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Feeding your baby

COVID-19 information

Please refer to our maternity services during COVID-19 pandemic section to find current information as some of the care provided during your pregnancy and birth may have been altered for your safety and that of our staff.

Your antenatal appointments may run differently and our parent education classes are now all online.

Please speak to your midwife if you have any questions and follow the Southampton maternity service on Facebook for regular updates.

Infant feeding support during the COVID-19 outbreak

Breastfeeding Babes

The Breastfeeding Babes service will be working in a different way during the COVID-19 outbreak. A member of the team will be concentrating on helping women at the bedside on the post-natal wards.

Once you're home, you can get support over the phone 7 days a week (times will vary). Please call 077 8626 7584 from Monday to Friday between 10am and 1pm, and 077 8626 6529 at the weekend.

Breastfeeding workshops 

We are sorry that we cannot offer you face to face workshops at this time. We are working on bringing you live workshops and video links that will support you during your breastfeeding journey. Please see the document below for links to services and support.

Helping you get breastfeeding off to a good start

The information on this page has been designed to support you breastfeeding your baby - ensuring you can continue for as long as you and your baby want to.

Breastfeeding workshops

If you'd like to find out more about breastfeeding your baby, we offer antenatal breastfeeding workshops which can be booked through our maternity and parent information service (MISS)Please note that during the COVID-19 outbreak, this service is not running.

Breastfeeding Babes service

This service is led by a lactation consultant and an experienced team of breastfeeding supporters. Please note that during the COVID-19 outbreak, this service is working differently (see above) and drop-ins are not taking place.

Local breastfeeding support groups

Local breastfeeding groups such as Bosom Pals and baby cafes offer help and support from pregnancy and throughout your breastfeeding journey. Most groups run on a weekly basis and there is no need to book - mums are welcome to just turn up. Please note that these groups will not be running during COVID-19 outbreak.

There are various types of breastfeeding support groups, some are supported by midwives and senior midwifery support workers and some by qualified breastfeeding counsellors. All provide a friendly, social place to meet, chat and get information and support if you require it. You don't need to have a problem to come to a group.

Although most people attending the groups are mothers, mums-to-be are welcome too. Sessions are normally free but a small donation to cover refreshments is appreciated.

Further support with breastfeeding

After giving birth you'll be given a breastfeeding diary. However, if you would like to view or print your own diary to bring with you or print additional pages once at home please download the breastfeeding diary (PDF).

If you'd like to attend a weekly breastfeeding support group nearer to your home or use a telephone helpline for support please refer to help and support with breastfeeding (PDF).

The breastfeeding guide (NHS) offers lots of tips and up to date information, and you can also view the Bump to Breastfeeding DVD. Read further information in Off to the Best Start and chapter one of Birth to Five. You can also read about other parents' breastfeeding experiences.


A tongue-tie service is available at the following locations for babies born at Princess Anne Hospital, New Forest Birth Centre or at home with our midwifery teams:

  • Breastfeeding babes - please call 07786 267584 
  • New Forest Birth Centre - please call 023 8074 7693

If you're experiencing feeding difficulties and your baby has a tongue-tie, your midwife or support worker will contact either of the above, leaving your name and contact details.

We'll give you an appointment time for your baby’s tongue-tie and feeding assessment as soon as possible - the tongue-tie procedure will be carried out if necessary.

If your baby is older than six weeks, your health visitor will need to send a referral to Mr. Hall.

Formula feeding

If you plan to formula feed your baby, please look at the Guide to Bottlefeeding and Birth to Five which will give you information on how to prepare a feed and sterilise equipment to minimise risks to your baby's health.

From October 2017, Princess Anne Hospital and the New Forest birth centre will no longer provide formula milk.

If you decide to bottle feed your baby, please bring two starter kits of your chosen milk brand. Each pack usually contains 6 x 70ml bottles and disposable teats. These starter packs are readily available at all major supermarkets and also online.

Please note: no milk can be made up from powder while in the hospital as there are no sterilizing facilities. For the same reason, no milk can be decanted into other bottles. Therefore, premade milk should be brought in the starter pack bottles when you visit the hospital.

Parents can find information from the Baby Friendly Initiative (UNICEF) on both bottle feeding and breastfeeding.

See also the First Steps Nutrition Trust who are an independent public health nutrition charity that provides information and resources to support eating well from pre-conception to five years.