Starting to think about infant feeding

Deciding how to feed your baby is a decision that can be influenced by many different events and experiences. We want you to have the opportunity to discuss the various options available so that the decision you make is based on the best available information (rather than hearsay) and is a decision you feel comfortable and happy with.

It’s never too early to start thinking about how you’re going to feed your baby. But you do not have to make up your mind until your baby is born.

Below are some questions that you may want to consider-

Has anyone you know, ever breastfed?

  • If yes: what are your own thoughts about this as a way to feed babies?
  • If no: what do you know or feel about breastfeeding?

How you chose to feed your baby is for you to decide. The World Health Organisation and the Department of Health in the United Kingdom recommend exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first 6 months. This is because there are so many benefits to breastfeeding.

Is there anything else that you would like to know about infant feeding?

Regardless of the method of feeding your baby, we encourage all parents to understand why expressing breastmilk by hand is so important. If you have given birth, your breasts will still produce milk and you may well need to express milk for your own comfort. Learning during pregnancy a bit about how to hand express breastmilk will help you feel more prepared and in the know when your baby arrives. For a video guide about how to hand express please see below:

Here are further links and information that we encourage you to spend some time looking through in advance of becoming a parent, which many parents find helpful:

You are also very welcome to contact the infant feeding teams across Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire if you have any questions about infant feeding before (or after) your baby has arrived.

There is further information around infant feeding in the postnatal section of this website including how to feed responsively. This means- (regardless of whether you chose to breast-feed or formula feed your baby) that you feed them as soon as they show signs of being hungry (sometimes these are called feeding cues) and allowing them to feed for as long as they want.