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Getting started (bottle feeding)

If you choose to bottle feed your baby, please find the links on the support page which include the Department of Health Leaflet and the How to sterilise your equipment leaflet. It is also important to remember that this Trust no longer supplies formula milk for bottle-fed babies.

We encourage you to hold your baby in skin to skin contact as soon as possible. This should ideally last for an hour or more and can help with maintaining baby’s temperature and bonding. You may want to bottle feed your baby whilst having some skin to skin contact. Please ask the midwife who is caring for you to help you with this.


What do I need to bring with me if I wish to feed my baby formula milk?

In line with other local Trusts, UHCW does not provide infant formula to new mothers who have made an informed choice not to breastfeed.

How much formula feed will my baby need?

Your baby will take small feeds to begin with - around 15-30mls at each feed, but every baby is different.

You will need to bring with you:

Starter packs of ready to feed formula (RTF) - these packs come with the teats.
We would suggest you bring two starter packs with you.

Please do not bring with you:

Powdered formula - we do not have the facilities for the safe preparation or strorage of powdered formula.
We cannot store the larger cartons of ready to feed formula once open, so please do not bring these to the hospital

Will there be much wastage of formula?

The manufacturers advise that once a bottle has been opened and used, the contents need to be discarded after an hour.

There are so many brands of infant formula – which one do I choose?

There are several brands of infant formula with different company names. There is evidence that one company’s formula is better for your baby than any other. The formula you should bring in needs to be first milk ‘Stage 1’, unless your doctor or health visitor tells you otherwise. This is best type of infant formula for your baby for the first twelve months.

What if I forget to bring formula with me?

A member of your family will be able to purchase formula on your behalf from local supermarkets / shops, many of which are open for 24 hours. Some mothers may choose to breastfeed until the formula can be purchased. Our policy is to provide formula milk only when clinically indicated by a paediatrician.

Changing your mind

If you decide not to breastfeed or to stop breastfeeding, it is possible to restart. If you are breastfeeding, it is worth bearing in mind that giving infant formula to a breastfed baby may reduce your milk supply. Remember we have a dedicated UNICEF Baby friendly award winning team to support you.

What happens if I try my hardest to breastfeed but it just won’t work?

Most ladies if fit and well will go home on the first day. If you have not established breastfeeding we will actively encourage you to stay so we can offer you professional support. If you make the decision to stop breastfeeding you will be fully supported with your decision, and a family member will need to bring formula in for your baby.

How can I find out more about feeding my baby?

Please speak to your community midwife for more information about your thoughts and feelings surrounding how to feed your baby.

On-going breastfeeding support

Find details of your nearest breastfeeding support and social group by asking your midwife, health visitor or breastfeeding support worker.

If you are experiencing any difficulties with any aspects of feeding your baby, it is important to remember that our staff are available to support you.