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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust
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Infant Feeding

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Infant Feeding Support

Having a new baby can be a joy and challenge. Parents may feel that they are given so much advice about caring for their baby that they actually become confused by all the information given to them. Infant feeding can be a particularly confusing area for parents, and sometimes parents hold back from asking questions to what they may perceive to be a minor query.

Health Visitors in Worcestershire are keen to support all parents with feeding their baby and as a team we have received Specialist Training in infant feeding so to give parents our expert knowledge and support. By working together with parents, Health Visitors will ensure that parents are adequately supported to manage with uncertainties regarding infant feeding.

Breastfeeding

Breast milk is a fantastic source of nutrition and it gives babies everything they need for optimal growth and development. Breastfeeding your baby is also perfect opportunity to help you and your baby form a close loving bond. You will soon learn to recognise the signs of hunger in your baby before the crying for food begin, making it easier and more enjoyable to feed your baby.

Your Health Visitor will support and help you understand more about breastfeeding, and will be keen to answer any concerns you have with regards to feeding your baby. Worcestershire also has a team of Breastfeeding Specialist Support Advisors, who will provide individualised support by visiting you at home, supporting you in your local Breastfeeding Support Group, or discussing concerns over the phone or via text message to meet your needs.

Worcestershire has its own webpage to specifically provide information and support to breastfeeding parents.

www.worcestershirewelcomesbreastfeeding.nhs.uk 

Infant Formula

Most infant formula is made from cow’s milk that has been treated to make it suitable for babies. Your Health Visitor can support you if you feel a particular brand of infant formula disagrees with your baby.

Babies can stay on their first infant formula when you start to introduce solid foods at around six months and can continue on it throughout the first year.

For more information on infant formula, please visit

www.nhs.uk/startforlife/documents/pdf/startforlife-guide-to-bottle-feeding.pdf 

www.nhs.uk/planners/birthtofive

Colic

Colic can affect one in five babies and tends to being when a baby is a few weeks old. It normally stops by four months of age or by six months at the latest. It is defined ‘as repeated episodes of excessive and inconsolable crying in an otherwise healthy infant, typically lasting for more than three hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks’ (NHS Choices). Health Visitors understand that this is a very distressing time for parents to cope with and would encourage parents to contact their Health Visitor for further help, advice and support. Or visit http://www.nhs.uk/colic, for more information on the symptoms, causes and treatment of infantile colic.

Weaning

Weaning is the process of moving babies on from drinking milk to include solid foods in their diet. The Department of Health recommends that babies should be weaned at around six months of age.

Weaning is an exciting new experience as well as being a learning process for babies. Babies can now enjoy sitting with their family at meal times and enjoy the learning experience of watching and eating with their parents and siblings.

At first parents should aim to get the baby used to the feel of food and different tastes. For this reason it is important to expose your baby to a wide variety of tastes and textures to help educate their palate and help them become less fussy eaters in the future.

Your Health Visitor will be happy to support you throughout your babies weaning process and can provide lots of useful tips and information to understand what foods to offer in the early stages of weaning and onwards.

Health Visitors advise parents that it is normal for babies to become hungrier at around four months old due a growth spurt, but that it is important to not confuse this with the real signs of weaning. This is because baby’s digestive system at this age is still immature and needs time to develop before solids are introduced.

For more information please visit

www.nhs.uk/startforlife/documents/pdf/startforlife-starting-on-solids.pdf 

Healthy Start Vitamins

Healthy Start is a Government Scheme that provides weekly vouchers to eligible parents and can help you if you’re pregnant or have a young child under four. These vouchers can be spent on milk, fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk at your local shops and supermarkets, as well as offering coupons for free vitamins too.

Your Health Visitor can help you complete this application form to ensure you are in receipt of these vouchers as soon as possible.

For more information and find out if you are eligible, please visit,

www.healthystart.nhs.uk

Healthy Eating Habits

As your child grows older it is important to consider how much sugar there is in some of food and drinks we give them. From cereal in morning through to puddings, snacks and drinks, too much sugar means extra calories which causes fat to build up, that could lead to heart disease, some cancers and possibly type 2 diabetes. 

Download the sugar smart app for free, to scan the foods in your fridge, cupboard and when you shop to see for yourself the amount of total sugar in everyday food and drinks.

www.Change4LifeSugarSmart

www.nhs.uk/5aday