What to expect in hospital

At Bradford Royal Infirmary, we’re working towards gaining Baby Friendly Initiative (UNICEF*) Accreditation Level 3 – which means we support women to build a responsive relationship with their baby before and after birth by providing evidence-based information and demonstrating the skills needed for soon-to-be and new mums to make the best choices for their babies.

We work to support all families to develop close and loving relationships with their newborn and to understand the importance of this for their baby’s development. For example, in Baby Friendly hospitals, mothers and babies now routinely stay together in the immediate post-birth period, helping to get their relationship off to a good start.

The Baby Friendly Initiative offers an evidence-based approach to supporting breastfeeding and good infant nutrition, and helping parents to develop close and loving relationships with their babies.

There’s strong evidence for the Baby Friendly programme as a key intervention for supporting breastfeeding. Studies looking at the impact on UK breastfeeding rates have shown that giving birth in a Baby Friendly facility increases breastfeeding initiation and continuation.

We support you to document in your birth plan (or discuss with your midwife) if you’d like to have skin-to-skin contact immediately after the birth – it doesn’t matter what type of birth brings you to having your baby in your arms; skin-to-skin will be offered (unless there is a clinical need for support of mother or baby.

Skin-to-skin contact helps babies to adapt to being outside their mother’s body; keeping baby’s heartrate, temperature and breathing regular – while also being the best environment for baby to ‘learn’ how to breastfeed.

Skin-to-skin for the first feed (whether that feed is breast or bottle) enables baby to feel calm and learn where their nurturing and nutrition comes from. AND, skin-to-skin is proven to reduce the stress hormone (cortisol) in both mum and baby by an incredible 75 per cent!

So, irrespective of mum’s feeding intention, to have skin to skin is essential for a gentle introduction to the baby’s new environment.

Where to look up evidence-based information on how to feed your baby

We’d usually suggest that you try not to make a firm decision about how to feed your baby until your baby is born and in your arms. However, if you’d like to find out more about formula and feeding while you are pregnant, here are some key points to consider and to  look here: First Steps Nutrition Trust: www.firststepsnutrition.org A simple guide to infant formula, how to make up feeds and alternative infant milks.

  • Brands of milk
  • Artificial milk types
  • How to make up artificial feeds (which equipment is recommended)

We support all infant feeding choices and if you decide to combination feed or exclusively formula feed we can provide the information and encouragement for the development of a secure and loving bond between you and your baby.

Don't be afraid to ask for help

It can take a while before you feel confident.

You can ask your midwife, health visitor or peer support worker to help you with breastfeeding by calling these support networks or looking at some of the websites listed.

Support network Telephone number Website
NCT Bradford Breastfeeding Buddies: A team of volunteers offering breastfeeding support and information across the Bradford and Keighley area. Text 66777: FEED (+name, postcode, and baby’s DOB/due date Facebook page
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers: A charity run by mothers for mothers, committed to giving friendly support and supplying accurate information to all women wishing to breastfeed. 0300 330 5453 www.abm.me.uk
Breastfeeding Network: Aims to promote breastfeeding in the UK, collect and disseminate information on breastfeeding and baby and infant nutrition, and provide information and support to parents on the feeding of babies and infants. It has extensive information on medications and breastfeeding. 0300 100 0210 www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk
La Leche League GB: Affiliated to La Leche League International which is a worldwide voluntary organisation, dedicated to providing support, information and education to women who want to breastfeed and to those who care for them 0345 120 2918 www.laleche.org.uk
National Childbirth Trust: The NCT supports thousands of people each year through the incredible life-changing experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. Blood clot (deep vein thrombosis) www.nct.org.uk

Useful telephone numbers

  • National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0300 100 0212
  • Supporter line in Bengali or Sylheti: 0300 456 2421

Breast pump hire

  • The hospital’s infant feeding team: 01274 36 4583
  • Your allocated Health Visitor
  • Ardo Medical Ltd: 01823 336362
  • Medela UK: 01538 399541

Other useful links