Feeding Your Baby
Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service colleagues are trained to support breastfeeding and we have community breastfeeding champions who are dedicated to infant feeding and relationship building.
Mothers and babies are at the heart of the work we do and we provide evidenced-based information about infant feeding, promote and support breastfeeding and help strengthen mother-baby and family relationships.
We can support you through the early days and months after birth, offer guidance about introducing complementary foods also known as solids and support you to provide a balanced diet for your baby.
The following advice applies to all mums, dads and carers; however you decide to feed your baby.
Check if this service is available in your area
Ways of feeding your baby
Skin to skin contact
There is a growing body of evidence that skin-to-skin contact after the birth helps babies and their mothers in many ways. Find out more >
Laid-back breastfeeding or biological nurturing
Laid-back breastfeeding, or biological nurturing, means getting comfortable with your baby and encouraging your own and your baby’s natural breastfeeding instincts. Find out more >
Keeping mum and baby together
Wherever possible it’s important for you and baby to be kept together at home and in hospital after birth as this allows mothers to recognise feeding cues, get to know your baby and your baby’s needs as well as for baby to recognise you.
This was previously referred to as ‘demand’ or ‘baby-led’ feeding and applies to both breastfeeding and formula feeding mothers and babies.
This is holding your baby close and letting mum and baby feed in response to their needs, e.g. when baby shows signs of hunger or needs to be comforted or if you need to feed or simply want a rest.
How we can help
Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service is a Baby Friendly Accredited organisation.
The Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative is recommended across the UK nations to support women to breastfeed and to promote practices that will maximise very early child development.
What happens next?
At around 36 weeks of pregnancy, all women will be given the opportunity to meet face to face with a health visitor. The health visitor can discuss thoughts and feeling of becoming a new parent and offer helpful tips on ways to build a loving relationship with their unborn baby, as well as provide information and advice on infant feeding.
At around 10-14 days the health visitor will arrange a new birth visit to assess mother and baby’s wellbeing and a personalised plan of care can be discussed.
Clinics and drop-in groups
Some Family Hubs offer support groups and drop-ins which are usually held by healthy family support workers, health professionals and/or peer supporters.
We have breastfeeding support groups in various locations around Essex. These offer a welcoming environment for new mums to meet and gain confidence with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding groups offer a support network, as well as a great place to seek support for overcoming breastfeeding problems.
Find your nearest Family Hub to the right of this page.