Forest Trees

Breastfeeding, Bottle Feeding and
Did You Know?

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The three most important hours for mother and her baby in preventing breastfeeding pain.


3 Golden Hours for Breastfeeding

Success by Dr Robyn Thompson

The Thompson Method of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Your Baby

Congratulations, choosing to breastfeed your baby is the first step. It is a skill that takes practice and you may need support along the way. Knowing where to get the right advice and who to ask can be daunting. We would like to help you find the best places to access the support you need, to make your journey into breastfeeding your new baby a more enjoyable and positive one.

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Knowing what to expect in the early days with your new-born prepares you. Your new baby will feed often around 8-12 times in a 24-hour period. Some feeds will be longer than others and lots will be at night.  It is not normal for a new baby to sleep for long periods, they have tiny tummy’s that need regular food.

Ideally sleep or rest when they do so that you can manage the regularity of this. Try to feed your baby when they first stir or start to show signs of hunger. This can be sucking their hands, lip smacking with their tongues or turning their heads towards you. Baby’s feed much better at this stage, before they have started to cry.

Your new baby likes to be cuddled, so breastfeeding gives them more than food, it keeps them warm and makes them feel safe (we all love a cuddle). Your baby may only want to settle on you, and this is very normal too. New babies cannot manipulate you, so don’t think you can over cuddle them. Try not to fall asleep with your baby on a sofa. If you feel tired, put them somewhere safe. The lullaby trust is a really good source of information for safe sleeping advice. Breastfeeding for at least 2 months halves your risk of SIDS (


Breastmilk provides your baby with all the nutrition they need for the first 6 months and beyond alongside weaning. Breastfed babies do not need additional water (even if it’s really hot out). Your breastmilk changes with the climate and provides your baby with a bespoke meal every time. Don’t restrict how often they feed, sometimes it will be more than others and this is really normal too. Even if you’re unwell, continue to breastfeed, if you can, your milk will make precious antibodies to help your baby fight any illnesses they may encounter.

Early days nappies will be black then gradually turn to a bright yellow/orange colour. A breastfed baby’s bowel movements will be very runny and watery and may look like it has small white bits in it. This is really normal. You may also notice that round 6 weeks your baby may start to not have dirty nappies every day. We would expect to see several wet nappies a day still. If you are concerned, then please contact a health professional for advice.

Here are some useful links for more information and guidance.


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A local breastfeeding support group runs in Totton every Thursday morning, for more information on this and for help and advice, join their Facebook group New Forest and Romsey Bosom Pals.

Breastfeeding helplines

National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0300 100 0212

The Breastfeeding Network supporter line in Bengali and Sylheti: 0300 456 2421

Association of Breastfeeding Mothers: 0300 330 5453

La Leche League: 0345 120 2918

National Childbirth Trust (NCT): 0300 330 0700

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Breastfeeding nutrition


You don't need to eat anything special while you're breastfeeding. But it's a good idea to follow the tips above and then also consider adding 1-2 healthy snacks to ensure that you are taking on enough nutrients and calories to support breast milk production such as:


  • 3 litres of water per day (including milky drinks or a 150ml glass of 100% unsweetened fruit juice.

  • Fresh fruit.

  • Sandwiches filled with salad, grated cheese, mashed salmon or cold meat.

  • Yoghurts and fromage frais.

  • Hummus with bread or vegetable sticks.

  • Ready-to-eat dried apricots, figs or prunes.

  • Vegetable and bean soups.

  • Fortified unsweetened breakfast cereals, muesli and other wholegrain cereals with milk.

  • Baked beans on toast or a baked potato.


Small amounts of what you're eating and drinking can pass to your baby through your breast milk. If you think a food you're eating is affecting your baby and they're unsettled, talk to your GP or health visitor, or contact the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212.


Caffeine and breastfeeding

Caffeine is a stimulant and can reach your baby through your breast milk and may keep them awake or restless. Caffeine occurs naturally in lots of foods and drinks, including coffee, tea and chocolate. It's also added to some soft drinks and energy drinks, as well as some cold and flu remedies.


It's a good idea for pregnant and breastfeeding women to restrict their caffeine intake to

less than 200mg a day:


  • 1 mug of filter coffee: 140mg

  • 1 mug of instant coffee: 100mg

  • 1 250ml can of energy drink: 80mg (larger cans may contain up to 160mg caffeine)

  • 1 mug of tea: 75mg

  • 1 50g plain chocolate bar: up to 50mg

  • 1 cola drink (354mls): 40mg


Try decaffeinated tea and coffee, herbal teas, 100% fruit juice (but no more than one 150ml glass per day) or mineral water. Avoid energy drinks, which can be very high in caffeine.

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Bottle Feeding


If you are bottle feeding your baby with infant formula, there is some great information on the NHS website The NHS recommends to use the ‘paced’ feeding method, to ensure your baby takes what they want and has time to rest in the feed. As with our appetite, the amount your baby takes at each feed may vary and the time in between feeds may vary too.

These guidelines will advise you to make up feeds as you need them and not to make them up in advance and store them. Ensure you follow the instructions on the packaging to make the feed up correctly.  This is to prevent harmful bacteria causing growing, that could make you baby unwell. If you are going out for the day, take a readymade bottle, that can be purchased in the supermarket, with you. These feeds are made in a sterile environment and are sealed to ensure they are safer.

Try not to follow a time schedule with feeds, follow your baby’s lead and offer food when they start to show signs of hunger. Remember their tummy is small and therefore they will take little and often in the beginning. An artificial formula fed baby’s bowel movements, will be a thicker consistency than a breastfed babies and will be yellow.

Avoid using the ‘hungrier’ baby formula’s and stick to the first milk formulas as they are more easily digested by your new baby. Babies under 6 months do not need additional water, they should get enough water from their feed. You do not need to stick to any one particular formula, you can switch or try a different one if you feel the one you have chosen does not suit them.

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The NHS website has lots of really useful information, alternatively, ask your midwife or Health Visitor (number is in your red Child Health Record Book).​

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Did you know?

  • Full term, well babies, should only wear hats outdoors to keep them warm.

  • Never cover your baby’s car seat/ pram with a blanket to keep them out of the sun. Use natural shade or a parasol to do this to allow air flow around your baby.

  • In the first few days, the amount of wet nappies should correlate with the number of days old. For example, 3 days old = 3 wet nappies, etc.

  • A fully breastfed baby’s bowel movements will be bright yellow and very runny, they may also look ‘seedy’.

  • Babies do not need water if they are being fully breastfed. The milk you produce, adapts to the temperature and meets your baby’s needs.

  • Bottle fed babies, under 6 months  should get enough water from their feeds and should not be given additional water.

  • You should never sleep with your baby on a sofa (Lullaby Trust).

  • Your new born baby should only be in a car seat for 2 hours max. If you are going to be out longer, use your pram or make regular stops, if in a car.

  • Use light clothing in a car seat. Do not use bulky coats or jackets. Blankets should lie on top of straps, not under them.