Feeding your Baby

We have held the Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) for more than 15 years and are very proud to be a ‘baby friendly’ hospital.

We strongly support the right of all parents to make informed choices about infant feeding and all Trust staff will support you in your decision to breast feed, artifically feed or mix feed your baby. However, we do believe that breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby and we recognise the important benefits which breastfeeding provides for both you and your child. We therefore encourage you to breastfeed your baby.

If you choose not to breastfeed, we will support you to artificially feed your baby. Our Maternity Support Workers (MSWs) conduct daily demonstrations on Shere Ward to make sure you are happy making up bottles for baby when you go home. If you are planning to artificially feed, please ensure you bring the formula of your choice with you into the hospital – this should be a ready made variety, not powdered. We will provide disposable bottles and teats.

Please continue reading for more information on breastfeeding and bottle feeding your baby.

Ways in which we will help you breastfeed successfully

  • All the staff have been specially trained to help you to breastfeed your baby.
  • During your pregnancy, you will be able to discuss breastfeeding individually with a midwife or health visitor who will answer any questions you may have.
  • You will have the opportunity to hold your new baby against your skin soon 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 shown how to express your breast milk and you will be given information on this which you can refer to once you are home.
  • Most babies do not need to be given anything other than breast milk for their first six months. If for some reason your baby needs some other feed, this will be explained to you by the staff before you are asked to give your permission.

Please click here for more information on how to position and attach your baby at the breast

  • 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 seems to be hungry.
  • We recommend that you avoid using bottles, dummies and nipple shields while your baby is learning to breastfeed. These may change the way your baby sucks, meaning that it may be more difficult for your baby to breastfeed successfully
  • Before you leave hospital, you will be given a list of telephone numbers of people and local support groups who can provide extra help and support with breastfeeding when you are at home

For more advice and information, please download our Breastfeeding in the early days information leaflet

Finding additional support after you go home:





Drop – in
No need to book

Parent Craft Room,
Royal Surrey County Hospital


10.30am – 12noon

Drop – in
No need to book

Hazel Avenue Childrens Centre,

(except Bank Holidays)

9.30am – 11.30am
(with Health Visitors)

Bottle feeding your baby

Your midwife should discuss the benefits of breastfeeding with you during your pregnancy and also inform you about Skin Contact, responsive feeding and keeping the baby with you at all times during your hospital stay.

Once you have been given all the information on breastfeeding, you may still choose to bottle feed your baby with formula milk. The midwives and maternity assistants will be happy to support you to do this.

All mothers are offered support with unhurried skin contact, recognising early feeding cues and offering the first feed in skin contact.

All mothers are offered support to appreciate the importance of closeness and responsiveness for mother/baby wellbeing. To hold their baby for feeding and to understand responsive feeding.

There are so many different formula milks available that we ask you to bring in to hospital with you, the one you prefer to use. As there is no facility for making up powdered feeds, please bring in a supply of ready-made cartons to use during your stay.

A baby only has a small tummy so one carton will most likely do at least 3 feeds and can be stored in the fridge in the feeding room, labelled with your name, time and date opened. The staff will show you all this when you are on the ward. We will supply bottles and teats for you to use during your stay.

Our aim is to support mothers to;

  • Sterilise equipment and make up feeds.
  • Feed their baby first milks
  • Limit the number of people who feed their baby

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