There's a wide range of evidence-based information about your options for feeding your baby


The Department of Health (DH) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that babies have nothing other than breastmilk for the first six months of life and then continue breastfeeding with complementary foods for up to two years and beyond. Breastfeeding improves the health of mothers and babies and helps to nurture a close and responsive relationship between mother and child. Your breastmilk will adapt to the changing needs of your developing baby.

Benefits of breastfeeding and how it works

Free Online Antenatal Breastfeeding classes and courses

The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers has a Baby Antenatal breastfeeding course: Getting ready to breastfeed

The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) also has some good resources:

Drugs in Breastmilk

If you are on medications and are concerned whether you can continue them whilst breastfeeding, we recommend that you discuss this with your midwife or doctor. Many medications are suitable to take whilst breastfeeding, but others may need reviewing to see if they are suitable.

  • Information from The Breastfeeding Network:

The Breastfeeding Network provides detailed information on common medications such as antidepressants and antibiotics, and their suitability for breastfeeding.  There are detailed leaflets on an extensive range of medications and breastfeeding.

Mothers and health professionals can also email the breastfeeding network about specific drugs that are not on the list:

  • Information from Trent and Leicestershire Medicines Information Centre & UK Drugs in Lactation Advisory Service, to submit a medicines-related enquiry: 

Visit: for NHS medicines information resources including drugs in lactation


Telephone: 0116 258 6491 (Mon–Fri 9.00–17.00)



Antenatal expression of colostrum and breastmilk storage

Many mothers choose to hand express colostrum before their baby arrives, it is particularly recommended if you are diabetic, expecting a complicated or pre-term delivery, or if you have to be induced.  Do discuss this with your midwife or consultant as this is NOT recommended before 36 weeks. Your midwife will be able to explain how to express colostrum and where to obtain labels and special syringes for catching your breastmilk.

Bottle feeding

Although we encourage all mothers to breastfeed because of the health benefits for mothers and babies, we know that some mothers may be unable to, or choose not to, breastfeed. Midwives will offer the opportunity to explore your thoughts about feeding, and support your informed choice. 

Breastfeeding support in other languages