Feeding your baby
Get information about breastfeeding, starting your baby on solid foods, healthy food for toddlers, fussy eating, free vitamin D and free healthy food for families.
Start4Life provides help and advice during pregnancy, birth and the early years of parenthood. You can also find out more about other health services for new parents.
Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed your baby, it’s important to explore your options. Get general parenthood advice from the NHS.
Breastfeeding 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
Many places in Southwark have pledged to make breastfeeding mums feel welcome. You can search for a breastfeeding friendly venue.
- National Breastfeeding Helpline - 0300 100 0212
- The Breastfeeding Network supporter line in Bengali and Sylheti - 0300 456 2421
Digital Breastfeeding Friend
The digital Breastfeeding Friend is available 24/7 and has lots of useful information and expert advice. All the information provided is NHS-approved and based on questions asked by thousands of new mums.
Whether you're experiencing breastfeeding difficulties, you've got sore nipples, or you want to know about vitamins and what you should include in your diet if it's a breastfeeding-related question, the Breastfeeding Friend is ready to help you.
You can access the digital breastfeeding tool in the following ways:
- Breastfeeding Friend on Amazon Alexa
- Breastfeeding Friend on Google Home
- Breastfeeding Friend on Facebook Messenger
Breastfeeding support cafés
Breastfeeding support cafés provide a safe and comfortable environment where pregnant and breastfeeding women are supported to start and continue breastfeeding.
Two breastfeeding support cafés take place every week. Contact your health visitor to make an appointment.
Starting your baby on solid foods
When your baby is around 6 months old, it's time to start introducing solid foods. This is called complementary feeding or weaning.
You can find expert NHS advice, videos, recipes and tips from other parents on weaning.
Healthy eating advice for toddlers
Support if your child is a fussy eater
Specialist nutrition and dietetic support
The nutrition and dietetics service in Southwark provides support to families of children with a wide range of weight and eating conditions.
Your GP can refer you to the nutrition and dietetics service, which will provide you with help to improve your child’s nutrition.
Healthy drinks for babies and young children
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
Free fruit and vegetables: Rose Vouchers
Support services for breastfeeding and starting solids
Getting support in pregnancy from a health visitor
Health visitor services are available. As part of this service, health visitors can offer advice and support on breastfeeding and starting solids.
Children’s and family centres
Southwark’s children and family centres provide a range of support to families to help them live well. The support they provide includes:
- breastfeeding support
- advice on starting solids
- recipes on a budget
- positive mealtimes
- cook and eat classes
Page last updated: 05 December 2023