There are support groups around Hertfordshire to help you with feeding your baby, whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.

Baby feeding support groups

 

Children's centres

You can also get baby feeding advice at your local children's centre.

That covers bottle-feeding, breastfeeding and introducing solid food.

You can even go to children's centres before your baby is born – they can support you in becoming a parent.

Remember – pick up your free Healthy Start vitamins at your children’s centre.

Bottle-feeding

The parent's guide to formula and responsive bottle feeding covers:

  • preparing formula
  • sterilising equipment
  • tips on how to bottle-feed responsively.

Breastfeeding out and about

You shouldn't feel uncomfortable when breastfeeding in public.

It's actually illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place.

All children’s centres and libraries in Hertfordshire are already breastfeeding welcome venues. 

Responsive feeding tips

When feeding your baby, there are some important things you can do to make sure you're closely responding to your baby’s needs.

Skin to skin contact

This is when you hold your baby close, skin to skin, as soon as possible after birth. Your warmth, smell and heartbeat will make your baby feel safe and calm. 

You can also do it when you or your baby need some calm time.  Dads can do it too.

Learning your baby’s cues

Keeping baby close to you so that you can recognise feeding cues is helpful.

Most babies will “ask politely” in the first instance. This is a much easier time to feed than when crying.

Feeding at baby’s pace

Babies will often cluster feed and often in the evenings. Like an adult, there will be times when they're hungrier than others.

More about feeding cues – signs baby is hungry

Formula-fed babies may not finish every feed. Look for signs that they've had enough and avoid overfeeding.

Looking at and holding baby close

Babies need this for healthy brain development. There are simple things you can do to ensure you're enhancing baby’s learning, both before and after baby is born.  

Plenty of cuddles

You can’t spoil a baby by picking them up and keeping them close. It helps your baby to feel secure and loved.

Remember, baby cries as a last resort and mostly wants to be close to you. In the early days, limit the number of people who give them a feed. Your baby is getting to know you and is still building up resistance to bacteria.