Key aspects of postnatal care

Immediately following the birth, your baby will be examined and weighed by the midwife. Two identification bands containing your baby’s details will be checked by you or your partner and placed on your baby – one on the wrist and one on the ankle. Both bands must remain in place until your baby is at home.

Your midwife will examine you and your baby to ensure you are both recovering well. Practical advice on caring for your baby will be offered. This includes information on feeding, bathing and nappy changing.

Feeding your Baby

The Belfast Trust Maternity Services are ‘Baby Friendly’ and believe that breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby as it provides important short and long term health benefits for you and your baby.

Our staff support the right of all mothers to make an informed choice about infant feeding and will help you whatever your chosen feeding method.

You will be given an opportunity to discuss the benefits and management of breastfeeding with a midwife before your baby is born. All staff regularly receive training in Breastfeeding management. Practices that are helpful in getting breastfeeding off to a good start include skin to skin contact following the birth and keeping mother and baby together (rooming in). Staff will guide you in the skills and knowledge needed to successfully breastfeed your baby. If your baby is in the Neonatal Unit, then the benefits of breast milk are even more important. You will be shown how to express milk by hand and then with a breast pump.
View the 'Off to a good start' booklet

Local Breastfeeding Mothers Groups

These are informal groups usually organised by health professionals (Community Midwives and Health Visitors). They aim to promote breastfeeding by providing support and information to mothers. You are welcome to attend at any time before or after your baby is born. Breastfeeding mothers groups are held throughout Northern Ireland. Details are available from:

If you are thinking of breastfeeding, we would encourage you to attend your local breastfeeding mothers group before your baby is born.

If you decide not to breastfeed your baby, our staff will support you to formula feed. You will be advised on how to safely make up and sterilise your bottles and guided on how to bottle feed your baby responsively.

View the 'Bottlefeeding' leaflet (Public Health Agency for Northern Ireland)

View 'A simple guide to infant formula, follow-on formula and other infant milks' (Published by First Steps
Nutrition Trust Charity)