Feeding your Baby - Salford Community

The Feeding your Baby webpage is aimed at providing the public with useful information about breastfeeding, formula feeding and how to find support locally and nationally.

What is breastfeeding?

  • Breast milk is the only natural food designed for your baby.
  • Breastfeeding protects your baby from infections and diseases.
  • Breast milk provides health benefits for your baby.
  • Breastfeeding provides health benefits for mum.
  • It’s free.
  • It’s available whenever and wherever your baby needs a feed.
  • It’s the right temperature.
  • It can build a strong physical and emotional bond between mother and baby.
  • It can give you a great sense of achievement.

Why breastfeed?

Mum’s milk is perfectly and uniquely made for your baby’s growing needs and giving them your milk can make a big difference to both your baby’s and your own health. 

It’s packed full of disease-fighting antibodies to help protect babies from illness and it changes daily, weekly and monthly to meet their growing needs.

After your baby has been looked after inside you for nine months, colostrum continues to protect your baby by giving them a special infection-fighting boost in the first few days after birth, before your milk comes in.

Babies who are breastfed have a smaller chance of:

  • Developing eczema.
  • Getting ear, chest and tummy bugs and having to go to hospital as a result.
  • Being fussy about new foods.
  • Being constipated.
  • Being obese and developing diabetes when they are older.

There are advantages for mums who breastfeed too:

  • Breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Breastfeeding naturally uses up about 500 extra calories a day so mums who breastfeed often find it easier to lose their pregnancy weight
  • It saves money - formula feeding can cost as much as £45 a month.
  • It's a lot less hassle - there is no need to clean and sterilise bottles, boil kettles and wait for the milk to cool every few hours during the day and night.

So, there's lots of good reasons to give it a go! Visit Start4Life for info - https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/ 

What to expect in the first few days?

In the first few days, you and your baby will be getting to know each other. It may take time for both of you to get the hang of breastfeeding.

Before the birth

It’s good to find out as much as you can about breastfeeding before the birth. Knowing what to expect should help you feel as confident as possible when you've just given birth and want to breastfeed your baby.

Antenatal sessions should cover the most important aspects of breastfeeding, such as positioning and attachment, expressing, common questions and concerns, and how to overcome them.

A baby’s brain grows in size 17 times in the last 20 weeks of pregnancy, so taking time to build a relationship with your baby during this time will help with baby's brain growth and development.

There are many ways you can get to know your baby before he or she arrives. You can:

  • Talk or sing to your baby
  • Stroke and gently massage the bump
  • Notice when your baby is  active and when its resting
  • Think about what the baby might look like
  • Imagine what it will be like when you become a parent
  • Get your partner, siblings or other family members to talk to the baby

After your baby arrives it might take a little while to get used to it, having a baby is a huge life changing event and so its really common to feel overwhelmed or unsure. Talk to your midwife  or health visitor for more advice.

You will begin to get to know your baby over time. Skin to skin contact straight after birth and at any other time helps this  the more a mother cuddles and holds her baby the stronger the bond. 

A baby who grows up in a loving and nurturing environment has the best chance to grow into a well-adjusted adult who will contribute positively to society.

Look after yourself too and remember, trust your feelings , if something doesn’t seem right ask for help straight away.

Immediately after your baby is born

Skin to skin contact

Your midwife should offer you skin -on-skin contact as soon as possible after you’ve given birth is a really good idea.                             

Having this close contact as early as possible keeps your baby calm, regulates their breathing and heartbeat and makes the first time you breastfeed easier.

Making milk for baby

Every pregnant woman makes milk for her baby, which is ready and available at birth. This milk is called colostrum and is sometimes a yellow colour. It's very concentrated, so your baby will only need a small amount at each feed (approximately a teaspoonful). Your baby may want to feed quite frequently, perhaps every hour. But they will begin to have longer feeds less often when your milk comes in, in a few days. The more you breastfeed the more milk you'll produce. The time between feeds will vary, and you and your baby will settle into a pattern, which may change from time to time.

Building up your milk supply

Around two to four days after birth you may notice that your breasts become fuller and warmer. This is often referred to as your milk ‘coming in’. Your milk will vary according to your baby’s needs. It will look thin compared with colostrum, but gets creamier as the feed goes on.  

Each time your baby feeds, your body knows to make the next feed. Feed your baby responsively as often as they want. Let your baby decide when they’ve had enough. It's not necessary to time the feeds. In the beginning, it can seem that you're doing nothing but feeding, but gradually, you and your baby will get into a pattern of feeding, and the amount of milk you produce will settle. 

It's important to breastfeed at night because this is when you produce more hormones (prolactin) to build up your milk supply. At night, your baby will be safest sleeping in a cot in the same room as you.

How to feed your baby responsively?

Responsive breastfeeding involves you responding to your baby’s cues, as well as your own desire to feed your baby. Feeding responsively recognises that feeds are not just for nutrition, but also for love, comfort and reassurance between baby and mother.

All babies are different, and it may depend on the type of birth you've had. Your baby should feed within the first hour after birth to get off to a good start. Babies then sometimes have a sleep and will start to give you signs that they're ready for the next feed.

Signs of hunger which can be starting to move about as they wake up, moving their head around, finding something to suck, usually their fingers or when baby is distressed, upset, or appears lonely. 

  • Breastfeeding can help settle baby after an immunisation
  • If baby is unwell or to reassure him or her in an unfamiliar environment        

You can also offer your breast to meet your own needs:

  • before you go out
  • before bedtime 
  • When you want to sit down, rest and have a cuddle with your baby

Breastfeeds can be long or short and at varying times in the day, depending on why you and baby have decided to feed.

It is important that you are aware that your baby cannot be overfed or ‘spoiled’ by ‘too much feeding’ and that breastfeeding will no tire you any more than the normal tiredness that all mothers have when caring for their new-born baby.

Help and support 

If you're very uncomfortable or sore, ask for help. Midwives and health visitors can offer information and practical help with breastfeeding. Talk to your midwife or health visitor about the information and support available in your area.

How to breastfeed and how do I know if my baby is feeding correctly?

Information on how to check if your baby is well attached, and how to tell if your baby is getting enough milk.

How to check if my baby’s well attached?

  • Your baby’s chin will be touching the breast

  • Your baby’s mouth will be wide open

  • You might not be able to see the areola (the darker area around the nipple) at all, or there will be more showing above the baby’s top lip

  • You might be able to see that the baby’s lower lip is curled back, although if your baby’s well positioned you might not be able to see

  • Your baby’s cheeks will be round and full and shouldn’t look sucked in or dimpled at all. There won’t be any smacking or slurping soundsAt first your baby’s suck might be quite fast but they will become slower and longer as you feed.

  • You should feel quite a strong, drawing sensation, which might be a bit uncomfortable at first but it should be painless after a while.

  • When your baby’s all full up, they should come off the breast feeling sleepy and satisfied.

Signs that your baby isn’t well attached

  • Your baby’s cheeks are drawn in and dimpled

  • Experiencing pain while you are feeding

  • Your baby’s sucking rhythm doesn’t change and remains quick throughout the feed

  • If your baby is restless and keeps coming away from your breast, there is a problem with attachment

Skin to skin contact

Having skin-on-skin contact as soon as possible after you’ve given birth is a really good idea.

Having this close contact as early as possible keeps your baby calm, regulates their breathing and heartbeat and makes the first time you breastfeed easier.

Is my baby getting enough milk?

The best way to tell if your baby is getting enough milk is to take a look at their nappy.

After the first few days your baby will be having around six wet nappies a day. Your baby’s poo will change a lot during their first week, starting off black to dark brown and then turning to a runny, mustard colored poo.

Storing and Expressing Breastmilk

Expressing milk means squeezing milk out of your breast so that you can store it and feed it to your baby at a later time. You might want to express milk if you have to be away from your baby. This could be because your baby is ill or premature, or because you’re going back to work. You may want to express milk if your breasts feel uncomfortably full or if your baby isn’t sucking well but you still want to give them breast milk. You may also want to express some breast milk to use with your baby's first solid foods.

How do I do it?

You can express milk by hand or with a breast pump. Different pumps suit different women, so ask for advice or see if you can try one before you buy it. Always make sure that the container or pump is clean and has been sterilised before you use it.

You may find it easier to express milk by hand than to use a pump, especially in the first few days. It also means you won't have to buy or borrow a pump.

Storing breast milk

You can store breast milk in a sterilised container:

  • In the fridge for up to five days at 4°C or lower usually at the back never in the door

  • For two weeks in the ice compartment of a fridge

  • For up to six months in a freezer

Breast milk must always be stored in a sterilised container. If you use a pump, always sterilise it before and after use.

Defrosting frozen breast milk

If you have frozen your milk, defrost it in the fridge before giving it to your baby. Once it’s defrosted, use it straight away. Milk that's been frozen is still good for your baby and better than formula milk. Don't re-freeze milk once it's thawed.

Warming breast milk

You can feed expressed milk straight from the fridge if your baby is happy to drink it cold. Or you can warm the milk to body temperature by placing the bottle in lukewarm water. Don’t use a microwave to heat up or defrost breast milk as it can cause hot spots, which can burn your baby's mouth:

  • If your baby is in hospital

  • If you're expressing milk because your baby is premature or ill, ask the hospital staff caring for your baby for information about storing it, as the hospital will have its own guidelines

Breastfeeding and your lifestyle

Breastfeeding is a great time to get closer to your baby, and it’s also a great chance to sit down and relax which is important for new mums. So grab a magazine or book, have a natter on the phone, or watch something good on TV.

Once you get the hang of breastfeeding you can express your milk by hand or with a pump, so that your partner or family and friends can feed your baby and give you a break. It also means you can carry on giving your baby mum’s milk if you need to go back to work.

Breastfeeding mums give their baby lots of liquid, so breastfeeding can make you feel thirsty. Make sure you always have some water next to you when you breastfeed.

Remember, if you have any questions, or are struggling with breastfeeding there are people who are trained and skilled and there to help you. Ask your midwife or health care professional or call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 for further help and advice.

Out and about in Salford, where can I breastfeed?

Feeding out and about
  • You can breastfeeding anywhere
  • The Equality Act was introduced into law in 2010 and it is now illegal to try and stop mothers breastfeeding their babies in public places
  • The vast majority of people don't mind (or even notice) when a mother is feeding her baby. However, if you do come across someone who tries to stop you, or asks you to move, it is worth thinking about making a complaint, as this person is acting illegally
Tips for feeding out and about
  • Plan ahead. Before you go out, it can help to think about where you will feel comfortable breastfeeding when your baby gets hungry
  • Wear loose comfortable clothing that can be easily moved up or down. For example a top that can be lifted up, rather than having buttons. A nursing or soft non-underwired bra can be easily pulled up or down when you want to feed your baby
  • Practice in front of a mirror
  • Try it first in front of other mums at a group
  • Go out with another breastfeeding mum, close friend or family member
  • Relax – people may be more supportive than you think
  • Don’t feel that you should sit in a public toilet to breastfeed. You wouldn’t eat in there, so don’t feel that your baby should

If you know of any places in Salford that would like to join the scheme please contact the Baby Friendly Project Manager 

Pauline.mulhall@nca.nhs.uk or Kimberly Bond visitfromthestork@gmail.com

Breastfeeding and Returning to Work

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for around six months, and there are benefits to continuing breastfeeding for up to two years after this.

Every mum’s circumstances are different and there are lots of ways you can plan to  breastfeed and return to your working life, whether it’s using nearby childcare, expressing milk or working flexible hours, there’s a solution to suit each mum.

It’s a good idea to let your employer know as early as possible that you intend to breastfeed and that you may want to express milk or breastfeed during the time you are at work .This is so they can make care plans to support you. Check out the latest information at UNICEF.

Breastfeeding Problems

Some common breastfeeding challenges for mothers

Most of these can be prevented if breastfeeding gets off to a good start If you have any of these problems you can contact your midwife or health visitor.

  • Nipple size and shape, Nipples come in all sizes and shapes.If Baby is left on skin to skin, he will begin to familiarise themselves with your nipples.
  • Engorgement
  • Mastitis
  • Thrush
  • If you are worried that you may have any of these problems please contact your midwife health visitor or GP

Medication and Breastmilk

You may be concerned if you need to take any medication whilst you are breastfeeding. The Breastfeeding Network has provided information on drugs in breastmilk to help you make informed decisions or you can take the information to your GP to discuss together.

Breastfeeding Medical Information

Breastfeeding should be pain-free and enjoyable! However, some women are affected by medical problems that can make breastfeeding difficult or painful. The majority of conditions can be quickly and effectively treated and no condition requires that the mother gives up breastfeeding.If you have any of the symptoms below, or any other problems with breastfeeding, we would urge you to continue to feed your baby and contact your midwife, health visitor or G.P (General Practitioner) immediately.

Contact Breastfeeding Network

It always hurts to breastfeed?


Though some tenderness during the first few days is relatively common, this should be a temporary situation which lasts only a few days and should never be so bad that the mother dreads feeding .Any pain that is more than mild is almost always due to the baby not attaching properly and  can usually be sorted out by the midwife, health visitor or infant feeding worker.

What about diet and vitamins?

Most women’s bodies are very efficient at making breast milk, which provides all the nutrients a baby needs for healthy development in the first months of life, so you don’t need to eat for two. Whilst it is important for you and your baby that you eat a healthy balanced diet, this does not need to be expensive as breastfeeding does not require you to eat or avoid any specific foods.

It can be difficult to find the time to eat properly when you’re looking after a young baby so you might find these hints helpful:

  • Keep meals simple so they don’t take too long to prepare
  • Have a couple of simple snacks prepared in the fridge
  • Make eating regularly a high priority
  • Try eating smaller meals more frequently


While you’re breastfeeding you should take a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin D. You should be able to get all the other vitamins and minerals you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you are unsure then please speak to your Midwife, Health Visitor or GP for more advice.

If you receive Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance, you’re entitled to some free vitamin supplements from maternity and child health clinics as part of Healthy Start.  Click here to find out more from the Healthy Start website.

Breastfeeding and weight

If you try and eat a healthy balanced diet, limit the amount of fat and sugar you eat, and keep physically active, this will help you to lose any extra weight you put on during pregnancy.

It’s not a good idea to try to lose weight while you’re breastfeeding because you need to keep your energy levels up as looking after a new baby can be very tiring and you might miss out on the nutrients that you and your baby need.

The good news is that women can burn up to 500 extra calories a day whilst breastfeeding because the extra fat laid down in pregnancy is used to make breast milk, so breastfeeding will help you get back to your pre pregnancy weight more quickly!

What about drinking alochol?

Many women worry that they won’t be able to drink alcohol at all if they choose to breastfeed. Whilst it is true that alcohol passes through blood into breast milk; if a woman remains within the recommended safe limits then the influence of alcohol on breast milk is small.

Alcohol levels in breast milk are highest approximately 30-90 minutes after drinking so it is advisable to restrict your drinking until after your baby has had a feed. For good health it is advised that women drink no more than 2-3 units per day.

Never put yourself in a situation where you may fall asleep with your baby (on a bed, chair or settee) if you have been drinking alcohol.

A breastfeeding baby needs extra water in hot weather?


Breastmilk contains all the water a baby needs.

A mother should wash her nipples each time before feeding the baby?


Breastmilk protects the baby against infection.  Formula feeding requires careful attention to cleanliness because formula not only does not protect the baby against infection, but also is actually a good breeding ground for bacteria and can also be easily contaminated.

Breastfeeding ties the mother down?


A baby can be fed anywhere, anytime, so breastfeeding is liberating for the mother. No need to drag around bottles or formula. No need to worry about where to warm up the milk. No need to worry about sterility. No need to worry about how your baby is, because he is with you.

I have heard that any women do not produce enough milk

False The vast majority of women produce more than enough milk. Indeed, an overabundance of milk is common. Most babies that gain too slowly, or lose weight, do so not because the mother does not have enough milk, but because the baby does not get the milk that the mother has.

The usual reason that the baby does not get the milk that is available is that he is poorly latched onto the breast. This is why it is so important that the mother be shown, on the first day, how to latch a baby on properly, by someone who knows what they are doing.

If the baby has diarrhoea or vomiting, the mother should stop breastfeeding


The best medicine for a baby's gut infection is breastfeeding, so to continue to breastfeed. Breastmilk is the only fluid your baby requires when he has diarrhoea and/or vomiting, except under exceptional circumstances.

The baby is comforted by the breastfeeding, and the mother is comforted by the baby's breastfeeding. If you have any concerns with your Baby's health during an illness you must seek medical Advice. 0161 212 4366.

If the mother is taking medicine she should not breastfeed

You should always seek Medical advice or contact/visit your local pharmacy for further advice on safety of medicines and Breastmilk.

It is easier to bottle feed than to breastfeed?


Breastfeeding is a learned skill and at the beginning can be made difficult if women do not receive the help they should to get started properly.

With support and advice i.e. attending one of the Breastmates Groups Click Here for information about support in Salford.

Breastfeeding can be a beautiful, rewarding and fulfilling experience and asking for support is not a sign of weakness.

Modern formulas are almost the same as breastmilk


Your breastmilk is made as required to suit your baby.

Infant formula usually comes in powder form and is based on processed, skimmed cows' milk and is treated so babies can digest it. Vegetable oils, vitamins, minerals and fatty acids are added to make sure the milk contains the vitamins and minerals that young babies need.

What about smoking?

Smoking near your baby is harmful and can increase the risk of ‘cot death’. Giving up smoking is the single most effective thing you can do to improve yourself and your baby’s health. If you stop smoking while you are breastfeeding this will benefit you and your baby. If you would like help giving up then click here for support in your area.

It is still worth breastfeeding even if you continue to smoke but try to restrict smoking until after you have fed your baby to minimise the amount of nicotine that reaches your blood stream. Nicotine passes into breast milk and can reduce your milk supply and cause colic.

All pregnant women will be offered a discussion on breastfeeding including benefits and practical information on how to start and continue breastfeeding.

Information on local baby social feeding  support groups is provided in children’s centres and in the midwifery packs given out by the hospitals.

You can attend the Solihull antenatal class in the childrens centre, or complete eLearning on line and go along  to the baby social group in your local area

While you are still in the care of your midwife and before you have been discharged for urgent questions about breastfeeding out hours  each maternity unit has a 24 hour phone number:

  • Central Manchester (St Mary’s) 0161 276 6246
  • Royal Bolton Foundation Trust  01204 390631
  • North Manchester (MFT) 0161 625 8033
  • Warrington and Halton  01925 635 911
  • National Breastfeeding Helpline:  0300    1000   212

Once you have been discharged by your midwife into the care of your health visitor you can contact your health visitor:

  • South 0161 206 3819
  • West 0161 206 2085 
  • East 0161 206 1764 
  • Central 0161 206 6081
  • North 0161 793 3875

Breastfeeding support is also offered in the community:

  • In your local childrens centre by their early help infant feeding champion  at the baby social group 
  • Be Open on Breastfeeding in Salford BOOBS is a community based group that can offer support at venues around Salford where you can talk to a peer supporter 

National phone numbers:

  • National Childbirth Trust: 0300 3300 771
  • Breastfeeding Network: 0845 120 2918

Give your baby the breast start in life

Breast milk helps protect you and your baby and contains all the nutrients that your baby needs:

  • It creates a very special bond

  • It's quick and easy - no bottles or sterilising

  • It's free and ready to go all the time, day or night

  • It changes as your baby grows, to meet their needs

  • It even helps you to lose your baby weight

Some mothers breastfeed where as other mothers use Infant Formula Milk and some mothers find they use a combination. Introducing Infant Formula will reduce the amount of breast milk you will produce. This may make breastfeeding more difficult.  We hope that you will find the following pages useful and helpful:

What is infant formula?

Some mothers breastfeed where as other mothers use Infant Formula Milk and some mothers find they use a combination.

Introducing Infant Formula will reduce the amount of breast milk you will produce. This may make breastfeeding more difficult.

Most infant formula is made from cow’s milk that has been treated to make it suitable for babies.

Cows milk based infant formula is the only infant formula your baby needs you should not feed your baby other formulas unless your midwife , health visitor or GP recommends you to.

Infant formula is available in two forms:

  • Ready to feed liquid infant formula in cartons

  • Powdered infant formula which is not sterile

Further information is available on how to prepare infant formula and sterilise equipment to minimise the risks to your baby.

How to bottle feed your baby?

Make sure you sit comfortably always hold the baby close and look into their eyes.  This helps baby feel loved and safe.

Brush the teat against baby’s lips and when baby opens their mouth wide allow them to draw in the teat.

If the teat becomes flattened pull gently on the corner of your baby’s mouth to release the vacuum.

Baby may need short breaks and might need to be burped.  When baby does not want anymore feed, hold them upright and gently rub or pat their back to bring up wind which may only be a small amount.

How often should you feed your baby?

New born babies may take quite small amounts however by the end of the first week most will require approximately 150 -200 millilitres (ml) per kilogram of the babies weight per day until they are six months old.

Most babies will settle into a pattern but they all vary on how often they want to feed and how much they want to drink.

You should feed your baby when they show signs that they are hungry.Babies tend to feed little and often, so they may not finish a bottle.

How do you know if your baby is hungry?

Keep the baby close to you so you can recognise the signs.

Baby will begin to move their head and mouth around.

They will find something to suck usually their fists or fingers.

If you spot these signs before baby cries then baby will be easier to feed.

How do you know if your baby is getting enough infant formula?

A few days after birth baby should be producing around six to eight nappies a day. These nappies should be soaked through with clear or pale yellow urine.

For the first few days after birth baby will pass dark sticky stools (meconium).  However, after the first week the stools (poos) should be pale yellow or yellowish brown.

Baby will be weighed at birth (naked) and again around 5–10 days and then once feeding is established weighed (naked) no more than once a month.

If you are worried about weight gain speak to your midwife or health visitor.

Feeding out and about

Make up babies feed only when baby needs it.  You could choose to use ready to feed infant formula milk with an empty sterilised bottle.

If you use powdered infant formula you will need:

  • A measured amount of infant feeding formula powder in a small clean dry container

  • A vacuum flask of hot water that has just been boiled

An empty sterilised feeding bottle with cap with a retaining ring in place which can be removed when you are ready to make the feed up.

The water must still be hot when you make up the feed otherwise bacteria in the infant formula may not be destroyed.

Further information is available on how to prepare infant formula and sterilise equipment to minimise the risks to your baby.

Transporting a feed

On some occasions you will need to make up a feed as and when you need to use it for example going to nursery or the child minders.

Key facts
  • If made up formula is stored in the fridge use within 24 hours

  • If made up and stored in a cool bag use within four hours

  • If made up formula is stored at room temperature use with in two hours

Dads play an important role in supporting mothers who decide to breastfeed. Support and encouragement are a ‘must’ so that baby and mum can feel comfortable. Sometimes dads want to ask questions and don’t always feel they can or don’t wish to upset their wife/partner if they have decided they are going to breastfeed.

What you can do to help

It’s normal to feel like a bit of a spare part at first but there are plenty of ways to get involved and play your part:

  • Give compliments - this really is vital to keep your wife/partner happy and positive. It is important you tell her how well she is doing and offer your support and love.

  • Encourage your partner to eat and drink regularly so she feels more able to cope

  • Listen and talk honestly about how you feel

  • Be involved with the baby in other ways so that caring is shared.

  • You can also help with housework and any other siblings

Do I really make a difference?

Dad's play a big part in their partner’s decision to breastfeed, so if you’re positive then your partner should feel more comfortable and proud to breastfeed. A woman is more likely to choose to breastfeed if she is sure her partner is positive about it.

I’m worried that I’ll feel pushed out

It’s normal to feel a bit left out when everything seems to be about the baby and your partner’s doing all the feeding and this can take a little while to get used to. Fathers can sometimes feel jealous or left out as mother and baby form a very close relationship. But breastfeeding is only one way of caring for your baby.

You can still be involved by:

  • Playing

  • Soothing

  • Bathing

  • Changing nappies

  • Entertaining

  • Winding

  • Talking

  • Taking for walks

  • Lay baby on your chest, skin to skin

Once your partner is breastfeeding successfully then she might be able to express some milk so that you can feed your baby too. It’s really important not to introduce formula milk to replace breastfeeding, as it will affect the amount of milk your partner produces and there might not be enough milk for your baby.

I feel uncomfortable about my wife/partner breastfeeding in public

Many men worry about this and by discussing this together you can agree how to handle it. Lots of men change their minds once baby is born and are used to seeing breastfeeding. There is usually little or no breast showing when baby is feeding. Lots of places welcome breastfeeding now and provide facilities for mothers to feed in private if they prefer.

Will breastfeeding affect our sex life?

Tiredness may affect this more. There are a few things you need to know below but there is no reason why you can’t still enjoy sex whilst breastfeeding is taking place:

  • A women’s vagina is a little drier during breastfeeding so using a lubricant gel can help

  • Any breast stimulation can cause milk to flow so keep a towel handy

  • Sometimes it is better if you have sex after the baby has had a feed

  • Your partner/wife may enjoy sex more and is more comfortable with her body as a result of giving birth and breastfeeding

Do fathers need to know much about breastfeeding?

You may find it helpful to know how breastfeeding works and what is normal behaviour for breastfed babies. Here are some useful facts:

  • Baby will be happier if he's fed as soon as he shows signs of being hungry

  • Breastfed babies usually feed frequently in the early weeks, especially during the evenings, but every baby is individual

  • Some babies are slow feeders at first, but they get quicker as they get older

  • The more the baby feeds, the more milk the mother makes

  • A mother will enjoy feeding more if she is comfortable and relaxed

  • The baby needs to open his mouth really wide, have the nipple in the top part of his mouth and have his chin against his mother's breast to feed well, as he massages the milk out with his tongue

  • Nipple soreness or pain during feeding is generally a sign that baby is not getting a large enough mouthful of breast.


Useful information for dads:

We support Safe Sleeping

A campaign to help prevent the sudden or unexpected death of babies and infants has been rolled out across the areas of Bolton, Salford and Wigan.  

Staff from across health and local authority organisations such as midwives, health visitors social workers and mental health experts will help advise parents of babies and infants under the age of one year about unsafe sleeping practices – including those which carry a high risk, such as falling asleep on a sofa with the baby or sharing a bed with a baby whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Every year in the UK, 300 babies die suddenly and unexpectedly in their sleep as result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). While there is no advice that can guarantee the prevention of SIDS, there are a number of things parents and carers can do to reduce the risk to their baby.

Babies are more at risk if parents or carers:

  • Smoke, or smoked during pregnancy

  • Drink alcohol

  • Use drugs

  • Are very tired

  • Use medication that can cause drowsiness, including those prescribed by a doctor and bought over the counter

To reduce the risks to babies, follow the do's and dont's below:


  • Place the baby to sleep in a cot, crib or Moses basket on a clean, firm mattress

  • Place the baby on their back with their feet at the end of the cot, 'feet to foot'

  • Remove a baby’s outdoor clothing when they are inside

  • Keep the room temperature between 16 - 20°c when the baby is sleeping

  • Keep the house smoke free

  • Make sure anyone caring for a baby knows the dos and don'ts of safe sleeping

  • Try to develop a good sleep routine for babies

  • Recent research suggests that breastfeeding helps protect against SIDS.


  • Sleep with a baby in a chair or sofa

  • Use duvets, quits, cot bumper, pillows or cot drapes in a baby's cot

  • Put a baby to sleep in a car seat or pushchair

  • Allow pets in a bedroom


Further help and suport

When should I start to give my baby solids?

You should start giving your baby solid foods often called 'weaning' when they are around six months old. The latest research reviewed by the World Health Organisation shows that babies need nothing but mum’s milk or infant formula for the first six months of life.

This gives the baby ‘s digestive system time to develop so that they cope fully with solid foods .This includes solid foods made into purees and cereals added to milk before this time your baby's digestive system is not developed enough to cope with solid foods.

Signs that your baby is ready for solids

Every baby is different but there are three clear signs which, together show that your baby is ready for some solid foods alongside your breastmilk or Infant Formula. It is very rare for these signs to appear together before six months.

  • They stay in a sitting position and hold their head steady.

  • They coordinate their eyes, hand and mouth so that they can look at the food, pick it up and put in their mouth all by themselves.

  • They can swallow food. Babies who are not ready will push their food back out.

Signs mistaken for a baby being ready for solid foods:

  • Chewing of fists.

  • They wake in the night when they have previously slept through.

  • They want extra milk feeds.

These are normal behaviours and not necessarily a sign of hunger, nor being ready to start solid food. Starting solid foods won't make them any more likely to sleep through. Extra feeds of milk are usually enough until they're ready for other food.

First Foods

Your baby's first solid foods should be simple so they can be easily digested, such as vegetables, fruit or rice. Examples such as:

  • Mashed or soft cooked parsnip, potato,yam,sweet potato or carrot

  • Mashed or pureed banana, avocado,cooked apple or pear

  • Pieces of fruit or vegetables that are small enough for your baby to pick up.

  • Once your baby has got used to eating fruit and vegetables , you can start adding other foods such as

  • Mashed or soft cooked meat, fish and chicken

  • Lentils , split pulses or hummus

  • Full fat dairy products, such as yoghurt, fromage frais or custard

  • Small pieces of toast

Most babies can chew soft lumps such as mashed banana, mashed vegetable or cottage cheese even if they have no teeth. Varying the texture of the food will get them used to chewing and help to develop the muscles used for speaking.

Getting started

To begin with, how much your baby eats is less important than getting them used to the idea of eating. They will still be getting their nutrition from breast milk or Infant Formula. 

Babies don't need three meals to start with, so you can start by offering foods at a time that suits you both. Be prepared for some mess. As well as experiencing different tastes and textures , they're learning that food doesn't come in a continuous flow.

Gradually, you'll be able to increase the amount and variety of food your baby eats until they can eventually eat the same as the rest of the family, in smaller portions. When starting remember to:

Let your baby enjoy touching and holding the food

  • Always stay with your baby when they are eating in case they start to choke

  • Allow your baby to feed themselves, using their fingers as soon as they show an interest

  • Don't force your baby - wait until next time if they're not interested this time

  • Wait for your baby to open their mouth before you offer the food, if you're using a spoon. Your baby may like to hold a spoon too

  • Start by offering just a few pieces or teaspoons of food once a day

  • Allow hot food to cool and test it before giving it to your baby

Finger Foods

Even if your baby doesn't have any teeth, you can encourage them to chew by giving finger food. These are small pieces of food they can pick up and hold in their hands. When you give them finger foods, your child will learn the new skill of feeding themselves. Ideal finger foods are:

  • Cooked and cooled Brocolli or cauliflower florets, green beans, carrot or courgette sticks

  • Cubes of cheese

  • Fingers of toast, bread crusts, pitta bread or chappatti

  • Rice cakes

  • Cooked pasta shapes

  • Pieces of peeled raw apple (large enough for your baby to gnaw on) peach, pear, melon or banana

It is best to avoid sweet biscuits and rusks so that your baby doesn’t get into the habit of experiencing sweet snacks.

Foods to avoid

There are some foods that you should not give your baby until they are much older, such as:

  • salt

  • sugar

  • honey

  • raw shellfish

  • whole nuts

Signs mistaken for a baby being ready for solid foods:

  • Chewing of fists

  • They wake in the night when they have previously slept through

  • They want extra milk feeds

These are normal behaviours and not necessarily a sign of hunger, nor being ready to start solid food. Starting solid foods won't make them any more likely to sleep through. Extra feeds of milk are usually enough until they're ready for other food.

How much and how often 

When you are both ready, you can start to increase the amount of solid food you give. Try to react to your baby’s appetite, so if your baby is still hungry, you can give a little more. Your baby is the best guide to how much solid food you need to give. Progress from offering solid food once a day to solid food at two and then three feeds. Offer different foods at each of the three meals to give more variety. Begin to add different foods and different tastes. You’ll be able to use lots of the foods you already cook for yourself. 

Just mash a small amount cooked with no added salt or sugar and give it a try.

From about nine months, offer your baby: three to four servings of starchy food each day, such as potato, bread and rice ;three to four servings of fruit and vegetables. Vitamin C in fruit and vegetables helps to absorb iron, so give fruit and vegetables at mealtimes two servings of meat, fish, eggs, dhal or other pulses. By now your baby should be learning to fit in with the family by eating three minced or chopped meals a day as well as milk. Your baby may also like healthy snacks such as fruit or toast in between meals. 

Solid food and milk

From about nine months You will find that as your baby eats more solid foods, the amount of milk your baby wants will start to reduce. 

Once your baby is eating plenty of solids several times a day, you can drop a milk feed but continue to breastfeed or give 500–600ml (about a pint) of infant formula a day until at least 12 months of age. Breastfeeding will continue to benefit you and your baby for as long as you choose to carry on. 

Cow’s milk is not suitable as a drink until your baby is 12 months old but can be used in cooking.


Vitamin D is naturally present in only a few foods such as fortified margarines, eggs and fatty fish. It is also made naturally in the skin when it is exposed to gentle sunlight. 

It is sensible to give all children vitamin drops with vitamins A, C and D from the age of one to five years old. Breastfed babies, and babies drinking less than 500ml of infant formula milk per day, should begin vitamin drops at six months, or earlier if advised by your health visitor or doctor. Ask your health visitor about Healthy Start children’s vitamin drops.

Some ideas for healthy and nutritious snacks

  • toast, pitta or chappati fingers, bread sticks, rice cakes.

  • choose low-salt or salt-free versions whenever possible

  • pieces of chopped fruit or vegetable sticks

  • small cubes of cheese.

Fussy Eater?

If your baby is a fussy eater, here are some things you can do to help.

  • Praise your baby when they eat well and don’t get frustrated or angry if your baby doesn’t eat

  • Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t like certain foods – simply leave it for now and try them again in a week or so -babies like familiar foods and sometimes you need to offer a food more than 10 times before your baby will try it

  • Set a good example and let your baby see you eating and enjoying a variety of foods

  • Don’t worry if your baby doesn’t eat much one day. Appetites vary and what your baby eats over the course of a week is more important

What is Healthy Start?          

With Healthy Start, you get free vouchers every week to spend on milk, plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, and infant formula milk. You can also get free vitamins.

Pregnant or have children under the age of four? You could qualify if you're on benefits, or if you're pregnant and under 18.  Click on the  link below to find out if you qualify and how to apply.

Healthy Start helps you give your family the very best start in life

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods. This important means-tested scheme provides vouchers to spend with local retailers. Pregnant women and children over one and under four years old can get one £3.10 voucher per week. Children under one year old can get two £3.10 vouchers (£6.20) per week.

The vouchers can be spent on:

  • plain cow’s milk – whole, semi-skimmed or skimmed. It can be pasteurised, sterilised, long life or UHT

  • plain fresh or frozen fruit and veg (fruit and vegetables with no added ingredients), whole or chopped, packaged or loose

  • infant formula milk that says it can be used from birth and is based on cow’s milk.

Healthy Start vitamins

Women and children getting Healthy Start food vouchers also get vitamin coupons to swap for free Healthy Start vitamins. Healthy Start vitamins are specifically designed for pregnant and breastfeeding women and growing children.

Your midwife or health visitor will be able to tell you where you can swap your coupon for vitamins in your area, or visit the healthy start site and see if you qualify for vouchers and to find out more information.

Information is offered about the 0-19 service and early help service in Salford which includes phone numbers and links to internal and external sites and how they can help with feeding challenges.




You can also ring the national breastfeeding helpline on 0300 100 0212.

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