The infant feeding service provides advice and support to parents and parents to be about breastfeeding, bottle feeding and nurturing their baby. The service provides information enabling each mother to make informed choices regarding feeding their baby.
All the staff are trained to the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) accredited standard and offer:
- one-to-one support through the health visiting service
- telephone support via a helpline
- face to face support at baby feeding support groups called Baby Feeding Cafes based at local Children's Centres in the borough of Redbridge.
Infant feeding advisors endeavor to contact all new mothers to offer information and support with regards to feeding their baby. If telephone contact is not possible, then information regarding local baby feeding cafes is posted to the family. Infant feeding advisors provide telephone support regarding feeding baby, responsive feeding and tips for breastfeeding.
For parents who choose to give their baby formula milk, the infant feeding advisors discuss recommendations regarding the safe preparation of artificial baby milks and give parents information so that they can make an informed choice about infant feeding. The health visiting teams, borough-based children's centres and infant feeding team's role is to:
- support pregnant women to recognise the importance of breastfeeding and early relationships for the health and well-being of their baby
- enable mothers to continue breastfeeding for as long as they wish
- support mothers to make informed decisions regarding the introduction of foods or fluids other than breastmilk
- support parents to have a close and loving relationship