeding Advisors at the Tayside Breastfeeding clinic on 01382 740511, leave a message and they will get back to you as soon as possible.
The National Breastfeeding Helpline is open from 9.30am-9:30pm every day of the year. They offer evidence based, independent, non-judgemental breastfeeding information, reassurance and support. All calls are answered by volunteers who are trained and supported by the Breastfeeding Network and the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. Support is also available in Polish. There is also an option for a live webchat service.
Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland
Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland (BFS) is a national scheme businesses can sign up to for free. It's backed by Scottish Government and run by local health boards.
It aims to help businesses and people who breastfeed know their rights and responsibilities.
In Scotland you are protected by law to feed your baby (by breast or by bottle) in a public place. You can read more about the law around breastfeeding in the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 and Equality Act 2010
Choosing a Formula
It doesn't matter which brand you use, they are all very similar.
What is important is that the formula you chose for your baby is a
FIRST INFANT FORMULA (whey based) and that you use this until they are 1 year old (unless instructed differently by a doctor).
There is no evidence that other milks that claim to help hungry babies, prevent colic, wind, or reflux do any good, and they might not be safe for your baby. Talk to your midwife or health visitor if you think your baby might need a different milk.
Similarly there is no need for follow-on formula - stick to a first infant formula until your baby is 1 year old then move onto full fat cow's milk.
For more information please have a look at the First Steps Nutrition Trust website
Making up a feed
This video and leaflet below which explain how to make up a formula feed, including cleaning and sterilising bottles and teats.
Remember the importance of feeding your baby responsively.