Infant feeding

Team Rumina are a team of midwives who represent the infant feeding agenda in each clinical area and community midwifery team. This group of midwives champion the baby friendly approach to infant feeding and parenting by providing additional information and support to their colleagues.

Feeding your baby

Medway NHS Foundation supports the right of all parents to make informed choices about newborn feeding. We recognise the importance of supporting all parents to feed their babies with confidence and to build strong and loving parent-infant relationships; these relationships are crucial for good health and well-being. Breastfeeding makes a significant contribution to good physical and emotional health outcomes for your baby and you. Therefore we will encourage and support you to breastfeed your baby.         

Ways we will help you to feed your baby successfully

During your pregnancy, you will be able to discuss breastfeeding individually with a midwife or one of our maternity support workers. They will be able to give you accurate and up to date information and answer any questions you might have. Your hand held notes contain information you can use as a reminder for these discussions.

You will have the opportunity to hold your new baby against your skin immediately after birth. The staff will not interfere or hurry you but will be there to support you and to help you with your first breastfeed. A midwife will be available to explain how to put your baby to the breast correctly and to help with feeds while you are in hospital. You will be offered further help within 6 hours of birth. If you choose to artificially feed your baby you will be shown how to hold and feed your baby safely and bottle feed in a responsive way, also how to sterilise equipment and make up feeds correctly. You will be provided with a leaflet to refer to some newborn babies can be sleepy in the first 24 hours following birth and may need regular encouragement and opportunities at the breast.

Staff will be available to help you with this. You will be shown how to express your breastmilk and will be given information about this which you can refer to once you are home. Most healthy term babies do not need anything other than breastmilk for their first six months. If for medical reasons your baby needs additional supplementary feeds then the staff will explain why and ask your permission. Normally your baby will be with you at all times. If any medical procedures are necessary, you will always be invited to accompany your baby. You will be encouraged to feed your baby whenever he or she is hungry. Staff will help you to recognise these feeding cues. This is referred to as responsive feeding.

We recommend that you avoid the use of bottles, dummies and nipple shields while your baby is learning to breastfeed. This is because they can change the way your baby sucks, which may make it more difficult for your baby to breastfeed successfully.

Before you leave hospital, you will be given a list of local and national support groups and organisations including a list of telephone numbers of people who can provide extra help and support with breastfeeding when you are home.

If you bottle feed your baby you will be shown or have a detailed discussion about how to correctly mix up and store formula milk and how to clean and sterilise all bottle feeding equipment before you go home.