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Health in pregnancy and the early years

Feeding your baby

Breastfeeding

It can take time before you feel confident with breastfeeding, however, there's plenty of support available to help you along the way.

This will start in the hospital with your midwife and continue for the first 28 days through Breastfeeding Clinics run by a dedicated team of midwives, health visitors and community staff nurses offering practical help and support during the early days.

There's also lots of advice available online or via support groups, helplines and websites.

Visit the NHS for more information on:

How to breastfeed
The first few days, the benefits of breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public.

Breastfeeding help and support
Online support, websites and helplines offering breastfeeding support.

Bottle feeding

If you're unable to breastfeed, or you simply choose not to, then your midwives will provide the support you need in hospital followed by the health visitors once you and baby arrive home.

NHS bottle feeding advice
How to bottle feed including how to make up formula.

Introducing solid foods

Sometimes called complementary feeding or weaning, you should start to introduce your baby to solid foods at around 6 months old.

Your baby's first solid foods
Weaning advice from the NHS.

Healthy Start vouchers

If you're on benefits or a low income you may qualify for extra help with fruit, vegetables and milk during pregnancy until your child turns 4. You can also get free vitamins.

Visit the Healthy Start website for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

Search for local support groups

Antenatal classes can provide expectant parents with reliable information and advice about feeding your baby.

Search for local classes