Feeding your baby
Maternity: after your baby is born
Feeding your newborn in hospital
Breastfeeding in hospital
We encourage you to breastfeed your baby as this is the healthiest choice for your baby and you. Breastfeeding reduces the chance of your baby developing:
- tummy upsets
- chest, urinary and ear infections
- sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Mothers who breastfeed have reduced rates of breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis in later life.
Your midwife will be able to support you in learning to feed your baby.
You can read information and advice about how to breastfeed on the NHS website.
Our infant feeding team is available on the postnatal ward from Monday to Friday. They can help if you’re finding feeding more challenging. Your midwife will refer you to them.
- develop feeding care plans with you
- refer to your local community support for when you go home
- help with feeding difficulties caused by cleft lip and palate, or breast surgery
Formula feeding in hospital
We'll support you if you choose to formula feed.
We provide formula at the hospital. We recommend that you don’t bring in your own.
If you do bring in formula, please make sure it is ready-made milk as we do not have facilities for making up bottles from powdered milk.
Storage time for formula milk in hospital is less than at home due to the multiple use of the fridge. A lot of your formula might be thrown away. Small bottles of formula will be less wasteful.
You can read bottle feeding advice on the NHS website.
We may have asked you to hand express some milk before the birth of your baby.
Our health information about expressing your breastmilk has more guidance about how to do this and the benefits.
You can email [email protected] if you have any questions.
Support with feeding after you leave hospital
If you live in Lambeth and Southwark, we offer support with feeding your baby.
In Lambeth, we run online drop-in sessions on Zoom. These take place on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 11am.
Please email [email protected] for more information.
You can find more feeding support in your local area from:
- Lambeth and Southwark breastfeeding network Facebook page
- Lambeth and Southwark breastfeeding groups Facebook page
Feeding support resources
- COVID-19 feeding support information leaflet on your Maternity Notes App
- Gov.uk website, advice about breastfeeding and coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Start4Life NHS website
- Breastfeeding network helpline: 0300 100 0212 (9.30am to 9.30pm)
- For information about drugs in breastmilk, you can email [email protected] or visit the breastfeeding network Facebook page
- Association of breastfeeding mothers: 0300 330 545
- La Leche League: 0345 120 2918
- National Childbirth Trust (NCT): 0300 330 0700 (8am to midnight)
- From bump to breastfeeding video on the Best Beginnings website
- Baby buddy app guides you through pregnancy and the first 6 months with your baby using interactive information and videos
- Breast Start app lists local groups and breast feeding friendly venues. It also has information on breastfeeding and infant sleep
Donor milk bank
Our donor milk bank provides safe, screened milk to our Evelina London neonatal unit and other hospitals in the south east.
Find out more about becoming a milk bank donor.