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Breastfeeding and Responsive Feeding

A key element of the 0-19 Public Health Integrated Nursing Service involves public health promotion and supporting families to be as healthy as they can be, and breastfeeding is one of the best public health benefits there is. We support parents to make an informed choice about how they wish to feed their baby and to feed their babies in whichever way they choose, holding a key focus on Responsive Feeding. We aim to improve parents’ understanding of the health benefits of breastfeeding, the importance of new mothers being close to their baby and to continue to make improvements to parents’ experiences of care.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the natural and healthiest way to feed your baby. Any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial, and exclusively breastfeeding your baby for 6 months offers the best nutrition and protection. Continued breastfeeding alongside solid food will support optimum health, wellbeing, growth and development for your baby.

Breastfeeding:

  • Is the only natural food designed for you baby
  • Protects baby against infections and diseases
  • Provides health benefits for mum and baby
  • Is available whenever and wherever your baby needs feeding (at the right temperature)
  • Helps mothers to build a strong physical and emotional bond with their baby
  • Is free!

For babies, breastfeeding reduces the risk of:

  • Severe diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Chest infections
  • Sudden Infant Death (cot death)
  • Ear infections
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Obesity

Breastfeeding also lowers the mother’s risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis (weak bones in later life), Type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Responsive Breastfeeding

Positioning and Attachment:

Correct positioning and attachment at the breast is the most important element of successful breastfeeding. When your baby is well positioned and attached, they will find it easier to feed well and it will be comfortable for the mother.

In this video, a breastfeeding counsellor helps a mother to position and attach her baby to the breast:

This clip shows how ineffective attachment happens and how it can cause sore nipples:

Responsive Bottle feeding:

If you are bottle feeding your baby, we recommend responsive feeding. Responsive feeding is about learning to recognise and respond to the early signs that a baby is hungry and when they have had enough. This Guide (https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/04/Infant-formula-and-responsive-bottle-feeding.pdf) provides tips on how to responsively feed your baby and keep them safe and healthy. Also see these videos, available in several different languages: https://www.youtube.com/user/leedsthnhs/search

Breastfeeding Support 

We have achieved Gold UNICEF Baby Friendly Accreditation, which celebrates excellent and sustained practice in support of infant feeding and parent-infant relationships, and as part of this we can provide and signpost families to a wide range of breastfeeding support across Leeds and we maintain a culture of kindness within our service and organisation:

  • Preparation for Birth and Beyond (PBB): PBB is an Antenatal course available to all first-time parents to help them to prepare for their baby’s arrival and includes topics such as understanding baby’s brain development, birth, feeding, sleep and relationships. You can find out more from your midwife or by contacting our Single Point of Access on 0113 8435683. We are currently offering these courses virtually and face to face across the city, some of which take place in the evening.
  • Leeds Maternity Breastfeeding Clinic: This clinic is run by the Infant Feeding Team, comprised of Specialist Midwives and Support Workers. It offers personalised support to women and babies who encounter difficulties in the postnatal period (up to 28 days post birth), call 0113 2065367 or email leedsth-tr.breastfeedingclinic@nhs.net for further information or to self-refer.
  • 1:1 Virtual Feeding Support: If you require any general feeding advice, please call our Single Point of Access on 0113 8435683
  • Breastfeeding Peer Support Groups: Bosom Buddies provide mum-to-mum breastfeeding information and support in groups. These groups are run by trained breastfeeding peer supporters. Peer supporters are mothers who have themselves breastfed and have undertaken a training course. They are not able to give specific advice but can offer suggestions and signpost to the most appropriate and timely help. Any breastfeeding mum is welcome! See Leeds Bosom Buddies on Facebook for the latest information and groups. Family Heath Workers attend three Bosom Buddies groups per week.
  • Enhanced Breastfeeding Support: Families can be referred for Enhanced Breastfeeding Support by their 0-19 Specialist Public Health Nurse (Health Visitor). Enhanced Breastfeeding Practitioners support families in their own homes and have a special interest in Breastfeeding.

Tel: 0113 843 5683

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