Healthy eating

Feeding your baby

Get information about breastfeeding, starting your baby on solid foods, free vitamin D and free healthy food for families. Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed your baby, it’s important to explore your options.

Start for Life provides help and advice during pregnancy, birth and the early years of parenthood.

You can also learn more about other health services for new parents from the NHS.

Local support for feeding your baby

Breastfeeding support drop-ins

Find safe and comfortable places where you can be supported to start and continue breastfeeding below. All pregnant women and breastfeeding people are welcome. A referral is not needed.

Find breastfeeding support groups in Southwark.

Find more breastfeeding drop-ins across London.

Health visiting service support

Health visitors can offer advice and support on breastfeeding and starting solids. Call our health visiting service on 020 3049 8166 or email

Find out more about local health visiting services

Children and Family Centres

Our Children and family centres provide a range of support to families to help them live well. This includes:

  • breastfeeding support
  • advice on starting solids
  • recipes on a budget
  • positive mealtimes
  • cook and eat classes

Find your nearest Children and Family Centre.

Ways to feed your baby


Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your new-born and has many proven benefits for mums and babies:

  • breastmilk has all the nutrients your baby needs for a healthy start in life and is available whenever your baby needs it
  • breastfeeding helps mum and baby to form a bond, increases skin to skin contact and allows quiet time with your baby and close family

The following guides include advice on breastfeeding in public, breastfeeding clothes, expressing, storing breastmilk and where to get help:

You can watch some short films with advice on infant feeding:

Bottle feeding

These guides include advice on sterilising bottles, how to make up a bottle and types of formula:

Mixed feeding

Here you'll find advice on reasons to combine breast and bottle, top up feeds and giving your baby their first bottle:

Weaning your baby

When your baby is around six months old, it's time to introduce solid foods. This is called complementary feeding or weaning.

The following guides include advice on how to tell if your baby is ready, what foods to choose, healthy drinks for babies and young children, safety, hygiene, and fussy eaters:

Free food and vitamins

Free vitamin D

Pregnant women, new mums and children under four in the borough can get free vitamin D supplements. Find out about Southwark’s free vitamin D scheme.

Free healthy food: Healthy Start

Find out about the national scheme for families to get free healthy food.

Free fruit and vegetables: Rose Vouchers

Find out about vouchers to use on fruit and vegetables for residents living in SE1, SE5 and SE17.

Extra breastfeeding help  


  • The National Breastfeeding Helpline: 0300 100 0212 (now available 24 hours a day)
  • The National Breastfeeding Helpline in Bengali and Sylheti: 0300 456 2421
  • The National Breastfeeding Helpline in Polish: 0300 100 0212
  • Association of Breastfeeding Mothers: 0300 330 5453
  • La Leche League: 0345 120 2918
  • National Childbirth Trust (NCT): 0300 330 0700
  • text BABYBUDDY to 85258 for free anonymous support via text message, any time of day or night


Do you have a breastfeeding question?

The Baby Buddy app supports you throughout your pregnancy and parenting journey, day by day. Download Baby Buddy for iOS

The Breastfeeding Friend is a digital tool that gives NHS approved information and advice on breastfeeding. You can use it with Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Facebook Messenger.

Page last updated: 09 July 2024


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