The ISPHN Service offers advice and information to parents around getting to know your baby and setting up the foundations for a close loving relationship.

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby and we are committed to the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding. We also provide support for babies who are not breastfed, ensuring they have the best start in life. If you decide not to breastfeed or to stop breastfeeding, we are here for you too.

Our teams support all parents' right to make informed choices when it comes to infant feeding. We pride ourselves on being a Unicef Gold Baby Friendly Accredited Service and share this accreditation with East Riding Children Centres, who we work closely with. This means that our infant feeding support in the East Riding has been recognised as achieving the highest standard.

Before your baby arrives

Feeding is an essential part of caring and bonding with your baby. During your pregnancy, we suggest learning more about your feeding options and how to get feeding off to the best start. There is a range of information you can access to help you. Take a look at some of the suggestions below:

  • Take a look at the literature around feeding and caring for your baby in your maternity booking pack and Red book.
  • Have a conversation with your Midwife and Health Visitor during your pregnancy to discuss your thoughts and feelings.
  • Attend one of the monthly carousel events at Hull University NHS Teaching Hospital or Bridlington to find out about local infant feeding support services.
  • Consider attending the antenatal classes.  These are fun and interactive sessions that are run by our Lactation Consultants and Health Visitors. Hull University Teaching NHS Trust also provides a monthly session just on breastfeeding.
  • If you have a specific issue around feeding that you wish to discuss in the antenatal period then ask your Midwife or Health Visitor for help and advice.
  • For more information, please see UNICEF’s Support For Parents.

If you are expecting a baby and would like further information and advice, please see our dedicated 'Expecting a Baby' page.

When your baby arrives

Our staff are trained to support you with feeding, by offering the most up to date advice and information on responsive feeding. They will help you gain the skills you need to feel confident with feeding and caring for your new baby. If you are breastfeeding your baby, there is a range of support available. For further help and advice, please contact your Health Visitor or visit your local Children's Centre.

Children's Centre staff are trained in providing feeding support and can also recommend a range of activities where you can meet other new parents. If you encounter any problems with breastfeeding, our lactation consultants, trained (IBCLC) health visitors run a specialist one-2-one clinic that is available by referral through your Health Visitor. This support is only available when your baby is over 10 days old.

Building a Happy Baby

Building a strong relationship between parents and their new baby offers the child the best possible start in life. A healthy attachment to their caregivers helps them to grow and develop happily and confidently. Our role is to support parents in developing a strong relationship with their infant.

Responding to babies’ needs for comfort and food is extremely beneficial for brain development. Being a responsive and loving parent increases a child's confidence. We support parents to breastfeed and bottle-feed responsively, and encourage them to keep their babies close  so they grow into happy, healthy and secure children and adults.

'Building a happy baby' is an excellent guide for parents. This leaflet covers topics such as the importance of staying close to your baby and provides tips on how to build a close and loving relationship with your baby.

Breastmilk and Breastfeeding

UNICEF recommends breastfeeding your infant. Research shows that breast milk is much better than formula as it offers more protection to babies and can prevent them from developing certain health conditions. Exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first 6 months offers them the best start in life.

Breastfeeding has many benefits for both you and your baby. Breastmilk is full of antibodies and protects babies from lots of different infections, including tummy bugs. Other benefits for babies include protection against diabetes, asthma, heart disease, obesity, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). For mum, breastfeeding benefits include protection against breast and ovarian cancer. Formula feeding is safe, but breast milk is the best milk for human babies - it contains a wide range of important ingredients that cannot be replicated in formula milk.  It is important to remember that as a parent it is your decision on which feeding method you choose.

Important information during COVID-19

Pregnancy, breastfeeding, fertility and coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination

For more information about pregnancy, breastfeeding, fertility and the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination, please visit the NHS website here.

How will I know if my baby is feeding well and growing in the early days?

We understand that this is a challenging time for everyone, especially for families who are expecting a baby, those who have recently given birth, and those who have young children.

The Integrated Public Health Nursing Service and East Riding Children Centres work together to support you however you decide to feed your baby. We are both “Gold” Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative accredited.

“Is my baby getting enough milk either from breastfeeding or formula?” and "how will I know my baby is growing?" are two of the most common question we are asked.

Support and advice in the early weeks can make all the difference. We are here for you. During the current Coronavirus outbreak, our services continue to adapt to provide support, information and advice for you in line with current government guidance, which currently states that any face-to-face contact should be limited to comply with social distancing and social isolation guidelines.

We continue to offer support around infant feeding and relationship building and on all aspects of care for babies and children. We can support you and your family with any of your feeding questions or concerns. This includes breastfeeding, breastfeeding problems expressing, mixed feeding, stopping breastfeeding, formula feeding or introducing solid foods.

We will listen to you without judging and offer information and suggestions and we can provide you with relevant information to help you make informed decisions about feeding your baby. We are here for you.

The infographic the Children’s Centre and ISPHNS Integrated Infant Feeding Team have put together for Breastfeeding Celebration Week 2020 aims to provide reassurance around what is normal and to encourage you to contact your Midwife, Health Visitor or Children’s Centre for more information and support. If you are concerned about your baby please contact a health professional or call 111.

Take a look at our infographic on Feeding and growing in the early weeks.

The links below can help you to assess the progress of feeding in the first 6 weeks and advise what you can do if you feel worried.

How Can I tell Breastfeeding is going well?

How can I tell Bottle Feeding is going well?

The ISPHN Service has a specialist breastfeeding service called One2One. Children’s Centres have also launched virtual Breastfeeding Cafes and virtual baby massage sessions.

Our service also offers virtual antenatal parent education which includes, labour, birth, feeding your baby, the early days and a breastfeeding session for families who are expecting a baby. We have introduced a variety of online resources around safer sleeping, bathing your baby, relationship building and mental health. We are working closely with our midwifery colleagues. Some maternity units are also offering group antenatal classes via Zoom and Webex.

Contact your Children’s Centre

Contact your local ISPHNS Health Visitor

More important information

Supporting babies, mothers and families during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak

One2One Specialist Breastfeeding Support Service during Covid19.

We are a team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) providing free One2One Breastfeeding Specialist Support Service including a weekly breastfeeding clinic. Julie Allen, Katy Gowans and Louise Shafei.

We believe that breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby and we recognise the important benefits that breastfeeding provides for both you and your baby.

We support the right of all parents to make informed choices about infant feeding and support safe and responsive formula feeding.

Who are we?

We are employed by Humber NHS Foundation Trust as Health Visitors but are also trained Lactation Consultants who provide additional and specialist breastfeeding support to other professionals and mothers. We are all qualified nurses some of us trained as midwives and we are all Health Visitors with years of experience between us.

What do we do? We can provide One2One support for all breastfeeding mums experiencing problems at every stage of their breastfeeding journey through either a telephone contact, online support, and if essential a face to face consultation with you. We also provide specialist advice and support to your Health Visitor, children centres and other professionals.

Having problems?

Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed your baby, but we know that doesn’t always mean it’s easy! If you are experiencing problems don’t hesitate to contact your Health Visitor who is trained to help and they can also refer you to one of us (Lactation Consultant).

Julie, Katy and  Louise ISPHNS Lactation Consultants

Formula Feeding

The early days with your baby are a great way to get to know each other. This can be done by keeping your baby close to you and skin to skin contact. Babies feel more secure if only the mum, dad or partner feed the baby, especially in the early weeks as this really helps with bonding.

All mothers have the right to receive clear and impartial information to enable them to make a fully informed choice as to how they feed and care for their babies. The Integrated Specialist Public Health Nursing Service (ISPHNS) does not discriminate against any woman in her chosen method of infant feeding. We will fully support women in their infant feeding method, whether this is by choice or for clinical reasons. We know it can be confusing for mums because of the number of different brands available and you may not fully understand why we cannot recommend a specific brand. We can only recommend a first-stage whey dominant milk for babies under the age of one. For a healthy, full-term baby, it does not matter which brand you choose, as all brands have to meet the same legal requirements to support growth and nutrition. We do not advise parents to change to or try comfort milk, ‘milk for hungrier babies’ follow-on milk, goodnight milk or other non first-stage milk, as it is not recommended for babies to change from a first-stage whey dominant milk to a casein-dominant formula.

Useful Formula Feeding Links:

Expressing and bottle feeding
Making up infant formula
Common questions about formula milk
Start4Life bottle feeding advice
Safe sleep advice


Involving fathers and partners

Skin-to-skin contact can be really beneficial in the first few days and weeks and can help fathers to feel closer to their new baby.

Fathers and partners play an important role and can make all the difference in successful breastfeeding. Mothers are much more likely to breastfeed for longer if they have a supportive partner.

Your family and friends can also offer valuable support, assisting with practical things such as preparing meals or tidying the home whilst you are feeding your baby.