Healthy Babies

When assessing babies who turn out to be well, there is no need to interfere with the breastfeeding/chestfeeding support they should be receiving. Remember that NICE Guidance recommends that all mothers/birthing parents:

  • Initiate breastfeeding/chestfeeding as soon as possible after birth, ideally within one hour

  • Are encouraged to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies as soon as possible after birth

  • Are advised to have unrestricted breastfeeding/chestfeeding frequency and duration

An understanding of feeding cues will be helpful:

Skin to skin contact in healthy late-preterm and term babies is associated with improvement in all measures of breastfeeding, including breastfeeding for more than 2 months longer than the control group.

NICE Guidance recommends that "healthcare professionals should have sufficient time, as a priority, to give support to a woman and baby during initiation and continuation of breastfeeding"

Note that Public Health England recommends that all exclusively human milk fed babies take a vitamin D supplement from birth, as a precaution.


Thank you for visiting the Hospital Infant Feeding Network. This website is a repository of relevant knowledge and best practice resources for health professionals. To join the conversation, ask questions and share your experiences please join us on Facebook or Twitter.


We will be running Q&A sessions on various topics, which will be advertised on our social media sites. Please email if you have ideas or want to get more involved. We welcome health professionals passionate about supporting breastfeeding/chestfeeding and lactation in the hospital setting to join our steering group, please get in contact if this is you!

You may have noticed that we use 'additive' language on our website to refer to lactation and human milk feeding. This means that we might refer to 'breastfeeding/chestfeeding'. Chestfeeding is a term that some non-binary people use to refer to feeding their child at the chest if the word breast is not congruent with their gender identity. Using additive language helps reduce a feeling of exclusion for non-binary and transgender people, without taking away from the importance of words like breastfeeding and mother. We do not always use additive language - for example when using infographics created by other organisations or referring to scientific research that didn't use additive language as this may not generalisable. There is a much more detailed description of the additive approach here.

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