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Feeding your baby

The Health Visiting Team will support you to build a close and loving bond with your newborn.

They'll visit you at home when your baby is around 10 to 14 days old to see how you and baby are doing and to offer support.

It's important to feed your baby responsively. Responsive feeding means responding to your baby's needs, not getting distracted during feeding time and not encouraging your little one to over-eat or finish bottles of milk when they're no longer hungry. This can mean your baby has too much and can lead to obesity later in life.

Sometimes in the early days, feeding your baby can seem overwhelming and time-consuming, especially if they feed little and often and you have to get up countless times in the night. It can be helpful to remember that as your baby grows bigger, they will get more efficient at feeding and their milk feeds usually space out more as they grow.

The Kent Health Visiting Service gives feeding support to all parents. You can phone your local team for advice or reassurance Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (except bank holidays).

Some families may need more specialist infant feeding support. Your midwife, health visitor or another health professional, such as your GP, can refer you into the Specialist Infant Feeding Service. You will be seen by one of the specialist infant feeding leads or a lactation consultant. Lactation consultants are highly trained and qualified specialists who can support mothers with complex feeding issues, including assessing babies with a suspected tongue-tie. It is possible to hire a breast pump directly from the manufacturers Ardo or Medela.

The Infant Feeding Team offers breastfeeding groups where you can meet other women, share experiences and get support.

Useful resources

  • What to expect in the first few days breastfeeding and find support when you need it at Beside You.
  • If you are on certain benefits and are pregnant or have children under the age of four, you can claim Healthy Start vouchers. Find out if this applies to you at Healthy Start. These weekly vouchers can be used to buy milk, fruit and vegetables, pulses, and infant formula milk. You can also get vitamin supplements.
  • Responsive feeding advice is available from UNICEF.
  • Children Dietetics Team has useful resources on cow's milk allergy.
  • Child health clinics - Come along to a child health clinic for advice, information and support for you and your child's health and development from your local Health Visiting Team.

Looking for breastfeeding support?

No matter what stage of the breastfeeding journey you're in. Beside You is here to help every step of the way.