Infant feeding (inc breastfeeding)

Information for parents

Information for parentsUnicef.JPG

All staff in Unicef Baby Friendly facilities are trained to give accurate and consistent information and to support you while breastfeeding.

During pregnancy your health visitor will have a discussion with you about caring for and developing a relationship with your baby, feeding your baby, including the benefits of breastfeeding. This will provide you with all the facts you need to make an informed decision.

After your baby is born you will be encouraged to hold your baby skin to skin for as long as you like and until they receive their first feed.

A midwife will offer to help you to start breastfeeding in the first half hour or so after your baby is born. Your baby will be kept with you at all times.

A midwife will show you how to hold your baby and how to help them latch on – this will make sure they get enough milk and that feeding is not painful. They will tell you about responsive breastfeeding.

Mother breastfeedingYour midwife will offer to show you how to express your milk by hand. You will receive information about the support available for breastfeeding once you leave hospital.

If you decide to bottle feed, staff will support you. They will ask if you want to be taught  how to make up a bottle properly and will answer any questions you have and discuss responsive bottle feeding. For further information about infant formulas visit First Steps Nutrition.

At the New Birth Visit your health visitor will check that you are happy with your baby’s feeding and complete breastfeeding assessment with you so that you feel confident that breastfeeding is going well and where you can get help and information.

Your Health Visitor will talk to you about the importance of developing a close and loving relationship with your baby and what you can do to help 'build a happy baby'.

You will receive information about:

Caring for your baby at night and the importance of keeping your baby close

Feeding out and about

Relationship building

Returning to work

> When your baby is around six months old you can start to introduce family foods. Talk to your Health Visitor or Community Nursery Nurse about how to access Introducing Family Foods workshops in your area. 


Your Family Doctor can support you if you have any health concerns about you or your baby and your pharmacist can give you information about the medication you can take whilst you are breastfeeding 

For more information about breastfeeding support, please contact your Health Visitor or attend one of the breastfeeding support groups listed below.

National Breastfeeding helpline: 0300 100 0212

9.30am-9.30pm every day


For information about voluntary and social support in your area contact:
The National Childbirth Trust: 0300 330 0771 (8am-midnight every day,
La Leche League: 0345 1202918 (24 hour),
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers helpline: 0300 330 5453, (09.30-10.30pm every day).

Vitamin D

It recommended that everyone over 1 year of age should take a 10 micrograms of Vitamin D supplement daily. And as a precaution, breastfed babies from birth up to 1 year of age should also be given a supplement of 8.5 to 10 micrograms of Vitamin D every day. Babies who are formula fed do not require vitamin D supplement if they having 500ml per day of infant formula or more. Vitamin D supplementation is important because we and our children are unable to get enough Vitamin D from sunlight in this country, or from diet alone.

Speak to your health visitor or nursery nurse for more information about why Vitamin D is important. Healthy Start vitamins are available to buy or exchange for healthy start vouchers at every Family Centre in Surrey. Find your nearest Healthy Start stockist.

Breastfeeding support groups 

You can use the interactive map below to find your local breastfeeding support group.

Please phone before leaving home to check the group is taking place, as dates and times do change from time to time.

Venues map

For further information

  • To follow up a referral

For example, for developmental paediatrics or therapy services such as speech and language therapy. Contact the One Stop referral centre (tel: 0300 222 5755, Option 2) and they will be able to advise.

  • For advice or questions about your child's health

​Contact your local Health Visiting team or call the Advice Line

  • 2 year development checks

​Contact your local Health Visiting team or call the Advice Line 

  • Referrals for ASD, ADHD or another neurological/developmental condition

Your GP will need to make a referral. Visit the Developmental Paediatrician service page for more information about these services in Surrey.

  • Access to mental health services

Your GP needs to refer your child via MINDSIGHT Surrey CAMHS

  • Hearing concerns

Contact the Audiology service 

  • Concerns or complaints about a Children and Family  Health Surrey service

Go to https://childrenshealthsurrey.nhs.uk/feedback to read about our approach and who to contact. You can also email the Patient Experience Team directly using csh.patientexperience@nhs.net 

If your query is not covered by the routes above, please use the form below to contact us.  Your query will be passed to the relevant team who will aim to respond within 7 working days.