Feeding your baby

As a maternity unit we will support you with your infant feeding choices.

We have worked closely with our mums and have put together some information to help and support you in your infant feeding journey.

Information about infant feeding

Antenatal harvesting or antenatal collection of your colostrum

Mothers produce colostrum in pregnancy, learning how to express colostrum during pregnancy is a useful skill for all mothers. Harvesting your colostrum or antenatal collection is beneficial for you and your baby. Pregnant women can start to express their breast milk from 36 completed weeks of pregnancy. The amount of breast milk you get will vary from a few drops to a teaspoon.

Why express whilst pregnant? Expressing during pregnancy, will mean that you become familiar with your breasts and how they work and make you feel more confident after birth.

  • It will give you an understanding of how far your baby’s mouth needs to be on the breast when he latches on.
  • If your baby needs encouragement to feed you will be able to express small amounts of colostrum into their mouth or onto their lips.
  • If your baby has difficulty feeding or being cared for on a neonatal unit you will be able to express colostrum.
  • By becoming familiar with your breast during pregnancy, you will recognise changes in your breast and be able to hand express to avoid problems with engorgement or mastitis.
  • Knowledge of how to express milk if you ever need to.

If you would like any further information or support, please speak to your midwife or email: BDG-TR.infantfeedingteam@nhs.net

A guide to breastfeeding your baby

Breastfeeding is a skill that takes time to get the hang of. Lots of mums wonder if their baby's feeding well and getting enough – especially in the first few days.

But once you've mastered it, you'll probably find it's the easiest and most satisfying way to feed your baby.

NHS.uk has lots of helpful information and advice on breastfeeding.

NHS guide to breastfeeding your baby

How to support your partner with breastfeeding

If your partner is breastfeeding your baby – or planning to – that’s fantastic because breastmilk has so many benefits for babies. For instance, breastmilk can help to reduce the risk of your baby getting infections and diseases. It also contains hormones that help your baby’s development.

Overall, breastfeeding will have a positive impact on your baby’s health. What’s more, it can influence their health as an adult too.

More about supporting breastfeeding

Information about bottle feeding

If you're planning to bottle feed with expressed breast milk or infant formula, the Baby Friendly Initiative have tips help you feed your baby and keep them safe and healthy.

If you decide to use infant formula, first infant formula (first milk) should always be the first formula you give your baby. You can use it throughout the first year.

Guide to bottle feeding

A guide for infant formula and responsive bottle feeding

Bottle feeding as responsively as possible can help support the development of a close and loving parent-infant relationship.

Unicef's Baby Friendly Initiative have a simple, concise guide which provides parents who are bottle feeding with an overview on how to bottle feed responsively and, for parents who are formula feeding, how to choose an infant formula.

Responsive Bottle Feeding - a guide for parents

Information is available in other languages – please ask your midwife

How to feed your baby with a bottle

How to bottle-feed your baby (NCT)

How do I prepare a bottle of formula milk for my baby?

Building a happy baby

We now know that building a strong relationship between parents and their new baby will give them the best possible start in life and will help them to grow up happy and confident.

Unicef's Baby Friendly Initiative provide information which helps parents to develop that strong relationship, starting in pregnancy and continuing into the early days, weeks and months of a baby’s life.

Building a happy baby - a guide for parents

Caring for your baby at night and when sleeping

Caring for your baby at night and when sleeping covers a range of topics, including getting some rest, night feeding, safe sleeping environments and helping baby to settle.

The information provided by Unicef is endorsed by the Lullaby Trust, the Baby Sleep Info Source (BASIS), the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV).

Caring for your baby at night and when sleeping


Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is where the strip of skin connecting the baby's tongue to the bottom of their mouth is shorter than usual.

Some babies who have tongue-tie do not seem to be bothered by it. In others, it can restrict the tongue's movement, making it harder to breastfeed.

Read more about tongue-tie on NHS.uk

Breastfeeding Friend from Start for Life

The Breastfeeding Friend, a digital tool from Start for Life, offers practical information and advice on breastfeeding.

Get answers to questions asked by new mums, and tips on things like sore nipples and what to do if your baby cries during feeds.

A parent holding their baby listens to their smart speaker

Other useful information

Find your local infant feeding group

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, why not join a local breastfeeding group?

Infant feeding Groups in Barnsley

You can find Barnsley's Infant Feeding Service (IFS) on social media.

Useful contacts

Maternity Unit Antenatal/Postnatal ward
01226 432242 - 24 hour access in the first few weeks with your baby

Barnsley Infant Feeding Service – working within the community

01226 775700 – Monday to Friday 9–4pm

07853 893430 – Saturday 9.30–12.30pm

0-19 Service (Health Visiting)
01226 774411 – 9-5pm Monday to Friday

National Breastfeeding helpline
0300 100 0212 – 9.30-9.30pm every day

Find your local infant feeding group

Feeding your baby and climate change

Increasing breastfeeding rates correlates to improved infant and adult health and helps to reduce greenhouse gases and lessen the environmental impact of food alternatives. When compared with breastmilk, milk production uses large amounts of water and has a high carbon footprint.

Remote video URL

Did this information help you?

  • Page last reviewed: 29 February 2024
  • Next review due: 12 September 2024