Feeding Your Baby

There is nothing you can do for your child in his/her whole life that will affect them both emotionally and physically as profoundly as breastfeeding. It is also important for your own body and affects a surprising number of health issues (see Human Milk below).

We hope you find the following resources and links helpful prior to and throughout your Infant Feeding Journey.  Although most of the information is about Breastfeeding we do have an information section for those who have made an informed choice to feed using Formula milk (Responsive Bottle Feeding).

We are a Baby Friendly Accredited Trust, to find out more about this click here.

  • Antenatal Online ZOOM Breastfeeding Workshop/Information Sessions

    Please see login details below:

    13 September 2023
    Meeting ID: 834 3590 8003
    Passcode: 516830
    11 October 2023
    Meeting ID: 834 3590 8003
    Passcode: 516830
    8 November 2023
    Meeting ID: 834 3590 8003
    Passcode: 516830
    13 December 2023
    Meeting ID: 834 3590 8003
    Passcode: 516830
    10 January 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    14 February 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    13 March 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    17 April 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    15 May 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    12 June 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    17 July 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    14 August 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    11 September 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    16 October 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    November 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123
    11 December 2024
    Meeting ID: 819 5305 2133
    Passcode: 254123

    If these dates and times aren’t suitable for you please use this link to avail of a Breastfeeding Workshop kindly shared by Dorset Healthcare that you can watch at your own convenience: dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/breastfeedingcourse

  • Human Milk

    ‘Human Milk, Tailor-Made for Tiny Humans’ is an independent advertising initiative created by a small team of parents, focussing on the composition of human milk and the science of breastfeeding.

    Human Milk, Made for Tiny Humans

  • Good Start

    This book presents the reasons why mothers and babies benefit from breastfeeding and explains how to breastfeed successfully. It covers issues including how breastfeeding works, positioning and attachment, how to know if breastfeeding is going well, expressing milk, breastfeeding and babies in special care, advice on breastfeeding and bed-sharing, dealing with common problems, fitting breastfeeding into your life, and going back to work.

  • Skin to Skin Contact

    Skin To Skin Contact

    Research shows that it is optimal to place new babies Skin-to-Skin with their mothers. A new-born is familiar with its mother before birth and feels safest on her skin after being born.

    Skin-to-skin contact is usually referred to as the practice where a baby is dried and laid directly on the mother’s bare chest after birth, both of them covered in a warm blanket and left for at least an hour or until after the first feed. Skin-to-skin contact can also take place any time a baby needs comforting or calming and can help boost a mother’s milk supply.

    Why is skin-to-skin contact important?

    There is a growing body of evidence that skin-to-skin contact after the birth helps babies and their mothers.

    The Practice:

    • calms and relaxes both mother and baby
    • regulates the baby’s heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb
    • stimulates digestion and an interest in feeding
    • regulates temperature
    • enables colonisation of the baby’s skin with the mother’s friendly bacteria, thus providing protection against infection
    • stimulates the release of hormones to support breastfeeding and mothering.

    Skin-to-skin contact also provides benefits for babies in the neonatal unit, in that it:

    • improves oxygen saturation
    • reduces cortisol (stress) levels, particularly following painful procedures
    • encourages pre-feeding behaviour
    • assists with growth
    • may reduce hospital stay
    • improves milk volume if the mother expresses following a period of skin-to-skin contact, with the expressed milk containing the most up-to-date antibodies.

    Video courtesy of UNICEF BFI: https://youtu.be/0vzW9qPz3So

    For more information on Skin to skin visit: https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/news-and-research/baby-friendly-research/research-supporting-breastfeeding/skin-to-skin-contact/

    See also a video by Nils Bergman. Nils is a Sweedish specialist in perinatal neuroscience and was a founder of Kangaroo care and is a promoter of skin to skin contact.

    In this video he talks about the importance of the first 1000 minutes

  • Attaching your Baby to the Breast

    Good attachment will help a baby get more milk and make breastfeeding more comfortable. This video shows why good attachment is so important to breastfeeding success and what a mother can do to deeply attach her baby to her breast.

    Visit to globalhealthmedia.org for more videos in the series.

  • Milk Supply

    How to tell if your baby is getting enough milk:


    How to increase your milk supply if necessary:

  • Breastfeeding Twins and more

    For more information on Breastfeeding  Twins and more click here.

  • Breastfeeding when your baby is in the NNU

    Click here to learn about feeding your baby in the Neonatal Unit.

  • Expression and Storage of Breastmilk

    This short clip, produced by the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative, provides an overview of hand expression and how to hand express successfully.

    Visit www.unicef.org.uk for additional resources.

    Click here to find out more about Storage of Expressed Breastmilk.

    Click here to learn about Colostrum Harvesting Expressing Breast Milk.

    Click here for advice on exclusively expressing Breast Milk.

  • Breastfeeding Challenges

    Check out the Off to a good start book Off to a Good Start PDF, pages 38-51

    See also the following link to learn about Challenges with Breastfeeding.

  • Tongue Tie Information

    Click here to view our Tongue Tie Family Information leaflet.

    Click here for further information.

  • Breastfeeding Support

    For advice and support please contact your Community Midwife or Health Visitor

    Our Breastfeeding Peer Support Service, BFF, is available to all breastfeeding women.

    Breastfeeding Peer Support is mother to mother support given by women who have breastfed (or are still breastfeeding) and would like to support other mothers on their breastfeeding journey. It is a texting and/or phone call support service.

    All our volunteers have completed a training course and are registered with the South Eastern HSC Trust Volunteer Service.

    Our Breastfeeding Peer Support Link Worker (PSLW) will either see you on the postnatal ward in the Ulster Hospital Maternity Unit or she will phone you after discharge home from the unit.

    The PSLW will explain what the service offers and ask if you would like to be put in contact with a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter.

    If you have your baby in another Trust they will be able to make a referral to our PSLW through their link worker.

    If you initially decline the service but change your mind at any stage please contact the Breastfeeding Peer Support Link Worker on 07855 169707.

    For more information click here

    Surestarts Breastfeeding Support Groups:

    (All breastfeeding mothers welcome):

    Breastfeeding Champion contact details for each SureStart as follows –

    Ards Sure Start: Georgann Chambers – 028 91819722 – Georgann.Chambers@setrust.hscni.net

    Bangor SureStart: Heidi Brewer – 028 91457248 –bangoreys@brysonsurestart.org

    Colin SureStart: Julie Anne Murphy – 028 90601417 –  julieanne.murphy@colinsurestart.com

    Down SureStart: Laura Sharvin – 028 44613650 – laura.sharvin@setrust.hscni.net

    Lisburn SureStart: Lena Kelly –   028 92672292 – lena.kelly@brysonsurestart.org


    Every Tuesday, 10am-11am, in Ards Community Network, 43-45 Frances St, Ards BT23 7DX

    Please note: The Newtownards group will not run the week of the 11th & 18th July


    Every 2nd & 4th Monday of each month, 10am-11am, in Maxwells Coutyard, 35 Main Street Kircubbin, BT22 2SR


    Every Wednesday morning 10.30am-12pm at Colin Family Centre, Pembroke Road, Dunmurry, BT17 0PH.

    Please note: The Dunmurry group will not run the first two weeks July and there will be no group on 9th and 23rd of August.


    Every Friday morning 11.30am-1pm at Down Sure Start, 5-7 Mount Cresent, Downpatrick, BT30 6AF.


    Every Friday morning,10.30am-12pm at 9 Market place, Lisburn, BT28 1DA.

    Please Note: the Lisburn group will not run in July and dates for August will be subject to change. Please contact Lea Kelly for further information on 02892672292.

    Contact the breastfeeding champion to find out more details of support groups available in your area.

    Other Breast Feeding Support Groups 


    Every Monday morning, 09:30am to 11:30am In Lisburn Library, Linenhall Street Lisburn BT28 1FJ

    Every Friday morning 10am-12pm in the Lagan Valley Midwife Led Unit, Lagan Valley Hospital (for babies up to 6 weeks)


    Every Thursday, 10:30 to 11:30am, in 2nd Saintfield Presbyterian, Ballynahinch road BT24 7AE, will run weekly.

    Please note: The Saintfield group will not run the week of the 12th July


    Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, 10:30am to 11:45am in Seaforde Presbyterian Church Hall, Demesne Road, Seaforde, BT30 8PB.

    Every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, 10:30-11:45 in The Lodge Business and Cultural Centre, 1 Dublin Road, Castlewellan, BT31 9AG


    11am to 12:30pm in Marquis Hall, Bangor Castle Park, 5 Abbey Street BT20 4JE.  Group will run on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month.

    Please note: The Bangor Group will not run the month of July only

    Hillsborough New Parent Group: Hillsborough Village Centre weekly on Thursday mornings 11:30 to 12:30.

    Maghaberry New Parent Group: Maghaberry Community Centre weekly on Monday mornings 10:00 to 11:00.

    Both groups are facilitated by health visiting and provide support/advice on all types of infant feeding and other issues.

    Please note: The Hillsborough and Maghaberry Parent Groups will not run the months of July and August.

    NCT online Breasfeeding drop-in support via Zoom on Sundays @ 12.30 – 2.30pm

    Email: nctbfni@gmail.com or Message: www.facebook.com/nctbfni to be sent a link to be added to the invite list.

    La Leche League Ireland; Northern Ireland area

    Breastfeeding Support group via Zoom

    • Every 2nd and 4th Friday, 9.30-11.30am
    • Contact Louise on 07968492012
    • Helplines: 02895 818118
    • www.facebook.com/lllni

    As well as the BFF Service and the zoom groups mentioned above there are other resources available:

    • 24 hours support from:

    Midwife Led Unit LVH: 02892633534

    Midwife Led Unit DPK: 02844616995

    Maternity Unit Ulster Hospital: 02890550469 or 02890550403

    • National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0300 100 0212 30 am- 9.30pm/ 7 days a week, also on Instagram and Facebook. Webchat service at www.nationalbreastfeedinghelpline.org.uk
    • La Leche League: 0345 120 2918 laleche.org.uk, also on Facebook and Instagram
    • NCT Helpline: 03003 300771 8am-Midnight 7 days a week
    • Lisburn Breastfeeding Support Group Facebook page
    • Breastfeeding in Northern Ireland Facebook page

    The Breastfeeding Companion

    Grandparent’s Guide to Breastfeeding

    What Dads Should Know About Breastfeeding

  • Donating to the Human Milk Bank

    For more information click here.

  • Weaning

    Weaning is the introduction of solid foods to your baby and is advised from around 6 months of age.

    Your baby should be introduced to a healthy and varied diet alongside their usual breast milk or first infant milk (formula).

    Your Health Visitor will discuss the topic of weaning with you at your baby’s 14–16 week review where they will provide you with a leaflet of advice and guidance on weaning.

    To view the ‘Weaning Made Easy’ leaflet, click here.

    To view the Weaning Made Easy’ leaflet in Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese and Russian, click here.

    For more information and helpful tips on weaning click here.

  • Drugs and Breastfeeding

    For more information on drugs in breastmilk click here.



  • Smoking and Breastfeeding

    Click here for information on Smoking, Smoking Cessation and Breastfeeding.

    Click here for local support to help you quit smoking.

  • Alcohol and Breastfeeding

    Click here to learn more about the effects of alcohol on breastfeeding.

  • Building a Happy Baby: A Guide for Parents

    A useful PDF guide for parents:

    Smile, talk, laugh and sing during nappy changing time and make a difference for your baby that will last a lifetime.


  • Responsive Bottle Feeding

    We are a Baby Friendly Accredited Trust and therefore support the wellbeing and life chances of all babies, whether breast or bottle fed. Whilst breastfeeding is the best option for babies, and we support mothers who breastfeed, we also aim to support those mothers who have made the informed choice to formula feed.  This ensures all babies receive high standards of care and the best possible chance to thrive regardless of feeding type.

  • Caring for Your Baby at Night

    For more information on caring for your baby at night click here.

  • How Babies Sleep

    Learn more about how babies sleep: (This website presents research evidence about biologically normal sleep for human babies)

  • Breastfeeding and Returning to Work

    This leaflet aims to encourage breastfeeding mothers to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work:

    Breastfeeding And Returning to Work Leaflet

    This booklet is aimed at promoting health in the workplace and sets out some easy steps that employers can take to support breastfeeding mothers:

    Promoting Breastfeeding for Mothers Returning to Work LeafletBreastfeeding return to work pack featuring a cool bag, ice block, water bottle and breastmilk storage bottle
    At the moment we offer all staff and service users who are breastfeeding a return to work pack which includes a cool bag, ice block, water bottle and breastmilk storage bottle. These are subject to funding and availability.

    Ask your Health Visitor for more information.

    If you’re a member of staff and live outside the Trust area please email Kelly.Leonard@setrust.hscni.net to reserve your pack.

  • Breastfeeding Welcome Here Scheme

    The Breastfeeding Welcome here scheme is an initiative which aims to accommodate and support families who wish to breastfeed whilst out and about. A business will display the logo in their window so it’s very clear and welcoming to breastfeeding mother’s. The website also has a list of businesses who have signed up to the scheme so a mum can check this according to postcode beforehand. This scheme is supported by the Public Health Agency (PHA).

    Breastfeeding is really important for the health of both mother and baby, yet Northern Ireland has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe. While half of all new mums here start breastfeeding, many quickly stop. This is often because they feel there is a lack of support, particularly when they want to feed their baby outside the home.

    If local businesses can make it clear that they are supportive of breastfeeding mothers, by displaying their membership of the Breastfeeding Welcome Here Scheme, many new mums will be more confident about breastfeeding and will be likely to continue breastfeeding for longer. This will benefit both their health and their baby’s.

    Click here for more information.


  • Foreign Language Resources