Helping your baby feel safe and secure will help them to grow into happy confident adults. Your baby’s basic needs are to stay close to you and be responded to whenever they are hungry, tired or feel lonely. You can’t spoil your child by giving them the love and attention they ask for. Every time you respond to your baby, you are helping grow their brain.


The videos below show you how this works and the many ways in which you can build a strong relationship with your baby.

Bonding with your Baby in Pregnancy
Growing a Happy Baby
Love me, grow my brain

Families have the right to receive support and evidence based information free from commercial interests. We will assist you to feed your baby safely and responsively. You have different alternatives and there is valuable information on all modes of feeding: breastfeeding, offering expressed breastmilk by bottle, combining breastfeeding and formula or formula feeding on its own.

Benefits of breastmilk

We would like you and your family to know more about the many and long lasting benefits of breastmilk and breastfeeding.

For baby

Breastfeeding enhances your relationship with your new-born. Every time you breastfeed, you enjoy a close loving contact and both of you produce oxytocin, the ‘love’ hormone, that helps you connect and get to know your baby, and helps baby’s brain grow and develop.

Helps protect babies from infections and diseases, particularly:

  • Gastroenteritis, diarrhoea and tummy upsets
  • Chest infections and wheezing
  • Ear infections
  • Asthma and eczema (especially if you have a family history)
  • Lower risk of childhood diabetes
  • Protects pre-term baby from life threatening conditions.
  • Childhood leukaemia
  • Cot death (SIDS)

For you

  • Lower risk of ovarian and breast cancer
  • Stronger bones later in life
  • Reduces postnatal depression
  • Helps you return to your pre-pregnancy state: use up fat stored in pregnancy, regain hormonal balance, makes your uterus contract return to its normal size more quickly.
  • Cheaper and less work than formula feeding. Best quality for free and you don’t have to make up feeds, sterilize bottles and teats, etc.

Human milk, tailor made for tiny humans video

Please watch the first session of DVH Online Breastfeeding Course to learn more about your body’s incredible ability to feed your baby. You can download the workbook for the course following this link:
DVH Infant Feeding course workbook

Session 1 DVH Infant Feeding course - The benefits of breastmilk and how it is made

How to get breastfeeding off to a good start

Breastfeeding is natural for mum and baby, but you will benefit from preparing for it and learning what makes it work more effectively. It is an art to practice and perfect. Please watch the following videos to familiarise yourself with what to expect in the early hours and days.

Breastfeeding in the first hours after birth - Global Health Media

Start4life Off to the Best Start leaflet

The following session of our online breastfeeding course explains how to position yourself and your baby in order to help them latch deeply and make breastfeeding comfortable and more effective.

Session 2 DVH Infant Feeding course - How to position yourself and your baby for breastfeeding

How to tell if your baby is breastfeeding well

Your baby will give you signs that breastfeeding is going well: the number of times they feed in 24 hours, the amount of wet and dirty nappies they have every day and how much weight they are gaining. Use this checklist to find out how you and your baby are doing.

feeding and nurturing your baby 4.pngfeeding and nurturing your baby 5.png

The third session of our online breastfeeding course outlines the signs of breastfeeding going well.

Session 3 DVH Infant Feeding course- How to tell if your baby is feeding well

Some mothers may choose to give their babies their expressed breastmilk by bottle. This is a valid alternative that can help you and your baby receive many of the benefits of lactation. It is important to know that over time some mothers find that their milk supply diminishes when they are not putting baby directly to the breast. There are some tips that can help you prevent this from happening.

Tip for expressing breastmilk to feed your baby and protect your milk supply

  • Enjoy as much skin to skin as possible.
  • Give yourself some time to massage your breast before expressing.
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  • Hand expressing some milk into the bottle before and after pumping can help you collect more milk each time. Click the link to watch video How to hand express breastmilk - Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative
  • Express at least 8 times in 24 hours. Express before bedtime and once between 1 and 4 am. Do not leave gaps longer than 4 hours during the day or 6 hours during the night.
  • Use breast compressions while expressing. The following video shows a mother using breast compressions while feeding, but the technique is the same for pumping. Click link to watch video How to do breast compressions
  • If possible, use an electric double pump. 20 to 25 min at each session should be enough. 


Pump rental

If you wish to express breastmilk to feed your baby or it is part of a plan to help you increase and protect your milk supply, you can rent high grade electric pumps at:

How to store your breastmilk safely

The Breastfeeding Network have put together a comprehensive leaflet with information on storing and using breastmilk.

How to express and store breastmilk - Breastfeeding Network

We will support you to formula feed your baby safely through information on how to wash/sterilise feeding equipment and safely prepare formula. Bottle-feeding can be enhanced by making it responsive and slowing down the feeds to help you bond and get to know your baby. 

How to prepare a bottle of formula - YouTube

Responsive bottle-feeding. Whether you are giving your baby expressed breastmilk or formula by bottle, it is recommended that:

  • Feed you baby when they show signs of being hungry and stop feeding when they fall asleep, start dribbling milk or start being unsettled. Trying to get your baby to finish formula feeds when they are full, increases the risk of overfeeding and could lead to obesity and diabetes.
  • Limit the number of people who feed your baby to help them feel secure. It is better for your baby to be bottle fed by you and your partner/helper. Talk, make eye contact and hold baby close while feeding to help you build a strong loving bond.
  • Slowing down or ‘pacing’ the feeds, helps respect baby’s natural rhythms and prevent overfeeding, vomiting and wind. It is an important part of making bottle-feeding safer for baby.

How to bottle feed your baby - YouTube

For information about sterilising and safely preparing formula feeds

Guide to bottle feeding - Start4life

How to tell if formula feeding is going well

Unicef have created this tool for you to check if baby is feeding well.
Unicef Formula Feeding Assessment form

feeding and nurturing your baby 1- image content embed.png

Pump rental

If you wish to express breastmilk to feed your baby or it is part of a plan to help you increase and protect your milk supply, you can rent high grade electric pumps at:

Evidence shows that breastfeeding or offering expressed breastmilk by cup or bottle is the healthiest option for your baby and you. When this is not possible, you may consider to give your baby a combination of breastmilk and formula. Any amount of breastmilk your baby receives will make a positive difference, but you need to consider the following facts:

  • Infant formula is more difficult to digest, will make your baby feel full and less willing to breastfeed. This will very likely result in a decrease in your milk supply. 
  • Bottle feeding can make it harder for your baby to learn how to feed at your breast. 
  • Many mothers stop breastfeeding before they wanted to because of introducing formula. 

If you decide that mixed feeding is the best choice for you and your child, it is recommended that you:

  • Continue to breastfeed or express your milk as often as possible to protect your milk supply.
  • Bottle-feed responsively. Feed when your baby shows early signs of being hungry and don’t force your baby to finish a bottle when they are full to prevent overfeeding and obesity.
  • Try to limit the number of people who bottle-feed your baby. Feeding should be an opportunity to build close loving relationships. 
  • Slow down or pace bottle-feeds.
  • Sterilise equipment and prepare formula feeds safely.

Unicef Baby Friendly guide to responsive bottle feeding has useful information:
Unicef Guide to Responsive Bottle Feeding

For information about sterilising and safely preparing formula feeds:
Guide to Bottle Feeding leaflet - Start4life

Global Health Media have excellent breastfeeding videos in various languages. You can access them through this link:
Breastfeeding videos in various languages - Global Health Media